5 Restorative Evening Routine Tips
Do you ever start to feel like your days are blurring into one? Between our work, home and personal commitments, it’s all too easy to lose track of time (and our minds!).
When this is the case, we turn to the daily rituals that anchor us back in the present moment – the here and now. This is where evening routines can be so powerful.
Creating an evening routine (whether loose or strict), is the perfect way to restore our body and mind… and prepare for a great night’s sleep! By making space for reflection and self care, we can also mark the end of the day before heading on into the next.
So if you’re feeling a bit off balance, keep reading for our 5 best tips on creating a restorative evening routine.
Related: 3 Tips to Start Your Morning Right
Tip #1 – Get Into Your Body
Have you ever struggled to get to sleep because your thoughts literally would not stop?
Intuitively, you probably knew that you were too caught up in your mind… and you probably sensed a disconnection with your body and the world around you. Still, after the demands of the day it’s all too easy to forget the importance of movement and getting into the body.
The key to reconnecting with your body in the evening is to choose an activity that isn’t too rigorous. Taking a walk around the block, performing some deep stretches or a gentle yoga routine are some of our favourites!
If that doesn’t sound like you, breath work and meditation are other great options to calm racing thoughts and prepare for a deep + restorative sleep.
Tip #2 – Set the Mood
When it comes to winding down in the evening, the right atmosphere can make all the difference.
Think about it. Have you ever been to a restaurant that just felt so inviting from the moment you stepped in? Maybe it was the soft lighting, the candles on the table or the beautiful decor that immediately put your mind + body at ease.
Creating a relaxing atmosphere in your home is the perfect way to mark the end of the day and set the mood for a restful sleep. You may also be surprised at how much joy little rituals such as burning candles or practicing aromatherapy can bring into your evenings!
One of the must-haves we recommend (for both night and day) is an essential oil diffuser. For the evening, you can’t go past lavender essential oil for its naturally soothing and calming properties. For a slightly more uplifting scent that’s also perfect for night time, we’d also recommend ylang ylang.
P.s. I also personally love the atmosphere of fine copper fairy lights, which I use to light my kitchen and living room at night!
Tip #3 – Avoid Unnatural Light
As you may have heard, the artificial light that beams from our devices and lamps can play havoc with our sleep cycles. In particular, the blue wavelengths of light (referred to as “blue light”) suppress our key sleep hormone melatonin… which can make it hard for us to fall asleep at night and rise refreshed in the morning.
The simplest fix is to stay away from our devices, TV and bright lighting in the evenings (FYI, the amber light from fire or candles does not have the same melatonin-inhibiting effects). But that’s easier said than done!
Related: How To Sleep Better | 5 Natural Tips
That’s why we recommend everyone pick up a pair of (super sexy) blue light blocking glasses to wear at least 1 hour before bed. As the name suggests, these orange glasses help to block blue light from entering our eyes… which makes them a must-have if you’re watching TV or working on your computer into the evening.
Tip #4 – Reflect and Release
At the end of a long day, there can often be thoughts and feelings we need to properly reflect on or release before we drift off to sleep. These may be positive or negative: excitement, worry, surprise or fear… it’s important to process and release these thoughts and feelings before a new day starts!
Incorporating an evening meditation practice is a great place to begin, and you need not be an experienced meditator! Start by simply breathing deeply for five minutes with your eyes closed, noticing each breath in and out. And if you’re wondering… it’s totally normal to have thoughts come up! As soon as you notice those thoughts, just redirect your attention to the breath. And there you have it – you’re meditating!
Want more help getting started? Grab our Guided Meditation.
If meditation isn’t your thing, or still leaves you with lingering thoughts that won’t let up, another practice that’s perfect for releasing the day’s ups and downs is journaling. We’ve spoken about the practice of journalling before, because honestly there’s just something magic about pen hitting paper.
Whether you write for 2 or 20 minutes, writing down your thoughts and feelings certainly has a therapeutic effect. So if you feel you’re going “around the mountain” on a thought or issue at the end of the day, see if you can release it by writing it down. You may be surprised at how good it feels!
Tip #5 – Restore Magnesium Levels
If you struggle to relax in the evenings, have tense aching muscles or even experience the odd twitch… you’re going to love using magnesium before bed.
Although we strive to get our nutrition from food, magnesium is one of our favourite minerals to supplement with… and I’ll tell you why. Magnesium is an essential mineral (used in upward of 300 chemical reactions in our body!) but it’s extremely difficult to obtain enough from diet alone. Dark leafy greens and vegetables, and powerhouses like avocado are some of the highest dietary sources of magnesium. However, due to modern intensive farming methods and the resulting depletion of our soils, the levels of magnesium now found in these foods is at an all-time low.
The result? Many of us are low in this essential mineral, and may not even know it!
Our favourite time to supplement magnesium is in the evenings, due to its natural muscle and nervous system relaxing properties. And there are a few ways to do it, as magnesium can be absorbed internally (through digestion) or via the skin.
Picking up a good, chelated magnesium powder (such as magnesium citrate or magnesium glycinate) and taking a dose away from meals is a great place to start. However, be sure to begin with a half dose and work your way up to avoid upsetting your digestion!
And if you enjoy taking a bath at the end of the day, we’d recommend adding in epsom salts or magnesium flakes. It’s best to source the highest quality salts you can, and one of our favourites is the Magnesium Flakes by Amazing Oils. And if you don’t have a bath tub (neither do I!), you can always do a magnesium foot soak instead 🙂
Even easier… try out a magnesium spray or roll-on. These are also easily absorbed via the skin, and are great for targeting sore muscles. A recent find of ours is from Caim & Able, in particular their Magnesium Spray in Rose & Frankincense.
Enjoy these tips? Let us know your evening routine in the comments!