5 Things I Do Every Evening to Feel Great in the Morning

Visual Freedom

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As a digital entrepreneur, I don’t have boundaries between my business and private life. My boyfriend is my co-founder and my living room is my office, so it’s hard to distinguish between work time and the rest of my life.

And even though I love my business and most of the tasks I tackle each day, I’ve often felt overwhelmed and lacking rest. After two years of running my own business, I found out that’s because I didn’t have limits that helped me finish a workday and take care of myself.

That’s when I consciously decided to create an evening routine that helps me relax before bedtime and supports me to wake up more refreshed and energized.

It would be an understatement to say that my evening routine changed my life.

If practiced regularly, the following steps can help you sleep better, experience more relaxed mornings, and feel more balanced throughout your busy days.

Play the appreciation game.

If you’re an ambitious person just like me, you might find it hard to appreciate your current reality and the things you already mastered in your life.

Instead, you might be chasing the next big thing and trying to make productive use of each day.

And while having big dreams is priceless, it’s also important to stop for a while and appreciate all the great things we’re already surrounded by.

In her book Super Attractor,

Gabby Bernstein introduces the appreciation game:

“When you freely, openly, and constantly appreciate everything that is thriving, every valuable lesson you’ve learned, and every miracle you receive, you become a magnet for greatness.”

By appreciating yourself, your successes, and the beautiful things you’re surrounded by, you make space for even more greatness in your life.

Evenings are a fantastic time to play the appreciation game because our brains process experiences, thoughts, and emotions while we sleep.

When we have a hard day or spend lots of time worrying, falling asleep tends to be a struggle, and we don’t feel refreshed when waking up.

If you, however, spend some time reflecting on the beautiful things in your life before going to bed, you set another tone and help your body and mind to relax.

How to do it:

Every night before you go to bed, take a few minutes to play the appreciation game and shift your focus on what you’re grateful for.

You can, for instance, grab a journal and write down what you appreciate about your life — your health, family, job, having access to food and water,…

However, you can also play the appreciation game with your partner, a beloved friend, or family members.

After reading Super Attractor, I introduced the idea of the appreciation game to my partner. Ever since, we take a few minutes every day to tell each other what we appreciate about our lives.

To my surprise, we got so used to this mindset shift that we now also talk about the things we appreciate throughout the day.

If we face a friendly employee at a call center or the supermarket, we immediately tell each other that we appreciate that experience.

If one of us does the dishes, cooks, or runs errands, we take a moment to appreciate it.

It’s so simple yet underrated: Training your appreciation muscle will help you see more of the beauty in your life. Promised.

Visualize tomorrow.

Another great shift that helped me end my days with a calm mind is a simple visualization exercise paired with creating a to-do list for the next day.

Every evening, I reflect on how I used my time and what I got done. After that, I define the three most important tasks for the next workday.

Depending on the workload and my schedule, I either write down a few more to-dos or leave it at the three critical ones. Additionally, I also have a quick look at my calendar to be up to date on my schedule for the next day.

This exercise helps me finish each day with a positive feeling. Additionally, it helps me fully unwind and let go of work because I know that I’m ready for the next day, so I don’t have to worry about anything.

How to do it:

Each night, take a few minutes to reflect on your day and plan the next one.

You can start with a small, informal plan and adjust your planning over time. This is less about what exactly you do but more about letting go of your workday and allowing yourself to unwind.

Once your plan is ready, close your eyes and visualize yourself mastering your next day with ease.

This will give you a relaxed feeling and help you go to bed with ease.

Prep like a pro.

One of my favorite quotes is the following by Benjamin Franklin:

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Being well prepared helps me perform at my best and better deal with unexpected situations throughout the day.

And even though you’ll never be able to create a perfect plan for the future, you can give your best and be as prepared as possible.

How to do it:

Two of my non-negotiables are meal prepping and preparing my clothes for the next day before going to bed.

These two habits alone save me tons of time and energy each week.

Every Sunday evening, I create a meal plan for the next seven days. Once the plan is ready, I have a quick look at the supplies in my kitchen and write a shopping list.

Through that approach, I’m quick and efficient when buying groceries. Additionally, meal prepping helped me avoid wasting food because I’m more aware of what I buy.

Apart from meal prepping, I also do a weekly reflection for all other areas of my life and prepare the next week.

This usually takes me 15–20 minutes and I ask myself the following questions:

  • What did I achieve this week?
  • How did I spend the majority of my time?
  • What didn’t go perfectly? What can I learn from it?
  • What are my top five priorities for the next week?
  • How would my perfect week look like?
  • What are the most important appointments of the next week and how do I want to show up for them?

This type of weekly planning gives me a great sense of control and helps me further improve myself and my life through small steps.

Spoil yourself.

Evenings are the perfect time to take care of yourself through lovely routines.

Feeling relaxed before going to bed will not only help you improve the quality of your sleep, but it’ll also improve your confidence and self-worth.

Yet, the truth is that we often ignore our wellbeing.

We’re always chasing the next big goal, try to become an even better version of ourselves, and forget to treat ourselves with compassion and love. But that’s exactly what you should do, even if you’re having busy days and a full schedule.

How to do it:

Ask yourself how you could enhance your mental and physical wellbeing through small routines before going to bed.

You could give yourself a nice massage using a fascia roll, light some nice candles, listen to your favorite music, and treat yourself to a nice cup of tea.

In fact, it doesn’t really matter what you do. This is all about making yourself feel good and relaxed. If that includes watching an episode of your favorite tv show, go for it.

Outer world off, inner guidance on.

Quite often, we pay more attention to the outside than our inside.

Most people spend the majority of their time pleasing others and reacting to outside stimuli instead of listening to their inner voice.

Even though being reactive harms our wellbeing and productivity, it’s hard to avoid because we can’t always control outside forces.

Yet, what you can control is how you spend your evenings.

You don’t need to reply to anyone's messages or react to any social media postings after a specific time.

Instead, you can take a few moments to explore your thoughts and feelings through different exercises such as journaling or meditation.

How to do it:

Depending on your sleep schedule, set a specific time after which you don’t react to outside stimuli anymore.

If you’re going to bed at 10 pm, you could stop using your devices at 8 pm and use the remaining two hours to practice a relaxing evening routine. If that sounds impossible, just start with 30 minutes and gradually increase the time you spend on calming activities.

Once again, the truth is that it’s less about what exactly you do. It’s more about taking some time off to enjoy your own presence and allow yourself to calm down.

My favorite activities in the evening are reading, drinking a cup of calming camomile tea, and journaling.

If you’re not used to an evening routine yet, it can help to prepare your setting in advance. By doing this, you make it easier to stick to your intentions of taking time for yourself.

You could prepare your book or journal on your couch table so you can easily start your practice once you’re done with your duties for the day.

Final Thoughts

So many people spend their entire lives feeling stressed because they don’t allow themselves to calm down after exhausting times.

But the reality is that you need to make yourself a priority in order to live your best life.

Nobody will tell you to relax and take some time off if you don’t demand it.

And if you don’t take that time for yourself, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the beautiful moments either.

So make yourself a priority and take time for yourself each evening, even if it’s just ten minutes.

You don’t need to spend hours on an evening routine for it to be effective. And sometimes, it’s more about the things you don’t do than the things you actually do.

Make it easy for yourself: Decide on one or two new routines, start as small as you can, and gradually increase the time you spend taking care of yourself.

In the end, how you spend your evenings determines how you wake up and whether you have a good day or not, so it’s worth investing some time to create a routine.

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