We all know a good sleep is crucial to a productive day. Without it, creativity drops, focus disappears and your energy just sucks. So whatever you do in the evening is going to have a direct impact on how tomorrow is going to turn out.
If morning routines are designed to energise us, give us clarity and motivation and stamina, evening routines are there to make sure you don’t go to bed with all that extra zing!
This is how I like to get down before Club B-E-D to ensure the next day is a winner.
I have a very specific journaling strategy.
Reflect: on the day that has passed. Plan: For the day ahead. Aspire: Write down your goals
Journaling is also a perfect way to practice gratitude – acknowledging all the great things in your life keep them active in your mind. Practicing gratitude is a proven happiness booster!
You can also try a different approach. Choose one goal. Focus on it. Visualize it. Write down what that goal is 10 times in your journal. Positive visualization leads to creation.
Just as yoga can wake you up from the inside out, it can calm your body down and prepare you for a good nights’ sleep. Not only will you go to sleep feeling more limber and loosen the muscles after a long day, but your mental state will be in a better place too.
Try these three simple postures before jumping the sack:
- Standing Forward Bend – Helps relieve headaches and insomnia, and lowers stress levels.
- Bridge – Calms the brain, stimulates organs and rejuvenates tired legs.
- Child’s Pose – The mother of relaxation poses. Calms the mind and alleviates tension in the body. Also a good one for jet lag
Take the thought out of any morning activities
Doing this will help you with the mad rush that is the morning. You’ll instantly feel more organised and have less to worry about, starting the day off on a high. Well, right after your epic morning routine, that is.
Here are a few things you can do in the evening that you’d otherwise need to do in the morning;
- Lay out your work out gear and regular clothes
- To-do-list (this is particularly good for organising your thoughts)
- Wash the dishes
- Make your lunch
- Pack your bag
A little bit of light reading
A good book can be the perfect antidote to a full day. You don’t have to get all Warren Buffet about it and read 500 pages erry day, just a chapter or two will help you relax, reduce cortisol levels and improve your cognitive function.
It’s true. Here’s the science to back it up.
Slow down your skincare routine
Too often we’re so pooped we hurry through our evening skin care routine, a quick cleanse, a dab of moisturizer, a hasty brush of the teeth..wait we forgot to tone. Ugh. Bad move galfriends. Bad move.
Your evening skincare routine bears more weight than the morning one. During slumber is when all the magic beautifying, age-reversing, complexion fixing wonders happen.
So take your time, try a double cleanse (oil cleanser followed by regular cleanser), work your serum in, moisturize with care. Your skin will thank you by looking so supple in the morning.
Whilst it may be common to think that activating the xxx of your brain right before bed is bad, this is not the case. Studies have shown that brain training games, such as Tetris have a calming effect on the mind.
I enjoy Lumosity. I’ve been on their brain games for two years now. I love playing a few quick games right before bed. I find it as a great way to de-stress if I am feeling anxious. It takes my mind off whatever is bothering me.
A few extra tips
Finally, here are some things to avoid before bed, for a better nights kip:
- Alcohol – Red wine, especially as it can be a stimulant. I have woken up many times from a red wine rush. It works in similar ways to caffeine.
- Caffeine. Duh Fred.
- Eating after 8 pm. The earlier in the evening you have your last meal the better. Sorry guys, but this includes snacks! Give your body time to digest the food. Even better – give intermittent fasting a go!
- Gramming, booking or tindering. Can it – it’s not productive and keeps you awake
- Forcing it – if you can’t fall asleep, meditate, practice breathing exercises (or just take 20 deep breaths) or visualize your goals
- Hitting Snooze in the morning. Even though its often the hardest part of your day, getting out of bed as soon as that first alarm goes will actually give you more energy then snoozing and getting that extra 10 minutes of shitty, anxious sleep which will make you more tired throughout the day.