My College Night Routine: September 2017

stress relief tips

After sharing my morning routine for this semester, I got a few requests to share my night routine!

I can’t believe I didn’t think of it…I think even though I’m such a morning person, I’ve been finding such solace in my night-time quiet time. I’m not embarrassed to say that I go to therapy for my generalized anxiety disorder, and my therapist asked me the other week what helped me to manage my anxiety.

I had to think for a minute. I wanted to rattle off all of the books I’ve read, podcasts I’d listen to, and maybe even show her a yoga pose or two I was pretty good at. But just as quickly as I opened my mouth, I shut it.

One thing I realized: I talk a lottttt of talk, but don’t walk the walk so much. So note to self: learn more helpful coping mechanisms! Haha. Just a daily dose of real life for ya.

But on the other hand, I realized that my night routine really sets me up for success.

My therapist called it a “baseline of calm”. She said it’s good that I stick to a self-care night routine (and in the morning can’t hurt either) because it will help me sleep, lower my anxiety levels, and really just set me up for success the next day, too.

So yay for routines!

Obviously, it’s ok to mix it up sometimes. Like I mentioned with my morning routine – not every day is the same. Some days I opt for sleeping in a bit because I feel like my body needs it. Some days I wake up early for a run. Some days I wake up early for pancakes. Some nights I read. Some nights I watch Riverdale for the 50th time because I’m anxiously awaiting Season 2. Variety is the spice of life, after all.

Anyway, let’s get into my night routine. And I would say this is definitely one to take note of if you do suffer from any kind of stress or anxiety, and need a little extra self care at the end of the day. I truly think we all can benefit from it, no matter what our situation.

6:30 pm – Dinner

Usually by now, I have called it quits for the day on homework, blogging, and studying. (Except for Thursday’s when I have night class…major eye roll.) I either eat dinner with my family or usually once during the week day Cam comes over after work and takes me to dinner. Either way, dinner is spent unplugged, present, and with really good food and company. I look forward to it each day!

7:15 pm – Make lunch for the next day and prep breakfast

I like to pack my lunch box the night before that way I have more time in my morning routine for slow coffee sippin’ and journaling. I do a bit of meal prep on the weekend, so I’ll take those prepped items and turn them into a lunch. Then I’ll add snacks to my bag such as a cheese stick, a Siggi’s yogurt, and sliced fruit.

If I have a morning where I need to leave at or before 7 a.m., I’ll make my breakfast for the morning, too. Either a smoothie (yes, these keep well in the fridge overnight…just don’t add any cereal or granola toppings till the next morning or they’ll be soggy) or overnight oats.

7:30 pm – pajamas and clean room 

I function and sleep much better when my room is tidy, so after I’ve changed into my pj’s, I’ll make sure all my books are in my backpack, my clothes aren’t on the floor, and my electronics are plugged in for the night. I’ll also light a candle or two and start my essential oils diffuser. I like the one I have because it has a timer, so I set it for 4 hours, so I can enjoy it before bed and it can help me drift off to sleep.

7:45 – 8:45 read and/or watch something on Netflix

I normally always read, but find I need background noise, so I’ll turn on something I’ve seen on Netflix a dozen times, like Gilmore Girls, Friends, or A Cinderella Story.

You can see what I’m currently reading and what I’ve read on my Goodreads account!

Some other notes about this quiet time in my day:

  • I stop using my phone around this time. I’ll normally only respond if Cam texts me (haha, what can I say, I can make an exception 😉)
  • As soon as Cam goes to sleep and I say goodnight to him, that’s usually my cue to plug in my phone, turn it on do not disturb (so I don’t see any notifications first thing in the morning), and shut out my light. It’s good accountability because I know he’ll go to bed at a good time since he gets up at 5:30 for work.
  • I was having trouble sleeping, so now I do a couple things to help me get to sleep and stay asleep:
    • I take two Valerian root pills an hour before bed. I don’t know whether this natural sleep supplement really works or if like 60% is placebo, but it seems to have been helping me not wake up at 2 a.m. tossing and turning!
    • I set three intentions for the next day as I’m going to sleep. Thinking of goals sets my mind at ease and keeps me motivated, and sometimes I fall asleep before I’ve even counted 3! It’s a great alternative to counting sheep ☺️


9:00 pm (ish) lights out

This is early, I know, but I’m just a person who needs a lot of sleep. I get up around 5:50, and know that that won’t happen if I don’t go to bed early!

Let me know what you’re night routine looks like! I’m always thinking of switching things up to incorporate other forms of self-care.