Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

Soothing Nightly Routine

There is something so comforting about a routine, especially a nightly routine. The right routine can set you up for a good night’s rest and an even better next day.

The hours before bed are precious. But it’s all too easy to try to get as much done before the day runs out. The laundry that’s been strewn about all day, the dishes from your after-dinner snack, the pile of work you didn’t get to today.

I’m fully guilty of this. It’s so easy to run around and clean up my messes and randomly decide to organize my closet in the hour before bed. But since my surgery I’ve been more strict with my nightly routine. To be fair, I didn’t consciously stop doing all of the random tasks that used to distract me and keep me from getting in bed in time – I can’t physically do them on crutches. But my limitation gave me the space to create a relaxing nightly routine.

My Soothing Nightly Routine

The hour and a half before bed have turned into my healing and soothing time. I massage my ankle, drink a magnesium supplement, and do a quick sinus rinse. I wash my face and slather myself in aloe vera and jojoba oil. Next I spend 25-30 minutes contrast bathing my ankle. I’ve started adding epsom salts to the bucket of hot water, which makes it feel extra indulgent.

soothing nightly routine

How to Create a Soothing Nightly Routine

The best part of a soothing bedtime routine is that it’s all yours. You can make it into whatever you want. These quick tips will help you make your own soothing nightly routine that you won’t want to skip.

1. Set Aside Time

Nothing is relaxing or calming when you are rushing to fit everything in. Decide when you are going to start your nightly routine, and be strict with yourself about it. You can set an alarm that reminds you to start your bedtime routine if that will help.

I have found that for my pared down nightly routine, 30 minutes is cutting it too close. I like to have a full hour, and if I get done early it means I get to read in bed or do something else relaxing with my extra time.

2. Slow Down

Take a few deep breaths and slow your roll. When we spend all day running from one task to the next, it can be hard to sit still and take things slow. Let your body and your mind transition from your busy day into a calming night. Give yourself space to adjust.

3. No Screens

Trust me, it’s hard for me too. It’s so tempting to scroll through Instagram while I brush my teeth or to watch a video or two while I contrast bath. But between the light from the screens and the nature of online content, we leave ourselves more wound up than when we started. Turn it all off. You’ll sleep better and the time away is refreshing.

4. Relax

My nightly routine used to just consist of getting ready for bed, but since I’ve started sitting in the bathroom for a half hour dipping my foot into buckets, I’ve had time to actually read before bed. I equate reading in bed with luxury. It feels like a soak in a really deep bathtub without the pruning or the water use.

You don’t have to read. You can write, play a game (IRL, no screens), draw, meditate – whatever helps you relax.

5. Play Around

I haven’t been sleeping all that well since my surgery. Between a busy mind and a restless body, I have trouble settling in and falling asleep. My daily routine is a mess and my body doesn’t know what to do without its daily hit of exercise.

To try to help myself get to sleep faster, I’ve been playing with my routine and my timing. I’ve been switching up the time I get in the morning and the time I go to bed to try to trick myself into being tired sooner.

You might not find the perfect nightly routine right away. Being flexible and playing around with what you do and when is a great way to sort it all out. And don’t freak out if your nightly routine stops feeling right for you. Switch things up until it all fits again.

Leave a Reply