8 things you should do every evening to relax, unwind, and set yourself up for success. Here’s my perfect weekday evening routine…
It’s 5pm and you’re finished work. What now? For me the perfect evening routine starts by separating your work day from the rest of your evening. If you’re still thinking about work projects or mentally ticking off everything you managed to get done on your to-do list that day then there’s every chance you could spend your whole evening thinking about work. Or stewing on it! I’ve been there many times and it’s not fun. You’re also not getting paid to think about work all night, right?
Why is an evening routine important?
At the moment creating a healthy work life balance is even more important as a lot of us are still working from home while the world slowly pieces itself back together after the pandemic. You may only have a couple of metres of distance between your work space and the space where you relax and unwind in the evenings. That can make it can feel tricky to disengage and separate your work and your home life. However, that’s why it’s MORE important than ever. Here are eight ways you can create an amazing evening routine. Get the best out of your work week starting right now…
My 8-step evening routine
1) Take 10 minutes to pause and reflect
I don’t know about you but usually by the time I’ve finished work at 5pm my brain is pretty fried. That’s why I don’t feel guilty about hopping away from my desk and onto the sofa to chill for a couple of minutes. I tend to have a quick browse on social media but you should do whatever you want to do. You shouldn’t feel guilty either – you’ve been at work all day, you’ve earned it! It’s also a great time to reflect on your day and see what you can learn from it. What went well? What didn’t go so well, and is there anything you’d do differently if you could do it again?
2) Get some fresh air and exercise
The best way to reset if you’re feeling a bit bogged down with thoughts of work is to do some exercise – even better if you can get outside to do it. At the moment I either exercise in the morning or after work and I find it a great way to get myself in a different head space; you do your workout, you take a shower and get into your comfies and you’re ready to enjoy the evening. Even if you don’t want to exercise a brisk walk will have the same effect. Plus it has the added benefit of lots of fresh air! Plug in your headphones, choose your favourite podcast (here’s mine) and feel your worries slip away.
3) Set yourself up for the next day
Creating a productive evening routine isn’t just about having a relaxing evening. It’s also about setting yourself up for success and productivity the next day too. What do you want to achieve tomorrow and how can you put the steps in place to achieve that tonight? That might be cooking a healthy meal that you can use as leftovers for lunch the next day – or or it might be putting a wash on to ensure you’ve got your gym stuff ready for the morning. No excuses to bail on your workout, right? Whatever you need to do, make sure you tackle those life admin jobs that will make tomorrow that little bit easier.
4) Relax with your favourite TV show
I love relaxing with an episode or two of my TV show in the evenings. Why? Well. it’s a great way to tune out from anything that’s bothered you over the course of the day and just absorb yourself in another world for a short while. I think some of us definitely need that when it’s been a tough day at the office. You can also multi-task. I’m a big Pinterest user as it’s such a great source of traffic for my blog. I spend some time each evening creating and scheduling pins while I watch TV. That might not be for everyone, of course. However, if you can do your hobby while enjoying your favourite boxset it’s a win-win! Want to read more about how I create clickable pins? Read my post here.
5) Clear your space and declutter your mind
As I said above, creating a productive evening routine isn’t about unwinding. It’s also about setting yourself up for success the next day. That’s not going to work if your house is a tip. I’m not talking about doing a deep clean of the bathroom, I’m talking about clearing away your dishes from dinner, quickly wiping down surfaces and loading up the dishwasher / doing the dishes. If you live with your partner or family then make it a joint effort – that way you’ll get it done twice as quickly. I’m not a fan of chores anyone than the next person. However, it’s much nicer to wake up to a clean space the next day.
6) Do something for you
We’ve all got something we enjoy working on – whether it’s a hobby, blog, DIY project, or side hustle. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, it’s important to try and carve out some time in your evenings to dedicate to it. Not only does it make you feel like you’re not just on the hamster wheel of work, sleep, rinse and repeat, it’s also a great way to develop new skills. I’ve learned so much in the few months that I’ve been blogging and these are all skills that I can apply to my marketing career. I also think it’s a good idea to have a goal to work towards to keep you focused. Mine is to monetise my blog so that I can supplement my income, and that keeps me motivated when Pinterest is getting on my nerves!
7) Unplug before bed
I read a quote about this subject recently which was pretty apt. It said that most things start to work again if you just unplug them for a few moments – including yourself. So to that point, I like to make sure I have around half an hour of unplugged time with no phone before I go to sleep. I’ve made a point of getting some new books and it feels so much better to read a physical page than be squinting at some text on a screen that’s so bright it hurts my eyes. I’m currently reading Sally Rooney’s Normal People which I’m loving so far – I really want to get back into reading books regularly again.
8) Go to bed at the same time each night
Gosh, I must sound dull but I think there’s so much value in going to bed at the same time each night. It’s all about routine though! I know that if I go to bed by 11pm each night I’ll have enough energy to focus the next day. That’ll get me through eight hours of work, a workout, and give me some reserve energy for tackling whatever algorithm updates Pinterest throws at us all this week. I need to be fresh and energised to face what life has to throw at me each day. I can’t do that without being well rested and so that’s why I swear by sleep. It’s simple but pretty darned effective.