If you’re anything like me, a mom with two kids, loads of day-time responsibilities, and many weekly activities, the nights can be the hardest. I hit the 6 o’clock hour and if I don’t keep moving, I will crash and be utterly useless in the evenings. 

The main point of a nighttime routine is to: a) Wrap up the day, b) Get ready for the day ahead, and c) Prepare yourself for sleep.  Your evening routine may look different depending on the season, but I think we stick to certain non-negotiables, we will feel more at ease, and less anxious about what the next day holds. Let’s take a look at some key components of a simple evening routine. 

Cleaning Up: This will look different for you if you have children or pets, but typically this looks like this for me:

-Washing all dishes and filling the drying rack (we don’t have a dishwasher – yes, it’s terrible!)

-Putting dinner away and wiping down countertops

-Vacuuming the kitchen and living room – With two young kids, these are high traffic and high crumb areas and I truly don’t feel like our house is clean without vacuuming once a day.

-Picking up the kids toys – They often help with this, but sometimes, it’s take the whole family to put away the toys to the proper bins

*Pick whatever in your house that makes you feel more at peace and accomplished. Even though you’re going to bed soon after, you can sleep knowing your house is in order.

Prep for Tomorrow: I work from home but our family (and me!) thrives on routine and not waiting until the last minute (ie, the morning) to do tasks. Here’s what we do – 

-Return homework and papers to bookbags and clean out what came home

-Set out my devotion for the morning so I can grab and go when I get up

-Lay out my workout clothes for the morning

-Lay out my kids’ clothes for the morning and pack lunches (if it’s during the school year). 

*Whatever you can do to lessen the stress that comes with mornings. Laying out your clothes, signing forms, getting mail ready to put in your outgoing mailbox, etc. Think about all that you do before you leave for the day or need to leave for the day. What would make it easier if you did it the night before? 

Prepare for Sleep: Because I work from home, it can be easy to pull my computer out late at night, after the kids are in bed. Our bodies need to physically wind down to get the best quality sleep possible. And sleep is everything! Although with young children, it’s hard to get a full nights’ sleep, you can do certain things to prepare your body to sleep.

-Drink Magnesium tea – I like Calm before bed

-Take my contacts out, wash my face, night cream, oils, or mask

-Put on my blue blocker glasses (if I’m watching a show with my husband) to block out UV light that can interrupt sleep

-Turn down the lights in the house and on my phone around 7 pm to get “the house” ready for sleep

-Go to bed around 9 pm with a good book 

-Stay off my phone no later than 8 pm

Pratical Tips: Any routine you try to start can take time, but keep trying until you find a rhythm that works for you and the season you’re in. Some seasons, like the summer, we are more flexible and not as rigid with a set bedtime for the kids. 

I do a lot of skincare self care at night and it can easily be the thing I put off if it gets late. To remember what I need to do, I use alliteration! Mask Monday is the day I do my weekly charcoal mask, or Tingle Tuesday, I use an overnight peel to help my skin. I don’t forget as much and it’s just more fun when you put a name to something!

Habit stacking is another favorite trick I use! If you forget to set your clothes out the night before, try pairing it with something that you already do like putting away a basket of laundry or putting on your pajamas. Pairing activities saves times, makes things more fun, and helps us not forget! 

What evening routines make you feel better about the day ahead?