Having a nighttime routine for anxiety when you have anxiety is an important part of self-care for your mental health.
A nighttime routine for anxiety ensures you fall asleep faster, and stay asleep so you wake up feeling refreshed, and ready to show up as your best self.
When you have a bedtime routine you tell the brain it’s time to slow down when you are ready to go to sleep so that the brain starts to wind down helping you to feel calmer.
Our brains and bodies are built to thrive on routines and that is why a bedtime routine is so important.
Think about it. Melatonin, the sleep hormone, and cortisol, the get-go hormone both have circadian rhythms and work on the opposite schedule from each other.
This is no accident.
It is because we are expected to slow down at night and get moving and get alert during the day.
Therefore it is essential to build a healthy nighttime routine that helps the brain to calm down and the body to relax in time for a good night times sleep.
A self-soothing nightly routine is important for everyone, but it is even much more important to have a good nighttime routine if you suffer from anxiety.
And a good calming nighttime routine for anxiety ensures that you have a good morning and a good day as well.
Let’s face it. Sleep matters. A lot. It is the way we rejuvenate every cell and clean out the toxins, especially in the brain.
I have found over time that this nightly routine really helps me, and I am a total mess when I fail to do at least some of the elements of my self-care nighttime routine.
I totally vow by this nightly self-care routine.
It keeps me calm and whisks me off into a blissful sleep every night.
So, if you ever wonder how you can start a nighttime routine for anxiety, we are going to dive right in.
Let’s take a look at what my self-care nighttime routine for anxiety looks like.
A little bit of cleaning up
I start off my nighttime routine for anxiety with a bit of clean up.
After dinner is done, I clean the dishes and put things away in the kitchen and pick up a bit in the living room.
I don’t want to wake up to a mess in the kitchen.
I also want to find a restful relaxing living room when I wake up.
It simply eases my mind to know things look orderly in those two essential rooms.
I also make sure to tidy up the bedroom. You know, hung up any stray clothes, or books so that when I scan around the room I feel at peace and calm.
Clutter does so much harm to your mind especially when you have anxiety.
Clutter is also depressing and if you have depression, it just takes you deeper into depression. The key is keeping the essential rooms picked up and everything in its place.
Ensure the bedroom looks and feels cozy and inviting.
The mind cannot relax in a chaotic environment.
Choose and lay out your clothes for tomorrow.
Avoid the stress of waking up in the morning and spend time looking through your clothes for an outfit to wear the next day. So as part of my nighttime routine, I select and lay out what I want to wear in the morning.
If you have school-age children, help them pick up their clothes too to avoid those battles in the morning.
Laying out your outfit for the next day will calm your mind and give you peace knowing you don’t have to deal with that in the morning.
Prepare lunches for yourself and the kids
I make sure to prepare my lunch and pack everything I will need. If you have kids this saves you so much time in the morning.
You know getting everyone out the door in the morning can be quite a hassle. With all that done, you will feel so much calmer knowing you won’t have to think too much about all the things.
Plan your next day
Then I plan my next day’s to-dos and prioritize them. If I fail to do this I will have these things going round and round in the brain. There is a calm that comes from planning.
It just eases the mind to put things down on paper.
When I do that I feel at ease and don’t spend too much thinking about all the things that need doing.
Making a shortlist of just the most important things helps.
I try not to make the list long so I don’t get overwhelmed.
I love planning my day as part of my nightly routine, and having a gorgeous planner helps so much and makes planning fun. Here are some gorgeous planners that I recommend. I love this gorgeous hardcover floral planner,
It even includes sticky notes so you can make quick reminders as you are right there in your planner. Or this Delux 2021 Planner, in calming seaside watercolor for your daily, weekly monthly, and yearly planning.
Here are a few more you can choose from. Gorgeous, right?
Brew some soothing tea
My night routine is not complete without a soothing cup of tea.
I make sure to choose from my Best Teas for Anxiety.
