25 November, 2015 My Stress-Free Evening Routine
As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, it can be so tempting to bundle into bed from the minute you get home. After work I used to end up on the couch for a good three hours, and then spend the rest of the evening stressing about how much I need to get done, and worrying about work the next day. I’ve since reassessed my evening routine, and come up with a plan that helps me relax – and reorganise – so that I’m not scrambling around in the early hours of the morning.
I hope you enjoy my tips on creating a stress-free evening routine!
1) Get The Hard Stuff Out Of The Way: There’s nothing worse than a bunch of forms to fill in when you get home from work. I like to give myself a half-hour ‘get sh*t done’ period. This is when I reply to PR emails, work out my calendar, file any paperwork I may have, and generally do the boring stuff I didn’t have time to do at work or on the weekend. Getting this stuff done early on in the evening leaves the rest of my night free to do the things I want to do, whether it’s binge-watch The West Wing with my boyfriend, cook, or edit a blog post.
2) Read To Unwind: Two books I’m currently loving both at home and during my commuting hours are The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo, and The Land Where Lemons Grow by Helena Attlee. Two very different novels, with very different themes – yet equally delightful and relaxing. I used to listen to music on my twice-daily commute, but I found that I’d end up arriving to work feeling completely wired and on edge. Reading a book allows me to zone out of the hustle and bustle, and it really helps to start the day on a positive note. I’m enjoying learning about the Kondo Marie method of tidying, and every time I dip into this book, I just want to clear out my entire house! Since I’ve started to apply her method to the way I deal with my personal possessions, my room is clutter-free, and a lot more pleasant to be in. Let me know if you’d like an in-depth review! The Land Where Lemons Grow is essentially a history of citrus fruit in Italian culture. Random fact – I’m obsessed with culinary books and historical fiction, and this takes an arguably boring topic (lemons, basically) and creates such a gorgeous insight into how citrus fruit are used and perceived in Italy. It’s won a bunch of literary awards and I highly recommend it if you love Italian culture.
3) Find A Workout You Actually Enjoy: I am by no means in the best shape of my life. As a curvier gal I’m conscious of knocking someone out in the gym with my sports bra, and I hate running. That being said, I’ve made it my mission this year to find some classes I really enjoy, and can just about look forward to after a long day in the office. Those for me are Pilates and Zumba. Twice a week I’ll head to an evening class at my favourite Pilates studio in North London (Pilates Nation), and I get my Zumba fix at a ladies-only class. It’s tres exclusive.
4) Get Grooming: Washing my hair in the evening has changed my life. I used to wake up earlier, wash my hair, and run to the station soaking wet. Doing this in the evening means I can take my sweet time with my toning shampoos and conditioning masks, and it also means I can dry my hair properly. I also take this approach to skincare. The Antipodes Grapeseed Butter Cleanser (£16.75 here, review here) has been lovely for facial massage (I spend roughly 5-8 minutes going to town on my cheeks and t-zone), and the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask (£39.50 here, review here) is great for twice-weekly exfoliation. I’m also testing out the Merumaya Mud Marvels Mask* (£19.50 here, review coming soon). Merumaya are one of my favourite brand discoveries of the year, and so far I’m loving the combination of purifying kaolin, charcoal and bentonite clays, with the soothing properties of sweet almond oil, oat oil and Vitamin E. This hard-working mask also contains AHA’s for added chemical exfoliation and renewal. Bliss!
5) Try A Tech-Free Hour: My last piece of advice for a stress-free evening is to switch off an hour before bed. I’m not going to drone about the negative effects of blue light and how being plugged in leads to poor sleep quality, but I’ll briefly say this: it’s all true. Taking a break from tech makes me feel more relaxed, gets me ready for a good night’s rest. Keeping my phone or laptop away from my bedside table also reduces the urge to browse Instagram for hours, which always helps.
What are your thoughts on maintaining a stress-free evening routine? Do you have any tips or recommendations? Share your thoughts below!
Happy Hump Day!