Some say to have a good morning routine it’s actually about having a good evening routine. It’s a cycle and one feeds the other.
So my evenings are also something I have spent time orchestrating. I appreciate they are harder to stick to given we sometimes have social things or work or whatever else getting in the way. The point is to try and make this is consistent but not necessarily rigid. Don’t stress yourself out if you miss a few, commit to the thing you’re at and carry on the next day.
Slightly shorter than my morning routine for obvious reasons but it still starts quite early. Again do what works for you. The only advice I’d give is make sure you are not going to sleep (as in you’re actually asleep) later than what allows you to have at least 7 hours of sleep. Otherwise it makes the whole thing a bit redundant.
6pm - blue light glasses on, brightness of devices down, lighting dimmed. You need to start telling your brain that it’s night time and reduce the amount of light coming (late night use can affect your circadian rhythm).
6.05pm - write in my one-line-a-day journal and my gratitude diary.
6.10pm - continue working.
7pm - make dinner and eat by 7.30pm latest.
7.45pm - finish off any work, emails, etc., to make sure the laptop is closed by 8pm
8pm - devices away (at least one hour before bed), shower, moisturise (keep the skin healthy), brush teeth.
8.15pm - prep clothes for the next day (reduces decision fatigue) and get room ready for sleeping.
8.30pm - some light stretching/yoga to calm the body down and prepare it for sleep.
8.45pm - read some fiction (or something light that doesn’t require much attention but is interesting).
9pm - get into bed, set my intentions for the next day, lights out (note I only get into bed when I’m ready to go to sleep so that my mind only associates the bed with sleeping and not other things).
9.30pm - asleep.
This gives me 7.5 hours of sleep which is what I need. Others may need more, but everyone needs at least 7. It is one the core pillars of health for me (alongside diet and exercise). If it slacks, then everything else is impacted even if you don’t think it is.
I’m currently doing a course that has zoom meetings from 6.30-8.30pm every Wednesday so I have to either push everything back or semi-abort some of these tasks on that day. As a result I know I’ll go to bed later and therefore I will wake up later. That’s ok, I can shift some things and just keep the ones that I like the most/get the most out of.
Like the morning routine, we should be in control of our evenings. You shouldn’t be hitting the pillow feeling like you’ve had no time to do anything and then start scrolling (revenge bedtime procrastination). It just keeps your body awake and feeling stressed.
Yes having kids, working late a lot, having a long commute all play into making it harder to maintain an evening routine. But likewise with the morning, “I don’t have time” isn’t an excuse because the chances are you make time to watch TV for an hour which could be replaced with something more beneficial.
Yes it’s important to have those things to look forward to and if you can add them in as well then do. But when you start adding in things that genuinely make you feel good you’ll find it easier to eliminate the things that don’t.
If you can make a good morning routine, then you can make a good evening routine. It’s up to you what that looks like.