I look for blends with passionflower, valerian, or Camomile.
Then I kick back and may watch Netflix for a while as I sip my tea.
I am careful not to be roped into a marathon because sleeping late will not do.
This can mess with your wake-up time and make you anxious just before sleeping, or in the morning as you are bound to wake up late or tired and that is stressful.
It is best to watch a relaxing sitcom or movie nothing that will get you all scared or riled.
The key is calm and happiness.
Take a soothing calming bath
This is my favorite part of the nightly routine.
I try to make it’s relaxing as possible.
I run a warm bath and infuse some lavender essential oils and Epsom salts.
Then I soak for as long as I want.
I can feel all my worries just wafting off and I am calm.
A bath before sleep really relaxes you and as you cool down afterward your body is much, more ready for sleep.
Put away my phone.
Ideally, you want to put away your phone for an hour or two before bed. But it is not always possible. So I do the next best thing. I put my phone in night mode so I stop getting my melatonin zapped by the blue light.
I need my phone to do my meditative music and when I am done with that I set it across the room so I am not tempted to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, and ALL the social channels.
Besides getting on the phone might just present me with disturbing or annoying things that will zap my joy and peace of mind.
So no. I put the phone away and go back in time. Simpler pastime.
Put on some fabulous PJs
After a soothing bath, I put on a pair of soft comfy PJs.
Putting on a pair of soft comfy PJs is one of life’s most delightful things at the end of the day.
After that wonderful bath, it is just heavenly to slip into something comfy.
If you tend to get hot, a pair of sleek silk pajamas are just right to soothe your skin and senses and ease you into sleep.
And if you tend to be a bit cold and especially in the cold months some delightful soft pajamas such as these are pure heaven. Slip them on and luxuriate in the soft soothing feel.
You may just float right off into sleep.
Diffuse some essential oils
You know certain scents just calm the mind.
Winding down and relaxing involves all your senses. Infusing calming essential oils helps me achieve this sense of ultimate calm.
And I use my essential oils in many ways from the bath to sprinkling them on my pillow. I use this Lavender room and pillow mist. It is pure joy and calm.
Having a diffuser is amazing too! I love mine but there are so many to choose from. This is the one I am currently using.
I want one in every room though.
I diffuse my favorite essential oils. And of course among these is lavender. It is just perfect for calming my nerves and helps me sleep so much better.
You can mix some favorites to get just the right mood to relax you.
So having a good set of essential oils is very helpful to incorporate aromatherapy in your self-care and night routine and of course during the day, you can choose the oils you want to elevate your mood, energize you and even calm you too.
I highly recommend this set of Pura D’ore essential oils. Essential oils are pure and simple an important part of my self-care and night routine.
Have you tried bedtime yoga? Yoga is healing and calming and is a great way to wind down at night. Start bedtime yoga as part of your nighttime for anxiety.
I am learning to do bedtime yoga to even relax more and waft all the stress out of me. Check out some good bedtime yoga on Youtube and just stretch along.
I like Yoga With Adriene. She is is just wonderful and so calming.
This is such a good way to ease your mind for total calm and easy deep sleep.
You can also try this yoga for anxiety with Sarath Beth.
Writing things down about your day is an important part of a good nighttime routine for anxiety.
And so I highly recommend journaling as part of your routine.
This is when I reflect on my day a bit.
I do a brain dump if I have stuff I need to get out of my mind.
I find journaling so helpful in getting any worrying thoughts off of my mind.
It really is cathartic.
Once things are on paper it simply feels like you have dealt with them some and your mind stops going over and over the scenarios. Write it down and let it go. Let go…
Journaling is one of the best ways to keep anxiety at bay.
You can journal about your day, and reflect on what went well, and what didn’t go as planned.
Yes, it is okay to examine what didn’t go so well too. Take a minute or two to let it go. Then give yourself the grace to know you can start again tomorrow by changing what you can and letting go of what you cant.
