The health-conscious among us spend a lot of time talking about morning rituals–how important they are to being ultimately productive, keeping a high vibe attitude through the day, even avoiding raiding a vending machine at 4 PM. But a good day really starts the night before. Waking up in a good mood after a decent sleep sets you up to slay the day way more effectively than trying to rush out and jam in a yoga class before work (esp. in winter). In November when motivation lags, an evening routine you can look forward to is a helpful way to stay on track. Do some of these evening rituals this month, start the winter on a high note.
Do a hot yoga class
If the thought of peeling yourself out of bed for the gym when it’s still dark and five degrees out horrifies you, switch to a post-dinner workout. Hot yoga will help loosen up your muscles and clear your mind after work so you can get off the hamster wheel of whirling thoughts. Endorphins like dopamine and norepinephrine, released when you workout, also help you sleep.
Plan your weekend
The Happiness Project author Gretchen Ruben advocates the importance of always having something to look forward to: “Having something to look forward to makes you feel good and may also give an atmosphere of growth to your life, because the future seems bright,” she writes. Weekend warriors have the right idea. Whether you’re into wellness, live music, book shopping or city exploration, there’s a day trip you can plan that will keep you remembering why you’re hustling as hard as you do.
Reset your space
Research has shown that when your environment is cluttered, you’re more likely to be distracted and unable to focus. Reset your space by clearing up the clutter before you go to bed. Get it (and yourself), ready for bed and go to bed with a clearer mind.
Whether you review your day or your life goals, your dreams or your last bank account statement, you’ll feel more clarity after free-writing in a journal. Think of it as a brain dump. If you do this before bed you’ll be less likely to wake up in the middle of the night with a head full of thoughts.
Make an overnight breakfast
If your mornings are usually rushed and you tend to hit the snooze a bunch of times, do yourself a favour the night before and make a kick ass overnight breakfast. Waking up in a cold apartment is so much easier when you have something toasty and delicious to lure you out of bed.
Take steps to simplify your morning
Streamlining your morning routine limits the tendency to multitask in an effort to get out of the house sooner, which most people do–but multitasking actually creates more stress and anxiety and is also harder for most people in the first waking hours. Prep the night before and actually save yourself time.
Nurture your relationship with a pal or your SO
Rehashing the day with someone you love is a foolproof way to get out of your head, wind down and put things in perspective.
Take a detox bath
There’s a time and a place for creating the bathroom oasis version of self-care and that is NOVEMBER. Put on that zen spa playlist and soak in an epsom salts bath. It’ll relax your muscles and draw out toxins and make you feel good.
Write and review your stop-doing list
The crap that keeps you awake at night worrying? Let it go. Put it on your stop-doing list, and review it nightly to remind yourself you’re in charge. Then disengage. Sleep well.
Read something not online
Unplug and engage with some print material. Doing this (for just six minutes!) has been proven to reduce stress and boost long-term brain health by up to 68 per cent. Making it a nightly habit has both short and long term health benefits.