10 Evening Routines to Set You Up for Success

10 Evening Routines to Set You Up for Success

Good evening routines are just as important as good morning routines. It can help you unwind from work, sleep better, and set you up for success the following day.

In this post, we’re sharing some tips to help you perfect your evening routine, whether you’ve got a day of freelancing or some well-earned time off ahead!

The Benefits of an Evening Routine

For most people, evening is the time to start winding down, relaxing, and getting ready for bed.

Practicing a routine each night can help you get the most out of your evening by:

  • Using your time effectively to prepare for the next day
  • Distracting you from stressful thoughts and reducing anxiety
  • Preparing your mind for bed so you can fall asleep faster

It’s important to remember, though, that not all routines are healthy. A routine is just a collection of habits that you repeat – and bad habits are picked up just as easily as good ones.

To ensure sure your routine is a healthy one, here are 10 ideas you can try.

1. Set Work Boundaries

The first step to a restful evening is making sure you get out of work mode. This can be especially hard for freelancers who work from home, as there’s no change in scenery or a rush hour commute to mark the end of the working day.

Luckily, there are other ways to get your mind and body ready to wind down for the evening, such as:

  • Setting a finish time (and sticking to it!)
  • Turning off work-related notifications
  • Leaving your home office if you have one or moving to a space you don’t use for work

For more tips on work boundaries, see our blog post How to Set Healthy Boundaries as a Freelancer.

2. Have a Healthy Dinner

Eating well is a crucial part of staying happy, healthy, and productive. So, when it’s time for your evening meal, make sure it’s something that is filling, nutritious, and balanced.

It’s also important to get the timing of your evening meal right. Eat too early, and you might crave snacks before bed or be kept awake by hunger. Eat too late, and you might suffer from indigestion.

Find a middle ground mealtime that works best for you, and if you do find yourself needing a snack, choose something light and healthy, like fruit or yogurt.

3. Unwind with a Hobby

Whether you’re an off-road cyclist, yoga enthusiast, or amateur knitter, devoting time in the evening to your hobbies comes with a whole host of benefits.

Hobbies have been shown to:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Increase confidence
  • Boost overall mood

What’s more, if you spend your evenings exercising or playing a sport, you’ll be more likely to enjoy a good night’s sleep.

4. Plan Goals in Advance

Any good evening routine should include planning for the day ahead.

Think about what you want to achieve the next day, whether that’s completing a certain task on your to-do list, reaching a deadline, or working toward long-term goals.

Writing down your goals will get your brain started on thinking through tasks and solving potential problems while also helping you feel more confident about what tomorrow will bring.

5. Do Tomorrow’s Chores Tonight

If you often find yourself rushing in the morning, why not free up some time by completing simple chores the evening before?

Take some time every night to:

  • Pick out and iron clothes
  • Make tomorrow’s lunch
  • Collect any work materials

This way, you can get started sooner on the important stuff the next day!

6. Clear Your Mind

While preparing for tomorrow is useful, it’s also important that you don’t spend the whole evening thinking about work. Doing so can lead to stress and anxiety, so you should take time to clear your mind before bed.

There are all sorts of activities that can help you settle your thoughts for the evening, including meditating, journaling, or brain dumping.

Have a go at a variety of activities to see which ones work for you.

7. Tidy Up Your Space

Whatever your day ahead might hold, a mess can slow you down, stress you out, and sap your motivation.

To prevent messes from building up, challenge yourself to do just 10–20 minutes of cleaning or tidying every evening. This could include washing up after dinner, putting away work materials, or decluttering your bedroom.

This way, you’ll have the satisfaction of completing a task and taking control over your space without having to exhaust yourself!

8. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine

Drinking alcohol or caffeine too close to bedtime can make it hard to fall asleep and reduce the quality of sleep you do get.

You should stop drinking alcohol at least two hours before sleeping. And, as caffeine can stay in your system for five hours, it’s a good idea to stop consuming it by mid-afternoon.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to avoid hot drinks altogether. In fact, herbal teas such as chamomile or lavender are a great way to calm down and relax in time for bed!

9. Indulge in Self-Care Rituals

Speaking of relaxing, the evening is the perfect time to practice self-care.

Self-care refers to any activity where you prioritize yourself and your wellbeing. Some examples of evening self-care rituals include:

  • A warm bath or shower
  • Lighting scented candles
  • Listening to relaxing music
  • Giving yourself a massage

What’s more, as you make these rituals part of your nightly routine, your brain will start to associate them with sleep. This means that when you start preparing your body for bed, your mind will follow suit.

10. Practice Good Sleep Habits

When it’s finally time to get into bed, making sure you follow proper sleep habits will improve the quality of your sleep.

This might involve:

  • Avoiding screens and electronic devices
  • Keeping your room as dark as possible
  • Sticking to a regular routine

Remember, different routines work for different people. You can try out and combine any of the tips in this post to find the evening routine that’s perfect for you and your lifestyle!

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