The Importance of a Nightly Wind-Down Routine + My Routine

 Photo by  Victoria Morris

Going to work, eating dinner, flopping in bed with some Netflix going, wake up, repeat; it's a vicious and mindless cycle that can make it feel like you never have time for yourself to just take a breath. I know, because I've been there. I've grown to understand the enormous impact a solid nightly routine and wind-down can have on your stress and overall health.

The Importance of winding down properly every night

I understand the temptation to collapse in bed after a long day, and the urge to decompress by watching funny animal videos and sending memes to friends. In the moment, it feels great to be able to do something frivolous and lazy after a long day of work-- and hey, I'm not opposed to this on occasion. But it really is just a numbing band-aid over issues that can lead to difficulty sleeping, poor stress management, and poor mental + physical recovery. Our parasympathetic nervous systems are so neglected from being so plugged in all the time (READ: my mindbodygreen article on passive recovery) and our health can greatly benefit from being able to truly separate "on" and "off" mode. 

Especially being an introvert, having this little slice of time to myself I look forward to every night gives me a sense of recharge and balance. Little rituals and acts of self-care make it easier to switch into "off" mode for the evening, which can be hard for type-A people like me to do-- especially as an entrepreneur.

If you're confused about where to begin, I'm hoping that by sharing my rituals and routines, you're able to craft your own that make you happy and relaxed!

Setting the atmosphere

I make a mug of Live 24k's Golden Fuel to start sipping on while I set up my Saje Aromatime diffuser with the essential oils I feel like I need that night. For the evenings lately, I like the Tranquility blend, as it is extremely calming. I'll also dab a little of the Stress Release oils on my temples and upper chest, as I adore the scent of calming lavender.

The power of scent is undeniable- even as my mind loves to run on overdrive 24/7, taking a deep inhale of a scent I associate with bedtime sends signals to my body that it's time to chill out.

If I've had a day where I feel like am carrying over negative energy, or my home feels cluttered (thus making my brain feel cluttered), I like to burn a little white sage or palo santo. Yes, it smells nice, but it's more the ritual of walking through my home and cleansing the energy of where I need it most that day!

TLC- My Quick Self-Care Favorites

I'm kind of terrible at treating myself to things like massages, manicures, etc. So I try to incorporate little TLC rituals into my nightly routine to get a little dose of pampering to relax myself before bed.

Dental Hygiene:
I always floss! But something I'm also terrible at is brushing my teeth aggressively hard and for too short a period. My dentist yells at me, every check-up for wearing down my own enamel. So I'm thrilled that Goby has entered my life. Not only is it a chic black and a rechargeable electronic toothbrush, it also has 2 settings for strength of brushing AND it times your brushing for you. 2 minutes total, so 30 seconds on each quadrant.

Masking + Moisturizing:
After I brush my teeth and go through my skincare routine (coming to the blog soon!), I'll do a mask maybe 3 nights a week-- I am a sucker for Glossier's Mega Greens. Then I'll moisturize drier areas like my elbows, knees, and ESPECIALLY my gnarly skater feet. I get severe cracked heels and calluses if I'm not diligent about moisturizing and scrubbing my heels. The only moisturizer I have found to really lock in moisture and treat my heels when they get those painful cracks, is Weleda's Skin Food. It literally feels like food for your skin because it's so rich and decadent, and people call it the "clean La Mer," no joke. You can use it on your face, or anywhere really!

My Sleep Space

This section is so important to me and hugely impactful on your quality of + ability to sleep well, so I'm actually doing an entire post separate of this soon; BUT, I will say that a few upgrades to my bed situation have been game-changers that I wasn't anticipating. 

I was the girl with super cheap cotton sheets from Bed Bath and Beyond, and whatever my 20% off coupon got me for pillows.... now I'm never going back. The feeling of climbing into my crisp linen sheets is probably the best part of my day, I'm not going to lie.

And because of all my hormonal acne, I've become a nut about my pillows and anything that touches my face. Pangea bed was kind enough to send me these copper-infused pillows that are anti-bacterial, and super breathable-- which is awesome, but they are also SO cushy and comfortable while offering a good amount of support. I like them so much that I'm thinking of getting their mattress for my mom when she moves next month and needs a new bed!

Also very important: clean pillowcases and switching them out often. I splurged on these silk pillowcases, and they are honestly so worth it. No creases on my face in the morning, they protect my colored hair from breaking, and it keeps my skincare product on my skin instead of absorbing it into the fabric.

Lastly, I keep my journal by my bed to jot down my check-in with myself! 

What are your little nightly rituals?
How does that impact your rest + sleep?

Big thanks to the brands that make Living Minnaly content possible, and a huge thanks to you readers for supporting the brands that keep the lights running over here! xo