Self-care should not be complicated, overwhelming or time-consuming. Instead, self-care – especially at nighttime – should be all about the small ways that you tune in and take care of yourself. Discover 5 ideas for how to create a healthy and restorative nighttime routine.

white pillow and bedding with nightstand with candle and flowers

The evening hours can be an amazing opportunity to practice self-care, and to end your day feeling more grounded and nourished.

Often times self-care can feel like just another thing we “have to” do or “should” be doing more.

But in its simplest form, self-care is just about all the small ways you tune in, listen to your body, and take small steps to take care of yourself.

Around here, we’re all about flipping the script from what you should be doing, to focusing instead on what feels good.

And having some simple nighttime self-care habits that support your ability to rest, relax, and get better quality sleep is key to living a happy, healthy life.

so how can we make self-care happen in real life?

The secret is in small, doable habits that you can be consistent with every week.

It doesn’t always have to be about the hour-long bubble bath or all-day spa trip in order to qualify as an act of self-care.

Consider incorporating them into your life where they fit, rather than forcing them to be yet another task on your ever-growing to-do list.

Enjoying a cup of tea, reading a few pages of your favorite book, connecting with a loved one and turning off your phone in the evening?

These all can count as powerful pieces of your very own self-care routine checklist!

So let’s ditch the idea that it has to be grand or indulgent to “count”, and embrace the everyday, unglamorous little acts that really matter most.

5 Healthy Self-Care Ideas for your Nighttime Routine

Remember, this is just a list of suggestions and possibilities to get you going.

Start small and simple, by picking just one or two to start with and build your routine from there!

Just like our simple self-care morning routine tips, you can use this list as inspiration and create your own customized, thoughtful nighttime self-care routine.

1) check in with yourself & ask: what do I need to feel good? 

Winding down at night is a great time to check in and get honest with yourself: what do you really need to feel good?

Maybe a glass of wine or a zoning out on Netflix is really what you need.

Or maybe turning everything off, having a warm cup of tea and talking with your partner or friend is what you’re craving most right now.

Try to spend a moment where you turn off the autopilot and instead truly tune in to how you could best support yourself.

PS – This check-in is one of my favorite easy ideas to start with because it takes hardly any extra time at all – it’s simply getting into the habit of pressing pause to reflect.

2) create an evening app folder

Creating folders on your phone can be a great way to create boundaries for yourself when it comes to nighttime self-care.

Consider creating a folder on your phone for apps that contribute to feeling good, relaxing and winding down: like ones that focus on meditation, podcasts, audiobooks, or anything that gives you spiritual inspiration.

Whatever it is, make a night time routine folder that you can open without getting distracted or feeling pressured to check anything else.

Simplifying the home screen on my phone has been a gamechanger for me! So if you find you like having this folder on your phone to support your nighttime routine, you might love using this system to support your daytime habits or morning routine too!

3) create a phone cut-off policy

Speaking of phone habits…if endless scrolling has you feeling distracted, stressed, anxious or burned out, consider adopting a phone cut-off policy.

Pick a time (say 8:00 or 9:00 pm) and then turn it off, plug it in, and walk away.

Quitting the nighttime scrolling habit can be hard at first, but this simple habit change counts as some seriously major self-care.

And who knows, it might free up your time to do something else you love but feel like you haven’t had the time or energy for (like reading a book, creating a journaling habit, or catching up more often with loved ones).

4) take 20 minutes to set yourself up for morning success

I know, I know, the last thing you want to do after a long day is anything else that feels even remotely like work.

But hear me out on this one! 

Taking 20 minutes to set up yourself up for the next day can make a huge difference, especially if your mornings tend to feel overwhelming and chaotic right now.

Set the timer on your phone and spend those 20 minutes getting ready for the next day: lay out your outfit, pack your lunch, prep your breakfast.

Notice this 20-minutes is just to get yourself ready, not necessarily anyone else. 

You can consider these little acts as a gift to your future self so you can look forward to a morning with more ease and less stress.

And who knows, maybe that extra time you’ve freed up in your mornings will let you add in some healthy morning routine habits too!

5) jot down a 3-simple-things gratitude list

Not into journaling?

Don’t worry, there’s plenty of other ways you can tap into the benefits of journaling and incorporating a little more mindfulness into your evening.

Instead, try making a simple list of 3 things you were grateful at the end of each day.

Keep it simple and specific: a moment, a memory, a feeling.

Jot down those three good things and then spend a moment to soak in that feeling.

Creating a simple gratitude habit doesn’t require huge amounts of time but can be very powerful for shaping how you feel at the end of the day.

frequently asked questions about night time routines

Tips for how to wind down before bed?

Having a nighttime self-care routine is essential to being able to wind down and build better sleep habits. It doesn’t have to be complicated, overwhelming or time-consuming. It’s the consistency that’s key, and it can be as simple as the small everyday ways you take care of and make time for yourself. Here’s how to create a doable self-care routine checklist.

Tips for how to get ready for bed?

Create a small list of healthy self-care ideas for your nighttime routine. Start with one and add from there to create your own simple getting ready for bed routine that lets you unwind and take care of yourself. Try to be consistent with what you do each night to cue yourself that it’s time to relax. Here’s a list of 32 Real Life Self-Care Ideas to get you inspired.

more resources on simple self-care routines

Download the free Simple Self-Care Routines Guide

15 Simple Self-Care Ideas for your Morning Routine

Simplified Self-Care for Everyday

Simplified Self-Care at Work

How to Create a Self-Care Checklist (Designed to Work for the Real You in Real Life)

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