It’s 10 pm. You brush your teeth, put on your jammies, and crawl into bed exhausted and ready to sleep. But all of a sudden, your anxiety kicks in and begins replaying the past and worrying about the future. You now feel wide awake like you drank an expresso. How do you calm your nerves and go to bed? If this has happened to you more than once, you’re definitely no stranger to how powerful anxiety can be. But thankfully, you can follow a routine that will help you feel better. In this article, you’ll learn nighttime routine ideas to reduce anxiety and keep your concerns at bay.
6 Benefits of Creating a Nighttime Routine For Anxiety
When anxiety starts, it can feel like it’s calling all the shots. No matter what you do, it can feel impossible to ignore your internal chatter. But creating a consistent nighttime routine will help you relax, de-stress, calm your nerves, and provide other benefits that serve your overall wellbeing.
- A nighttime routine helps your brain separate your day-to-day stress from the night. You feel more clearheaded and ready to wind down.
- If you take the time to create a to-do list or sort through your goals the day before, you will wake up more charged with productivity and ready to take on the day.
- A nighttime routine involves reflection and inner self-awareness, which leads to increased happiness.
- You sleep deeper and longer.
- You wake up with more energy and focus.
- Your brain operates more efficiently throughout the day, eliminating the chance for mistakes.
4 Stress-Relieving Nighttime Routine Essentials
Creating and following a nighttime routine involves a few essentials to make it successful in reducing your anxiety.
- Like any habit, following a routine takes consistency. You can’t decide to do it one night and stop practicing it the next. Your brain needs consistency to turn it into a positive habit.
- Your routine needs an open mind. You need to believe that what you’re doing for yourself is improving your health and happiness because it is!
- After reading this list of ideas, whatever you decide to practice, make it accessible. The easier things are for you, the more likely you’ll stick to a routine.
- Lastly, a loving support system will help you stay motivated when you begin to waver or want to give up. Also, if you’re a busy parent, having a supportive partner will make things easier when winding down. They can handle any disruptions while you focus on caring for yourself.
9 Nighttime Routine Ideas To Reduce Anxiety
1. Prepare for the next day
Anxiety loves worrying about the future. To disrupt it from keeping you awake, prepare for the next day. Create a to-do list of everything you need to do, meal prep your lunch, and lay out your clothes for the day. It will help you avoid thinking about everything you need to do. And as a bonus, you’ll feel more prepared for tomorrow before it begins. Productivity for the win!
2. Clear the clutter
It’s difficult to wind down in a messy room, especially if you’re prone to anxiety. Take a few minutes before bed to clear the clutter and organize. You’ll feel tons better when you sleep in a clean room. While you’re at it, fluff your pillows, use your favorite sheets, put lavender oil on your wrists, and make your room dark and quiet. Transform your bedroom into your ideal sleep sanctuary.
Your nighttime is a self-care gift you can give yourself each night. It’s an opportunity for you – time to relax and de-stress from everything you juggle in a day. Therefore, make it special. Take a warm bath, drink some chamomile tea, and put on your favorite face mask. After engaging in a few self-care treats, you’ll feel more relaxed, happier, and not worried about what you didn’t do or what you need to do the next day.
4. Read a book or journal
If you’re winding down for the day and feel your anxiety creeps in early, don’t focus on trying to fall asleep. This can make things worse. Instead, pick a healthy distraction to help you calm your nerves, like reading a book or journaling your thoughts. Both distractions will give you an outlet to head to a happier place or release stress.
5. Acknowledge your feelings
The more we resist our anxiety and pain, the more it will take control. Therefore one of the best ways to feel better is to acknowledge your feelings. You may want to ignore them, but the more you do, the more your anxiety will latch on to your fears. To begin, close your eyes and when you notice a thought, acknowledge it and name it. For example, “I feel worried because of finances“. Labeling it increases your self-awareness of what’s causing your stress. Once you’ve labeled it, talk yourself through it, “While it’s okay to feel anxious about money, I can’t control the outcome right now. The best thing for me is to relax and sleep. Tomorrow is a new day”.
6. Unplug from electronics
Despite what you think, scrolling before bed or watching a show does not help you wind down. In fact, media can trigger feelings of lack, comparison, low self-confidence, and depression. Before you know it, you may find yourself lying awake worrying incessantly about your future and wishing things were different. Unplug from your electronics at the beginning of your nighttime routine and focus on relaxing and prioritizing habits that train your mind for sleep.
7. Avoid exercise and caffeine
Caffeine and exercise before bed create the reverse effect – they can keep you awake. Instead, save your workout for the morning or afternoon. If you follow a consistent workout routine, it will help you reduce anxiety and release stress. Yet, if you need to move your body, practice light yoga or deep stretching. As far as coffee goes, it’s a stimulant and will increase your anxiety. Try to have your last cup around lunch to prevent it from disrupting your sleep.
Meditation is one of the best nighttime routine ideas to reduce anxiety. Research shows it reduces insomnia, anxiety, and daytime fatigue. It’s a relaxation technique that quiets your mind and body, creating inner peace. Essentially, it’s a break for your mind – perfect for racing thoughts. While you’re winding down, take 5-10 minutes to sit on your bed, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale deeply. If a thought arises, that’s okay. Acknowledge it and return to your breath.
9. Speak to yourself kindly
Lastly, if you find yourself worrying, go easy on yourself. We tend to speak to ourselves worse and punish ourselves for having anxiety in the first place. This only feeds your stress and leads to more self-criticism. Instead, normalize what you’re experiencing and provide compassion and self-love. You’re human, and you’re going through a stressful period. You can also practice affirmations to guide your mind.
There you have it, nine nighttime routine ideas to reduce anxiety. You may need to experiment to find what works for you. When you do, ignore the rest and focus on what makes you feel great to calm your nerves at night.
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