A few weeks ago I shared a few thoughts on creating a morning routine that invigorates and inspires. Now the nights are drawing in I've started doing a similar thing with my evenings and really thinking about how best to spend them. Evenings for me are all about winding down, relaxing and getting ready for the next day whilst reflecting on the one that is passing. Here's what I do to get the most out of my evenings:
Make a good dinner and drink tasty tea my evening can be made or ruined depending on what I eat. A healthy meal made from scratch makes me feel good inside and out, whereas a meal with nothing fresh or unprocessed often leaves me wanting more junk. Once I've eaten I'm all about the herbal teas - peppermint will always have my heart, but I'm also partial to various 'sleep' blends (love Twinings and Pukka).
Relax as an introvert I very much need my evenings to be protected quiet time after a long day talking to people on the support line at work. Occasionally I will plan things for after work, but I always make sure I schedule in at least one night a week for just me. This also means having a night only doing what truly relaxes me - reading. Something else I've been enjoying lately is colouring (joining the bandwagon a little later than most). The BBC have been doing some stonking adaptations recently and as a restless person I struggle to single-task TV. Colouring is the perfect activity to do whilst watching a gripping costume drama - it keeps my mind relaxed and engaged simultaneously. I love this new release from Johanna Basford: 'The Secret Garden: Artist's Edition'. You can pull out and frame each image when you're done being artistic which I think is such a lovely idea.
Keep going in order for my evenings to be as relaxing as possible I'll make sure I do what needs to be done as soon as I get home. This means I'll exercise, clean, cook and wash-up before I settle down for the night. I know then that the rest of the evening is all mine.
Set the mood I'm a lover of lamplight and candlelight and I'll always make sure the lighting in my room is relaxing, not dazzling. Whether candles, incense or lamplight is your jam, do what works for you.
Get comfy any make-up that remains at the end of the day gets cleaned straight off and I'm in to my comfies (usually my favourite Star Wars leggings, which you've all seen before, and some form of band top) before I make dinner. Once I've eaten and it's time to settle down I either sit at my desk and do some writing cocooned in a cosy blanket or set myself up on my bed with cushions and blankets galore.
Wind down we're constantly being told to limit screen usage for an hour before bed and as much as I try to comply, I have to admit that I'm on my phone right up until the moment I turn off my light (oh the joys of being in a distance relationship). Although I keep my phone near me I steer clear of any other screens and stick to a book before bed or, if I'm that tired, a few quiet moments thinking about the day.
Please note: I received a copy of 'The Secret Copy: Artist's Edition' from the publisher. This has in no way influenced my opinions. I'm influenced by it's beauty and how much I've enjoyed using it.