Creating and using a self care night checklist isn’t for the undisciplined, but with a little practice, you will soon enjoy this easy-to-use no-think routine to get to bed on time and wake up ready to go.
My Ideal Self Care Night Checklist
My ideal self care night checklist is based upon what has worked the best for me. I focus on the basics such as basic hygiene and add in a few activities I consider luxurious to make the night routine more special.
I found that especially when I either pushed myself too hard during the day or didn’t give myself proper amounts of time to get ready for bed, I’d fall asleep on the couch or in bed without truly taking care of myself.
It’s only through trial and error that I found what worked for me and that might help you as well. Leave a note in the comments section regarding which self care night checklist point is one you can’t live without.
If you’re asking yourself “what do you need for a self-care night” or “what is the best bedtime routine”, check out these practices for nightly self care.
Action #1: Dental Hygiene Practice
You learned this practice as a child, to brush your teeth every night before bed. At some point, you were old enough to floss as well, and maybe even use mouthwash nightly. But if you’ve gotten out of the habit of caring for your teeth on a nightly basis, just start back up.
Keeping your teeth in good shape will pay dividends over the course of your life. The last thing you want is to have bad teeth or bad breath because of poor habits. Definitely include this step on your self care night checklist so you don’t put it off. The effects are cumulative, and it really doesn’t take that long to brush your teeth and floss.
Action #2: Shower or Bathe if You Sweated
I know, a lot of people take showers in the morning. But, if you worked out during the day or were in the heat for a period of time earlier in the day, taking a quick shower to clean up will help you sleep better.
The body has an easier time maintaining a homeostatic temperature when it doesn’t have dried sweat on the skin. This is especially true if you’re camping in the woods, by the way (scout’s honor). If you have long hair and don’t want to re-wash it, simply use a shower cap for a quick rinse.
Action #3: Put Away Your Electronic Devices
There are a host of studies indicating that the blue light, or any bright light, such as those found in your phone or ipad can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make getting a good, deep rest impossible.
Plus, you may be overstimulating your mind to the point where it has a hard time shifting gears to sleepy time.
Finally, consider putting your phone in a different room overnight and use a real alarm. There are all kinds of alarms these days that use natural light or pleasant sounds if you have a problem with the old buzzer or beeping. The EMF (electromagnetic frequency) emitted by your phone isn’t great for your brain waves overnight.
This is probably the hardest step in your self care night checklist, if you’re like me and like to read and watch videos on my phone before bed. Lately, I’ve been reading books!
Action #4: Don’t drink much about an hour before bed, but do drink water or herbal tea in the evening before about 8am
Ok, this is my rule based on several different things that I’d heard both to help with hydration and to alleviate the need to get in the middle of the night to use the restroom.
Chamomile or lavender tea have properties known to relax and calm the system and are great options in your self care night checklist.
Action #5: Do some Light Stretches and Breathing
This can really help to not only calm the nervous system before bed but prime your body for relaxation. Many of us have tight muscles and muscle strain can indeed wake you up in the middle of the night. Doing some gentle deep breathing can help you calm down and switch gears as a part of your self care night checklist.
Action #6: Listen to Guided Imagery
I really love Circle+Bloom’s guided imagery for a sleeping deeply. The audio takes you through muscle relaxation, deep breathing, guided imagery and positive meditation, and by the end of it you may be ready to fall into sleep.
What you put into your mind is just as important as what you put into your body, so make sure whatever it is is calming and positive. I also can’t recommend enough reading the Bible before bed, because the Living Word can continue to speak to you while you sleep.
Action #7: Avoid Stimulating Activities Near Bedtime
They say a good conversation can be as stimulating as a cup of coffee, and the saying is true! How many times have you spent time with people, friends or loved ones and afterwards your mind ran through what everyone talked about, how people looked, etc. This can be especially true if you are a highly sensitive person and pick up on a lot of details.
If you want to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, try to avoid really charged or exciting conversations, drinking caffeine or alcohol or working intensely late at night as a part of your self care night checklist.
Sometimes, it’s not possible or preferred, so use your best judgement.
Action #8: Get Your Bedroom in Order and Prepare for the Next Day
Something that I’ve found to help me sleep better is to keep my bedroom in simple and orderly fashion so it is quick and easy to put back in place. I find it soothing and less distracting that having stuff everywhere. As a part of my own decluttering journey, I really streamlined my bedroom so that it only included what was necessary for sleep and getting ready for life the next day.
