I’ve never been one to have any type of routine. I usually roll out of bed in the mornings with just enough time to shower, and hop in my car with my hair still wet. And at night? Forget about it. I either crashed, or had insomnia. But somewhere between then and now, I’ve acquired a sort of routine that although loose and simple, has been beneficial and for lack of better words – nice.
I don’t think it’s the actual things I do in my routine that have been effective, it’s the mere fact that I have a routine to begin with. I also want to mention that I didn’t set forth in having a routine. I just gradually started doing these things, then eventually noticed it. But I’ve found that having a routine makes things familiar. It creates a space sanctuary in my chaotic brain, and it lets me know that there are at the very least two times in my day that I have control of.
These are the things that work for me and put me at ease. You don’t have to do 15 minutes of meditation, recite positive affirmations every night, or chug some sleepytime tea. Do what works for you. And if it doesn’t work for you at all, don’t do it.
Snooze. Instead of calling myself lazy, I’m going to tell myself that I simply like to ease into my mornings. So naturally I have to snooze my alarm at least twice.
Plan. During my final snooze, I set 3 goals for the day, small or big.
Stretch. A nice, big, long stretch is my finishing move before I finally get out of bed. It gets the blood flowing and gives me a little kickstart.
Make my bed. I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but in 2014 I made a simple vow to make my bed every morning. Up until then, I maxed at twice a week in that department *gasp*. What I’ve noticed is a made bed can make a messy room look less cluttered since it’s the focal point. It also sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Breakfast. If I’m going to run in the morning, I’ll have a banana with some peanut butter before I head out, then something when I get back. Otherwise I go straight for a smoothie and two rice cakes topped with peanut butter, banana slices, chia seeds, and a drizzle of agave nectar or my favorite: avocado toast using sprouted bread and the occasional egg.
Run/Yoga. Living so close to a trail, it’s easy for me to run. Although I dread getting out of bed to torture myself, I never, EVER regret running once I’m done. I picked up yoga again after finding a Living Social deal for a studio near my apartment, and went the most consistently than I’ve ever gone before in February. Since then, I’ve noticed the obvious improvements in my body, but I’ve also noticed its effects on my outlook on life as well.
Fire. I start winding down by lighting a scented candle with a clean, fresh, sweet smell. It just puts me at ease.
Water. Ever since I started yoga again, I always keep a glass of water at my bedside. It keeps me hydrated, and saves me the trouble of walking downstairs to the kitchen in the middle of the night.
Aromatherapy. To be quite honest, my mom bought me some lavender linen spray from Bath and Body works so I finally used it. I can’t say it actually puts me to sleep, but at least it smells nice!
Hypnotherapy. This has been a crucial part of my nighttime routine for the past few months. At one point I was doing the exercise every night. Now I only do it as needed, but placebo or not it’s helped me a lot.
Read. As you know, I love books. LOVE THEM. I try to read even just 3-4 pages a night. It makes me sleepy.
Netflix/Melatonin/4-7-8/Ambient Noise. When all else fails and I still can’t fall asleep, I try one of the aforementioned. And if that still doesn’t work? Pornhub to the rescue!