I love preparing ahead for myself. Doing those little (or big) things that might make a future moment better. (It’s why I keep up my Splatquake kit.)
So doing little things for my tomorrows has become part of my bedtime routine. I actually didn’t have much of a routine to speak of until recently, and it’s grown into a pleasant day’s end, making for a better day’s beginning.
Here’s how I end most days. I share so you can steal anything you like!
I wash my dishes. Whatever else in my house may be a wreck, at least the kitchen is tidy. It gives me a sense of clean and order, and I get a visible reminder of this in the morning.
I prepare my coffee. It’s as simple as prepping my pot of coffee and setting the timer. Then I get to wake up to the smell of fresh coffee and enjoy a delicious steamy cup first thing.
I turn down the thermostat. I love a cold house at night, because it means more blankets to crawl under.
I kiss my dog. Because she’s my world and it makes us both feel good.
I set out my clothes. Better than having to figure out clothes with my foggy morning brain, I pick out what I’m going to wear the night before and set everything out on the bench outside my bathroom.
I brush my teeth. This isn’t new. Of course I always brush my teeth. But I’m putting it on this list because it’s great to add usual things to lists to give ourselves credit for them. It’s like the free space on the BINGO card.
I update my journal. Every morning I journal in list format. Resolves, anticipations, gratitudes. At bedtime, I add comments to my morning log. I congratulate myself for things accomplished. I doodle around the things I listed that I’m looking forward to. I add gratitudes. I jot down any other special thoughts or happenings.
I crack open a book or three. My phone gets plugged in to charge and set aside. I cut off the scrolling. Instead, I read a bit of a fun novel, or I do a sudoku puzzle, or add in another book and do what I call “book surfing.” Like channel surfing, but it’s reading a few pages (and doing a puzzle) at a time in different books.
I make a mug of herbal tea. This is my cozy treat to end the day. A hot cup of something decaf and I plop it on my bedside mug warmer so I can sip while I play through my pile of journal, books, and puzzle book.
I use aromatherapy. It may be actual aromatherapy, such as applying essential oil blends to my skin at pulse points, or it may just be aroma-related stuff that pleases me, like a favorite lotion, linen spray, or incense.
I talk to God. There is immense peace in connecting with something bigger than myself and my selfish whims and human problems, so I’ll have a casual chat, or properly pray, or simply recite the Lord’s Prayer.
Consistently doing most or all of these things each night has increased calm and peace in my life, helped with day-to-day efficiency, and even added a nice measure of joy.