How to Build a Cozy Nighttime Routine During Anxious Times
posted on November 30, 2020 | by Heather Bien
With a constant reel of anxiety-inducing news stories scrolling through our feeds, we’ve decided to turn our focus inward this winter and build a cozy nighttime routine to lull us off to sleep. We’re big believers in routine to help create a sense of intention and that’s often the best way to tackle anxious times that seem beyond our control. And, since nighttime is often when those nerve-wracking thoughts start to creep in, it’s one of the best places to start building routine into our daily lives.
After all, if we are equipped with the tools we need to get a good night’s sleep, then we’ll wake up to take on the next day and everything life might throw at us, right?! So, let’s get into it. We’ll walk you step-by-step through the hour-long cozy nighttime routine that’s saving us in 2020 –– and that we’ll take with us right into 2021.
How to Build a Cozy Nighttime Routine
Days Ahead of Bedtime: Create a Relaxing Bedroom Space
The best way to set yourself up for a cozy nighttime routine is to develop a sanctuary that lends itself to relaxation. From the textiles on your bed to the perfect pillow to dim lighting that adjusts your eyes into evening mode to a clutter-free nightstand, creating a relaxing bedroom space will make every night feel intentional and special. You’ll look forward to slipping under the covers each night after you wrap up your routine.
One Hour Until Bedtime: Take a Hot Shower + Indulge in Self Care
Even if you’re normally a morning shower person (I am!), a hot shower at night can literally wash away the stresses of the day. Plus, there’s nothing better than crawling under the sheets feeling fresh and clean. Have a few more minutes to devote to your nighttime routine? Throw in a face mask or a scrub and remind yourself that you’re worth taking a few extra moments to care for. And don’t forget to moisturize. I’m a fan of slathering on the thickest of night creams, especially since stress and anxiety seem to drain the hydration from my skin.
50 Minutes Until Bedtime: Put on Your Softest Layers
It’s incredible the difference an ultra soft pair of pajamas can have on your mindset. Maybe that means your oldest t-shirt and plushest socks. Perhaps you love an old fashioned nightgown. Or maybe you prefer to wrap yourself in cotton flannel. For me, I’m all about a set of matching top and bottom pajamas like Eberjey’s Gisele set. The second I pull on these silky, cozy PJs, I’m thinking, “Yes, it’s time to power down and relax…and feel like I’ve got it all together.” Hint: Target makes an amazing dupe that’s under $30!
45 Minutes Until Bedtime: Get an Extra Bedtime Boost From Your Tea
Now you’re feeling so fresh, so clean, you’ve got your comfy pajamas on, and it’s time to brew a cup of tea. But not just any tea. We’re looking to tea with a little something extra. An old standby is Celestial Seasonings’ Sleepytime Extra with Valerian, but you can also look into CBD options to help you chill out and unwind.
40 Minutes Until Bedtime: Light Your Bedtime Candle
Scent and memory are so closely linked that assigning a particular candle as your bedtime scent can trick your mind into shifting from day to night. So, once you have your tea in hand, light a chamomile or lavender candle and settle into a candlelit evening. Want to level up the scent relaxation even further? Dab a few drops of essential oil onto your pulse points.
35 Minutes Until Bedtime: Ease Into a Few Restorative Stretches
Grab a blanket, your cup of tea, and ease into a restorative yoga session by candlelight. Yoga with Adriene is a personal favorite of mine with her soothing tone and free video classes available ranging from just a few minutes to thirty minutes or longer. If you’re someone who practices meditation, this is a wonderful time to end your session with a few mindful minutes.
20 Minutes Until Bedtime: Get Into Bed
This last step of an ideal cozy nighttime routine is often the one that trips me up. I know I need to go to sleep at 10 PM…so I get into bed at 10. This leads to a few minutes spent talking to my husband, a minute or so checking texts and setting my alarm, a few seconds slathering on my lip balm, and, next thing I know, it’s already 10:15 PM. The best way to avoid that? Get into bed before you need to go to bed. You’ll give yourself a few stress-free minutes to read, apply hand cream, and or even put on a sleep meditation to set yourself up for a good night’s rest.
Lastly, There’s Always Tomorrow
While our ideal world means we’ve allowed ourselves an hour every night before bed to sink into this cozy nighttime routine and drift happily off to sleep, we know that’s not always possible. Pick and choose what you can do on any given night and, remember, there’s always tomorrow to start over again.