Considering it’s been almost two years since the start of this global pandemic, and even though things are starting to look bright again, it’s no wonder 60% of Americans are still burned out. And if this experience has taught us anything, it’s that prioritizing self-care is critical. As a friendly reminder, that includes anything you do to keep yourself healthy — physically, mentally, and spiritually.
That’s why we’ve decided to dedicate an entire post to Sunday nighttime routines. We can’t forget about Sunday, it’s the first day of a brand, new week. Keep scrolling for how to foster respite and calm while reducing overwhelm before the busy week begins, how to power down before kicking off the week, and why setting a bedtime intention is key to a good night’s sleep. Just like a good night equals a good morning, a happy Sunday brings a happy week.
8:00 PM: kids are down and the energetic clean up begins.
This one’s for all my family readers or about to become a family — routine normally starts around 8PM after your kids are in bed. Trying to get a two- and a four-year-old into bed, although exhausting, is not relaxing. After the kids are in bed, it’s great to clear the space, literally and energetically, by putting on some relaxing music, cleaning up toys and dishes, burning some sage, and lighting a lavender orange candle. This completely shifts the energy in the home and you can begin to wind down.
8:30 PM: Sunday nighttime routine kicks off.
Finish up your evening glass of wine during clean-up, then switch to a nightly rose tea or a chilled Aurora Elixir CBD drink. We all know you love that nightly wine, but the negative effects of alcohol can have an impact on your sleep quality. Alcohol may help you fall asleep faster, but it disrupts the sleep cycle causing more night wakings and can even prevent you from reaching the deep stages of sleep, specifically REM which is essential for optimal mind and body performance and waking up feeling refreshed. As a result, it’s suggested to reduce alcohol within four hours before bed to promote better sleep quality. Try it and trust us, we guarantee your sleep will be so much better.
After pouring myself a cup of tea, pop on a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses, blue-light filters of course do work but they are a little over marketed, and do a final social media scroll, delete unused apps off your phone. You can use your phone for nightly music, meditation, white noise and to keep an eye on the clock, so it’s not feasible for you to leave your phone in another room to limit the temptation to scroll.
Next, for me, I would normally take a quick look at tomorrow’s schedule and list out anything urgent or pressing I need to accomplish that day. This keeps me from stressing out about it later in bed since I know it’s accounted for in writing and there’s nothing I can do about it tonight. To avoid getting into work mode, I use what I like to call an evening pen, which is just a beautiful pen to make my final to-dos and list out my gratitude. I’m currently loving this gratitude journal for my nightly gratitude practice because of the added prompts in addition to space to list out my nightly gratitude.
From there, lowering the lights and put on a podcast will bring you into the mood for some light stretching or yoga poses. To me, podcasts are my version of “reading” before bed. After some stretching, move onto a 15-minute manifesting meditation. Meditation because it can be done laying down on a yoga mat or in bed and begins with four minutes of binaural beats which are so calming and relaxing before moving into several manifesting affirmations. You can also pair this meditation with my satin-weighted eye mask to really relax and drop in.
After meditation, head upstairs to bathe or shower. Most days you would normally opt for a shower because it’s quicker, but on a really stressful day, you can opt for a bath and drop in my favorite mystery crystal bath bomb which dissolves leaving a crystal behind to reflect on.
Whether it’s showering or bathing, science shows that bathing one to two hours before bedtime in water of about 104 – 109F can significantly improve your sleep. The hot water lowers your core body temperature, as it works to counteract the external heat. Lowering your core body temperature is an important part of the body’s process of falling asleep. If you’ve ever struggled to fall asleep when it’s too warm, you’ll understand the importance of keeping cool to improve sleep.
Even a quick shower can aid in better sleep and so most days, that’s what we normally opt for. Personally, I love the ritual of washing away the day and climbing into bed clean. Brushing your hair right before you sleep is soothing to your scalp, helps you relieve sleep and can help your quality of sleep more.
If you like to air dry your hair, apply some hair oil (I’m really loving the Moroccan oil), and then comb through your hair — it’ll leave your hair feeling moisturized and lovely scented. However, if you like blow drying, you can protect your strands from the heat with some styling spray. On non-hair washing days, using a shower cap to protect your hair from the humidity of a hot shower.
After washing your hair and body clean, it’s time for some skincare (my favorite part!). Before getting into bed, try to diffuse some lavender and apply a pillow spray. It doesn’t have to be lavender, you can switch it up — rose, honeydew, ginger, and violet, it’s fresh and soothing and unlike your traditional bedtime scents.
When you’re cozy in bed, you can pull an oracle card, reflecting on the message. For me, I’m not a big fan on these oracles but I can understand why people love them — the messages are intended for the heart, rather than the head, and the last thing we need before bed is to get stuck in our minds. It connects to our highest self and allows us to embrace the various mysteries of life. Ending the day connecting back to self, while also opening up to any spiritual guidance that may come through in this quiet and relaxed state, or even through your dreams is probably the most amazing feeling.
Lastly, holding an amethyst crystal and setting your bedtime intention, for example, an intention for deep and restorative sleep. Finding the simple act of bringing yourself to the present moment and feeling the crystal in hand all while setting a positive intention for sleep really helps. If your mind starts racing, you can bring yourself back to your bedtime intention. Crystals have healing and soothing properties but beyond that using them as a tool for mindfulness before bed is also great!
Finally, turning on some white noise and popping on an eye mask — the gentle pressure across your eyes is not only calming but blocks out any extra light which is important for quality sleep. A weighted blanket can sometimes feel like too much, but a gentle-weighted eye mask, applying just enough pressure to help calm the mind and help you fall asleep and stay asleep — no Sunday Scaries here!
What’s does your Sunday routine look like?