Written by Cloé Vaz-Wiggins
Image by @styleheroine
Have you ever heard of a little something called circadian rhythms? Until last year I had no idea this was an actual thing! I had no clue, somewhere, as a part of Western medicine there’s was something called circadian medicine that studied our body’s natural rhythms and how they repeat themselves in cycles. I wouldn’t dare give you all of the specifics and a detailed explanation of how it all works but I do encourage you to google it, get a book or go wild on YouTube.
It’s so powerful to have this kind of information about what your body does, when and why it does it, and how it impacts you. It’s invaluable to have this type of data when you’re creating a healthier more intentional and aligned lifestyle through your routines. For example, if you know that if your circadian rhythm is all over the place and that can lead to diminished focus, attention, and memory to name a few, you might want to think about your routines/habits a little differently.
And that’s why I bring up circadian rhythms, so that we can elevate that evening routine in an intentional, informed, and conscious way.
Don’t worry, you can make this as vibey as you like by adding some beautiful candles, sleep mists, bath necessities, masks, and anything else that enhances the mood you’re trying to create. I don’t know about you, but all of these add-ons transform my routines and make the experience that much more enjoyable.
First things first, when building your routine, be realistic and intentional!
- What can you truly commit to?
We all have gotten excited about something, raised that bar real high, and for one reason or the other it just didn’t happen. So, keep your expectations low for this, like seriously, what is an amount of time, or how many activities can you truly, no matter what, commit to?
- What’s the goal of implementing this evening routine?
Be clear about the purpose of implementing an evening routine, or why you want to upgrade or refresh the one you already have? Is it that you want better sleep? More time to take care of yourself? Decompress? Whatever it is, having clarity will help you prioritize and structure your routine in a way that will always have the main goal/goals first.
- Be kind to yourself!
Don’t forget to be kind to yourself in the process. If you don’t stick to the schedule or an activity one, two or whatever many days, don’t beat yourself up for it. Be realistic as to why it happened. Were you too tired? You needed a second? You went and saw a friend? Remember to allow space for flexibility here, and when you feel ready get back on it.
Once you’re clear on the master plan and are ready to put that structure on ‘paper’: get to scheduling. Look at the time you have and the things you want to do and block that time. I would say think less productivity and more winding down your mind, body, and soul. Taking care of yourself is in itself productive so don’t focus too much on how many things and what you’re doing, focus more on how each activity makes you feel. The goal here is to feel nourished, nurtured and relaxed across the board.
I would love to challenge everyone that reads this article and wants to implement a more intentional evening routine to look at the circadian rhythm graph. You can just google it and loads will show up. See what things you’re inclined to tweak on your current routine based on the information you discover.
This truly is the season where we take better care of ourselves.
Where we honour and own all of who we are. Not what we do, but who we are!
So, make yourself your top priority and have fun with the process.