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Having a solid, calming evening routine has been proven to chill out your running-wild daytime mind. Repetition soothes your brain into feeling safe, which makes it easier to calm down and get a good night’s sleep.
All of this is super important to keep a smooth-running home, especially at the end of a long day.
I’ve written about general calming weeknight ideas and why it’s important to chill down at the end of the day as a busy family, in my post How to Create a Weeknight Routine that Calms.
And you may be thinking, “Ok, that’s all well and good. But what if I want actual ideas of things to do on during this magical chilled out evening routine?”
Here are more evening routine ideas to add to the end of your hectic day
So here are 9 more weeknight routine ideas, more specific than the broader ideas I shared in that previous post.
I’m digging into the nitty-gritty of calming, blissed-out evening routines ideas that will get you fast on the train to Sleep Town before you know it.
Use the Rule of Threes to follow through with new habits you want to implement
One thing before we begin, though: what’s the best way to actually implement these ideas into your routine?
I’m famous for having a very shiny object, “Squirrel!” type of personality that is easily distracted. I thrive on current routines, but adding new stuff into the mix is hard for me because I can’t ever stick with anything!
Recently I started applying the Rule of Threes to my goal-setting and habit-forming intentions. It sets you up to slowly incorporate things into your daily routine so that you can more easily break down big goals into small ones, and progressively crush them one by one. Read about how you can implement new goals successfully here.
9 more ideas to add to your chilled out evening routine
Try a Kid’s Yoga Video
Yoga at night is well-known for calming adults down before bedtime; stretching and breathing exercises calm the mind and can get you in a mellow state for a well-rested night’s sleep. However, when it comes to kids, there’s one place we go, every time: CosmicKids channel on YouTube. My kids are obsessed with this channel! Every video is kid-focused, using traditional yoga poses in videos that feature cartoon farms, or the movie Trolls.
The woman who leads the yoga practice, Jaime, is calm, sweet, and totally connects with kids. We’ve cycled through a ton of videos over the last year or so since discovering the channel, and currently, our faves are Trolls, On the Farm, and Mimi the Mermaid
Put Together a Puzzle
In my last evening routine ideas post, I mentioned doing quiet crafts at night, which I still fully adore doing. I love zoning out and watching TV while cross-stitching or knitting.
But puzzles can do the same; it’s a chilled out activity you can do while doing something else- like chatting, watching TV, listening to a podcast, etc. In my family, we love spending New Year’s Day putting together a jigsaw puzzle, eating leftovers and chilling out as a family.
Try a Guided Sleep Meditation
This is my all-time favorite way to chill out before bed. I’m obsessed with the (free!) guided meditation app, Insight Timer. It has hundreds of (again, free!) guided meditations, sorted by type.
Want to calm down to sleep? There’s a guided meditation for that. How about wanting to focus on the abundance in your life? It’s got guided meditations for that, too. Stress, focus, gratitude… all have dozens, if not more, guided meditations that range from 4 minutes to over an hour.
I’ve fallen in love with this app and on the nights when I need to clear my mind in order the sleep, I’ll run a short meditation. It works like a charm.
Make it Chilly
Here’s a secret that your grandma probably knew before you did: you sleep better in the cold.
Cold temps naturally increase your melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy. It’s a natural trigger to your body that the heat and work of the day has ended, and the cool night has arrived – so, time to rest!
Tidy It Up
Clutter and mess make me feel uncomfortable and anxious like I can’t relax. Living in a small space as we do in NYC makes this extra challenging – dealing with lack of storage is hardest for me- so I spend some time every night before bed tidying up from the day.
If we have a clear living room floor, empty sink, and kitchen counters, and the dining room table is clear, I feel like I can breathe again.
And it’s 100% times nicer to wake up in the morning to a semi-tidy home (because let’s be real here: living with small children decreases my chances of tidy living exponentially)
Meal Prep for the Next Day
Another way to feel like you’re on top of your ish for once, and calming your brain before bed, is to do a little meal prep.
Diffuse Aromatherapy Scents
I’m a lover of essential oils, although I’m dubious about their actual health claims from application. What I do believe in, however, is the power of aromatherapy.
(I avoid MLMs, but I realllllly love the essential oils I get from Thrive Market. Click here to see their selection)
Diffusing lovely smelling oils is a great way to unwind at the end of the day. I also use it as a way to prep for the morning.
At night, in our bedrooms, I diffuse a lavender-based scent for better sleep. And before I go to bed, I pour citrusy oils and water into the living room and kitchen diffusers to put a little pep in our step in the morning.
Change Into Comfy Clothes ASAP
Changing into comfy clothes as soon as you get home – or once you begin your evening routine – signals your brain that ok, now is the time to start unwinding.
I used to sleep in that day’s t-shirt and maybe change into sweatpants, or leave on leggings I’d worn during the day and only change my shirt for bed – but now I make it point to change completely into different, mega-comfortable clothes in the evenings.
Do An Indulgent Self-Care Activity
Many times, I’m too tired before bed to do much more than pulling out my contacts and fall into bed.
But if I take the time to wash my face properly, brush my teeth, and then do one small self-care activity related to spoiling my body, I feel better about it in the long run. Sometimes, that just means using a lip scrub before bed. Other times, it’s a face mask, a hair mask, of overnight dry-skin rejuvenation treatment on my hands (especially in winter, which dries them out terribly!)
What used to feel self-indulgent now makes me happier the next day, so I’ve been carving out more time to do it even when I’d rather just fall into bed and pass out.
That’s it! What do you think of this list of 9 more evening routine ideas? Which of these chilled-out activities are you planning on adding into your evening routine?
Remember, if you’re having trouble getting on top of adding small activities into your routines, following the Rule of Threes can be a great way to take small steps towards incorporating achievable goals into your everyday schedule.
I’d love to hear what your fave ways to chill out in the evenings are. Leave your ideas below in the comments or on this post on Facebook!