The thing about the evening is, most of us are tired. Your evening routine should be more gentle and reflective.
Think of the term ‘evening’ as levelling off. Do you slow to a pace that allows you to wind down? Night owls can ignore this article! Personally, I’ve learned much from my children’s bedtime routine. To create a routine you could consider Stephen Covey’s 2nd habit.
“Begin with the end in mind.” – Stephen R. Covey
Think about what you want from each morning and build your evening routine to provide it.
Here are some things you can do to enable you to be healthy, happy, present, positive and contributing.
1. Close your work day by noting what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a pat on the back. Whatever else, if you can say you’ve done your best then you can be proud of the day. Jot down what’s important for tomorrow.
2. If you can create a gap that allows you to relax and begin to switch off from the energetic or thinking mode you may have needed in work.
3. Be present. Once you arrive home, do something that signifies you are now present. Unpack your stuff – and your mind – from your workday.
Wherever you go, there you are.
4. Switch off. Consider putting the phone – well, mini-computer – in a ‘phone box’, not to distract you again.
5. Have a nice meal and some fun and gratitude with your loved ones.
6. Set up tomorrow morning now and make your new day as easy as possible. Leave out whatever clothes and prepare food you might need.
7. Wind down rather than up. How many of us put our children to bed calmly and then switch the devices on and grab the nearest wine glass? Then we wonder why we don’t sleep well. Dim the lights, play some nice music, meditate – do whatever soothes your mind, body and soul. If you need to, have a rule, e.g. ‘no devices after 9’.
8. Prime yourself for sleep by going to bed at the same time each day. Separate day from night by changing into fresh clothes to signal to your body and mind it’s almost time for a great sleep.
9. Pick up a real book. There is always time – and energy – to read before you nod off. Reading improves your sleep quality, helps put your consciousness on a different plan and reduces stress and cortisol levels.
10. Be grateful for a good day. Leave a little notebook on your bedside table. Each night, jot down 3 things you’re grateful for before you sleep.
When we plan, we do it in one direction – from the highest level big dreams to what we need to do each day. But we act in the opposite direction – from right now each day to create the dreams we want. Your life and your future is today repeated. Start with a good evening routine.