My Evening Routine – Always do the Dishes Before Bed
A few months ago I wrote about my morning routine . I can happily say that I’m sticking to it! I had to modify it a little bit due to temporary living circumstances, but it’s not a bad thing, as I have added a pre-yoga 15 minute walk with my dog.
My next challenge is to incorporate an evening routine.
Getting quality sleep is important for everyone, and what we do before bed can impact this. The key is getting the body and mind relaxed and calm. We want our brain to feel satisfied from the day’s accomplishments and pretty much shut down so it can recharge. There are studies that show routine is beneficial for kids, so why not adults, too!
I’ve been a bit busier lately with some projects, so my work days have extended into the night. But as some of those projects are winding down (such as a super-fun and successful lip sync contest fundraiser for my Bike MS team), and my first A-race of the season, Syracuse 70.3 on June 19th is really in view, it’s time for me to buckle down and get after it!
Here’s what my ideal routine will look so I can be in bed no later than 10pm:
- 8pm-8:30: Make sure the dishes are done and the kitchen is clean. I’m always frustrated if I wake up and have to make breakfast with dirty dishes in the sink, so I’ll take the 10-15 minutes to wash the dishes and wipe down my counters in the evening. If you have a dishwasher or someone else to wash the dishes, great! I find a clean kitchen is calming. During this window I can also take care of any other clutter around the house (for me this would be workout clothes and shoes that tend to get scattered) or getting around any clothes I might need in the morning. Pack that swim bag so it’s ready to go!
- 8:30-9:00pm: Review the day and write a short entry in my journal. I use my version of the bullet journal for my daily tasks and ideas, so I can reflect and write a paragraph or two on my thoughts from the day. I’ll also use this time to highlight the key tasks for tomorrow so I can stay on track towards my goals.
- 9:00-9:30pm: Foam roll and stretch for the full 30 minutes. The way I’m built, I need this! I’m a little behind on my foam rolling these days, and with race season upon us, this is a big one for me.
- 9:30-10:00pm: Final bed preparations (get into those PJs, wash my face, brush my teeth, and possibly some light reading). Light fiction is probably best here or my mind will start up again!
Granted there will be disruptions to this routine here and there, as sometimes I need to be out later, or a key project might need some extra work. But if I can be unplugged around 8, I’ll be relaxed and ready for a fantastic night’s sleep so that I can start the next day recharged and rarin’ to go!
So, readers, you’ll help hold me accountable as I’ll report back next week on how I’m doing!