Okay, so I need to get something out there– I have stress about waking up tomorrow as soon as I wake up today. It’s depression and anxiety, but that doesn’t make waking up to a full-time job (where I’m responsible for ten little human lives) any easier. I don’t know about you, but I feel the peak of this stress within the few hours before I go to sleep at night. It also worsens my already not-so-great insomnia when I’m already in a low. That’s where a nightly routine comes in.
You have to find a nightly self care routine that works specifically for you, but having one has helped me so, so much. I credit it to my being able to wake up (relatively) when my alarm goes off and not having to miss as much work. We may be high functioning, but waking up is still hard to do, so you might as well give yourself a leg (and an arm, and a hand, and a foot, and an entire human body) up. I’m going to give you a peak at my nightly routine, combining it with something a friend of mine has done on her Instagram– a “fave five.”
- Exercise. Whether it be my brain or my body, it’s become a vital part of my nightly routine. I need to make myself tired, and working on a puzzle or going to the gym gives me a little push toward sleepiness. As soon as I get off work at 5pm, I’m over at the gym. Or I’m doing the sudoku app on my phone. One of the two. My current exercise obsession? Swimming. Low impact, lots of fun, and it wears me out.
- Face mask. I love skin care products (no secret if you’ve read earlier posts) and using a face mask nightly has helped my skin and my soul. I’m actively taking care of my skin– my outer shell that my anxiety likes to try to hide or disregard– and it gives me at least ten minutes of time to myself. And my skin’s never looked better. My favorite right now? The YesTo Tomatoes Charcoal Mud Mask.
- Moisturize. Until recently, I viewed moisturizing my skin a frivolous. I didn’t get it. Now that I do, I see that– in my case– it was my depression talking. It likes to make me think things are unnecessary because, deep down, it want me to think that I don’t deserve them. But following my face mask with a good moisturizer helps my brain know that this day is over. The scent alone calms me. My current favorite? Symphony Beauty’s Snow Cream Moisturizer.
- Dimming the lights. As a general rule, I prefer to have natural light or dim lighting. In fact, the only lights in my bedroom are tiny, twinkly lights. I also love having a candle (or three) burning. As strange as it sounds, it makes me believe that I am less bound to technology. That alone relieves a great deal of anxiety. My current candle? 2ECOND LIFE Rainforest Eucalyptus.
- Netflix. I need background noise and I love TV (millenial stereotype alert), so I always end my evening with some Netflix. Actually, I have it going during all of the aforementioned routine, but I end it with actually watching an episode (or two) of whatever show I’m into. I like to rewatch stuff like Parks and Rec or Supernatural, but right now I’m watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and loving it. She’s badass and it makes me believe that I can be badass in the morning, and we all need that reminder as we drift off to sleep.
What is your nightly self care routine? What would you do if you had one?