Write it all down.
Take a deep breath and ease those thoughts out.
If you can’t think of what to write about, then you may benefit from writing journal prompts.
Check out my 38 Journal prompts for self-love and mental health.
And if still feeling a bit edgy, you can try using these journal prompts for anxiety. They will help center you, reassure you and calm you.
But journaling is not complete without gratitude.
So I write down at least three things I am grateful for.
This is so helpful.
You know, grateful people are happier people.
And how nice to bring some joy front center by being thankful at the end of your day. Remember to begin your day and end with gratitude.
Listen to calming music
I love to listen to calming music at the end of the day as I get ready to sleep.
I just make sure the music is quiet and relaxing. It helps me feel more at ease and at peace. I think it is a great addition to any bedtime routine.
Music is healing and if you have anxiety, quiet calming music will not allow those cyclic worrisome thoughts.
Sometimes I like to listen to sleep music and just lay back and relax. In that case, I chose to calm sleep music such as this:
Relax with a Good Read
I love to read in bed. I find an easy comedic book and then I just slip into bed and let my mind be entertained, and transported.
Usually, I read a few pages and start to feel sleepy.
If you like light fun reading, then these are some books you may like.
There are literary thousands to choose from of course, but here are a few recommendations you can try: When Life Gives You Lemons by Fiona Gibson.
And enjoy a few laughs before bed. A hopeful read will help you not to worry about your problems for a moment and likely long enough for you to go to sleep.
Another good read is The Rosie Project by Graeme Simson. As you encounter these awkward misfit characters, you will forget all your worries, and let’s hope you won’t be laughing too much to sleep.
Or you could try Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding.
This is one of my favorite romantic comedies. The main character just makes me feel that maybe I have it together after all. It is a joy.
And I guess it is also because I am a sucker for Pride and Prejudice.
This is a fun easy laugh-out-loud read.
And just maybe you will feel so good about how well you are doing in life comparing, you will have a smile on your face and go right to sleep anxiety-free.
Put on my sleep mask.
Do you have a sleep mask? A sleep masks and blackout curtains are a must for good sleep.
I find that there is always some sneaky light coming through and my sleep mask cuts all that out so I am able to completely shut down my eyes and my mind is able to ease into a calm sleep.
My absolute favorite is this cute Fitglam Natural Silk Sleep Mask and this Sophinique Lavender Eye Mask aromatherapy mask. I think it is just delightful. What can I say I love lavender.
By this time in my night routine, I am tired.
If I didn’t fall asleep reading then I call on my meditation.
Mindful meditation is great to help you relax further.
It helps you release all the cares and stress from your day.
You just sit and take deep, deeper even slow breaths, and as you release your breath, you release your troublesome thoughts.
This lets your brain and body know it is time to let go and ease you into sleep.
You can also try the Headspace app for sleep meditations.
Sometimes, I just find some meditation on Youtube.
And for me, they work like a charm.
With sleep meditations and at this point in my bedtime routine, I am pretty tired and without another thought, I usually drift right off to sleep.
This is my Ultimate best day night time routine.
I hope that if you don’t already have a bedtime routine you look in this post to see if there are elements of a nighttime routine for anxiety that can help you calm your mind, and slow down enough in your mind and body to sleep well, and wake up refreshed, and unhurried to set yourself up for a great day.
So, tell me… do you have a bedtime routine? What are your must-have elements in your bedtime routine? Would love to hear from you. Tell me about some elements you love to have in your bedtime routine.
A little meditation and putting the phone away is big part of my night routine. It does wonders, couldn’t agree with you more on developing a sense of calm in your routine each night.
This is very helpful, I like the planing and meditation tips. A healthy bedtime routine is very important. Thank you for sharing this!
Hi Portia! Yes, phone use in bed or before sleep can wreck your sleep and mental health so great idea to be disciplined to put it away.