The importance of winding down, and my evening time routine

I am a big believer in the importance of relaxing and recharging in order to be at your best. Prioritising and making the most of my down time has become a real focus for me now that I work full time and then work on the side, either designing or working on this blog. I’m in a position, like many people, where I could very easily slip into working all of the hours in the day and then some. I’m also an introvert who works in an industry led by communicating and having a jazz hands personality, so when I get home I am socially exhausted. So, I thought I would share my recharging routine because I think I’ve just about nailed it to the extent that I can get most of the things I need to done and feel like I’m not starting to fizzle out.

I think that having a routine is essential in making sure you switch off at the end of the day. I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m a bit of a control freak who loves routines. Having a regular set of things you do to unwind at the end of every day, or when you really need to relax helps train your brain to chill out. A routine doesn’t have to be inflexible. If you’re someone who works odd hours and can’t commit to having a set wind down time, just try doing the same 2 or 3 things before you have your recharge. If you can’t commit a lot of time just try having 10 minutes without your phone or a screen every night, or using an app like headspace to meditate. If you think you’ll get bored by doing the same thing every night, try just setting aside a period of time every evening to do something relaxing like a craft or reading that you can change up as and when you get bored.

The nosey among you have probably skipped over that long intro in order to see what it is I actually do, well the wait, and the scrolling, is no more. This is the routine I normally follow on weeknights:

 

9PM

I try to start unwinding by about 9pm on most nights, but that can definitely fluctuate. I’ll normally start by tidying up my desk and anything I’ve just dumped when I came in after work. Then I put out my clothes for the next day if it’s a weeknight, and put anything that needs to be in my bag in my bag. Once I feel like I’m all settled and everything is in order, I’ll write my one good thing in my journal and do a little 2-minute painting in my painting every day book.

 

9:30PM

After I’ve done those bits I feel like I’m ready to actually start to unwind so I’ll light a candle, or put on my essential oil burner, and change up the lighting in my room by turning on my fairy light and turning off the big overhead lights I have. Then I get in the shower, which is 100% my favourite part of this. If it’s a special occasion or I’m not feeling great, I’ll put on some music while I’m being my best self under the hot water. Once I’m all clean, I get into my pjs, slip on my slippers, dry my hair, then wash my face.

 

10PM

If I’ve not spent waaaay too long in the shower by about 10PM I’m ready to make a mug of camomile tea, my favourite is Clipper’s ‘Snore and Peace’ blend. Tea in hand I get comfy and watch some rubbish TV, I’m talking superheroes or over worn detective shows that I don’t have to think about. If I haven’t done it already I’ll write my to do list for the next day.

 

11PM

Once I’m suitably zombified by a show governed by 8 second scene cuts I brush my teeth and sit down in my bed to do a quick meditation to sort out my thoughts. I then like to read my book until I feel my eyelids start to droop, marking that I am truly ready to go to sleep.

 

I realise that this is quite a long routine, that I’ve detailed quite extensively, but I thought it was best to be thorough here. I really enjoy the process of winding down and I’ve found that taking these 2 and a half hours out of my day has become essential to my being able to function at my best. That said, everyone needs to wind down in their own way, if you’re an extrovert you might want to do things with friends, if you hate TV you might not want to watch Arrow, if you’re a parent you might not have time to do half of this. But I hope you do have something that is your own that helps you destress and recharge. Whatever it is I’d love to read about it, I find these posts/videos weirdly calming in their own way – so please share them in the comments!

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12 Comments

  1. February 23, 2017 / 11:05 pm

    I love this post – I defiantly agree with the importance of winding down. x
    Izzy |http://www.pinchofdelight.com

    • Natalie
      February 24, 2017 / 11:04 am

      Thanks Izzy! Congrats on the new website by the way, I think one of your double chocolate muffins would go down a treat with my evening cup of tea!

  2. February 24, 2017 / 7:20 am

    I’ve recently set myself a schedule, now that blogging and keeping up with social media has taken up so much of my time. I forced myself to include things like reading a book, baking sweets and watching TV into my schedule, otherwise I’ll just spend all my time working on my blog or cleaning the house, and I end up wearing myself out.

    I still feel guilty for relaxing as my mind always says “you could be doing things to further your blog/writing right now”, but I do know deep down that if I don’t let myself relax, I am going to burn out and make myself despise the things I now love. Besides, everyone deserves a break!

    http://www.thesmalladventurer.blogspot.com.au/

    • Natalie
      February 24, 2017 / 11:05 am

      I know exactly how you feel Indya, it can be so hard to switch off when you think you still have things you could be doing. But it is so so necessary, and, as you say, everyone deserves a break!

  3. February 24, 2017 / 6:29 pm

    I’m such a routine girl as well, and winding down is definitely a BIIIG part of my weekday evenings! If I can’t do it for some reason, I really struggle getting to sleep quickly because my head is just full of too many things.. I also agree that reading a book is definitely the best thing to do just before going to bed – it makes me so sleepy so quickly! x

    Laura // Middle of Adventure

    • Natalie
      February 25, 2017 / 2:31 pm

      Exactly Laura! If I read in the day time I’m absolutely fine, but I can barely manage half an hour if I’m tucked up and cosy! It always magically puts me to sleep.

  4. February 26, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Lovely post, I couldn’t agree more! By the way, your graphics are amazing. Whereas most bloggers (myself included) use photography as the only visual content generator, you’re designing your own from scratch. That’s amazing, congrats 🙂

    • Natalie
      February 26, 2017 / 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much Makarena! I work super hard on those graphics, and it’s so so lovely to hear you like them!

  5. February 26, 2017 / 8:34 pm

    An interesting read! I need to do more of this. A night time shower is like medicine for my bones.

    Mind The Medic

    • Natalie
      February 26, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      YES! Nighttime showers are truly something magical

  6. February 28, 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Hello ! It’s my first time visiting your blog and I am new to blogging so I am paying attention to other bloggers design and layout! And I love yours! The graphics and collages are clean and easy to pick it up! May I add 2 extra things to the wind-down fav list —-> Kiehl’s face mask! And kindle! :]

    • Natalie
      February 28, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Keihl’s face masks are the best! Thanks for the love Elaine, good luck with your journey into blogging

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