Granted, many of you may need to have your office, workspace, or other spaces in your bedroom. If you do, consider keeping them minimal and orderly.
If you find it helpful, consider planning your outfit for the next day as a part of your self care night checklist. Having one less thing to plan when you first wake up can be a relief.
Action #9: Go to Bed Around the Same Time Each Night
Consistency is key here. Going to bed around the same time each night can really help your body get into a predictable routine. Consider it a part of the sleep hygiene and make it a part of your self care night checklist.
Action #10: Consider a Simple Beauty Routine
One piece of my own self care night routine that I really enjoyed was taking care of my skin like the French do – nourishing, exfoliating and hydrating the skin so that it can look and feel great with minimal or no make up.
While there are some amazing skin care products out there that I do recommend, such as a French made night cream, spending a lot of money is less important than you may think. You want to use a solid cleanser and moisturizer. I use a simple bar of olive oil based soap and then put castor oil on my face and pat it off with a terry cloth towel. It leaves my face clean, moisturized and illuminated.
French based facial products I love:
- Caudalie Dark Spot Night Cream
- Caudalie Overnight Repair Facial Oil
- Caudalie Finishing Cream
- Caudalie Vinoperfect products
How to Work on Self Discipline
If you’ve gotten into poor nighttime habits, join the crowd. It can happen at any time in your life, such as during college, post- college studies, during a busy career push, during transitions and especially during health impairments.
But once you realize Houston, we have a problem, you can quickly take steps to remedy your nigh time routine.
You may be asking, “how do I create a self-care schedule”?
One way I like getting into new habits is by using goal trackers such as this 30-Day Challenge tracker.
By using a goal tracker, you can make sure you adhere to your self care night checklist on a daily basis for a duration of 30 days. By the end of your month, you will probably have a sense of the type of self care night checklist routine that works for you as well as fun self-care activities you want to add and other simple self-care practices you want to do less often.
Does your boyfriend of husband have some habits to improve upon? Consider asking him to do his own routine or do them together if that sounds calming.
The Benefits of Living an Ordered Life
In my post about The 9 Powerful Keys to Unlocking an Ordered Life I cover what some of the roadblocks are to having more order in your life, what stress signals to look for, and some additional ways to gain more control over your life and health and happiness outcomes.
Some of the signs of an ordered life are positive feelings that serve as guide posts of what is currently working in your life. I also include a simple assessment for figuring out what parts of your life could use some extra TLC. Check it out!
What Not to Include on a Self-Care Night Checklist
When starting something new, don’t ya just feel the energy and want to take on the world? I would gently encourage you to take care of the basics first and add on a little at a time so this self care night checklist doesn’t become something you never have time for.
Keep it simple! Do the thing!
As general guidelines, here are a few obstacles you want to make sure you don’t create for your self care night checklist:
Activities Beyond What You Can Handle Right Now
Doing too much for where you are. Sure, it might seem fun to buy that new facial kit and promise to do a facial once a week into eternity for that soft and flawless skin, but if you aren’t going to really use it consistently, and you don’t really have the time for it, why now add it to a ‘future favorites’ list? That way, it’s on your radar to plan ahead for.
It also might feel overwhelming to stretch, drink chamomile tea, and listen to a calming audio all before bed every night. So, add those to a weekly schedule or for when more stressful times arise.
Expensive Products Outside of Your Budget
Going back to the facial products, if those are what bring you joy, then go for it! Maybe an at home facial is just what you need to feel better. But just make sure they fit into your budget. Be careful not to get fooled into buying things that promise perfectly plump and flawless skin immediately. You know who I’m talking to 🙂
A Word About Negative Mindsets and Self-Care
When I say negative mindsets, what I’m talking about is a fixed mindset, one that talks you out of taking care of yourself even in simple ways or one that is so rigid you do the thing out of duty and are actually irritated by one of the practices.
Make this list your own, be flexible with what works for you, and explore what you like the best.
With life being so busy so often it can be easy to all together eliminate your nightly hygiene, but with a self care night checklist you’ll be more easily able to take care of yourself no matter what life throws at you. Just remember, start with the basics and build from there! The win is in the long haul and the best outcomes are in consistency.
Turtle versus hare, here.
Thanks for stopping by!