For me, a perfect evening ritual embodies nourishment, rest, and relaxation.
And while I believe every moment of your day should feel sacred and purposeful, what you do in the hours before you go to sleep matters so much more than you might think.
There was a time when Sunday used to be my “self-care day.” I make time to enjoy a cup of tea, put fresh sheets and towels out, paint my nails, take a bath and plan out my intentions for the week ahead. It helps me feel balanced and energized and refreshed, ready to begin a new week.
But then I wondered, why am I reserving this restoration for Sundays? Why not infuse self-care and ritual into all my days?
And that’s exactly what creating a blissful evening ritual is all about. Helping you wind down, relax, and feel taken care of every day—because we all deserve that.
It’s easy to slip into unsupportive evening habits. You might think that binge-watching TV or snacking on junk food, or catching up on emails helps you relax, but chances are it has the opposite effect.
Restoring harmony to your day
I, for one, have always struggled with separating work from the rest of my life and have to be very mindful not to let it become all-consuming.
This can be challenging, especially if you run your own business, as I do. Chances are, you do have to put in more hours and dedication, particularly in the early stages of your business, if you want to thrive.
But there still needs to be balance. If you’re not getting enough rest and good sleep, this is likely to harm your mental and physical health, and your work will suffer as a result.
So it makes sense to create the time and space for self-care. Trust me; your future self will thank you for it!
Taking the time to make your bedroom a zen zone and filling your evening ritual with self-care will make it something you look forward to at the end of a long day.
The stress and challenges of the day will melt away, leaving you feeling calm and at peace. And you’ll wake up tomorrow feeling refreshed and prepared instead of tired and overwhelmed.
In this article, I’ll share why you need an evening ritual (like, tonight), what my evening ritual looks like, and hopefully inspire you to create your own.
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Here’s why it’s important to create a supportive evening ritual and sleep routine:
- To promote and encourage self-care
- Release stress & anxiety and unwind
- Lower blood pressure
- For better quality sleep that promotes restoration in your body
- Improved mental health
- Boost your energy and help you feel more refreshed in the mornings
- Maintain a steady metabolism
- Reduce early signs of aging
Please don’t let this list overwhelm you—that is not my intention. Use it as inspiration. See what you feel most drawn to, and then sim to incorporate a few things into your evening ritual to start with. You can always layer on more steps once you’ve made your evening ritual a habit.
If you want to invest in some things to support this, go ahead, but a lot of this can be done for free or on a small budget. Work with what you have.
Enjoy the process of creating a beautiful evening ritual—even the planning part should feel delicious!
First, make your bedroom a calming space
Creating the perfect evening ritual begins with transforming your bedroom into a divine, relaxing sanctuary.
Get rid of any clutter that doesn’t belong there—dirty clothes, random bits of paper, your laptop, etc. Avoid bringing your work into the bedroom; this is your sacred space.
Try and make your bed each morning before you head to work. This will keep your space looking clean and tidy. And aim to wash your sheets and clean your bedroom once a week if possible.
When it comes to interiors, it’s best to stick to calm, neutral colors in light shades—off whites, light greys, blues, and soft pinks all work well. Mixing textures can create an inviting feel, so think about investing in a soft throw, a cozy rug, or some fluffy scatter cushions. Plants are also a great way to purify the air—especially if you suffer from allergies.
16 Ideas to weave into your evening ritual tonight
1. Give yourself permission to let go of your work
I usually wake up between 5 and 6 AM each morning, which means that by the time 5 PM rolls around, my attention span and energy are waning. I try and finish my work around this time, but there are always exceptions and times when I continue working after dinner. Chances are you’ll have those days, too, so don’t beat yourself up over it.
But aim for a time when you would ideally like to finish work each day and do your best to stick to it as much as possible. That means shutting down your laptop and not checking your emails (not even once!).
You’ll struggle to unwind if you’re still dipping in and out of work. So when you’re ready to call it a day, create a firm boundary for yourself. Give yourself permission to switch off. You need this.
2. Plan out tomorrow
One of the best ways to let go of your work and reduce mental clutter is to make a list of what’s outstanding and the most important tasks for tomorrow.
This will help you plan out your time, stay organized and begin your day feeling calm and centered. Don’t be too rigid with your time—allow yourself some flexibility. But have a good idea of what you want to achieve.
We all work in different ways. I have a day planner that I love and will write out a small to-do list for myself each day. You might want to write a list in a notebook or loose sheet of paper. Maybe you want to block out your time using a digital calendar or mentally walk yourself through how you want your day to unfold.
While you’re at it, plot in something that you’ll look forward to that is just for you and feels fun. Whether it’s a coffee with a friend, a romantic date with your partner, or spending an hour painting. The anticipation of this alone can help boost your mood.
Countless studies over the past decade have proven that blue light emitted from our phones and laptops interferes with the quality of our sleep.
So try and switch off your screens as early as you can in the evening. If you have to be on your phone, switch the blue light filter setting on. On those days where you have to work late on your laptop, download a free light-dimming program like Flux to reduce the blue light.
If you use your phone as an alarm clock as I do, switch it to airplane mode, so a dozen notifications do not bombard you. Unless it’s an emergency, it can wait until morning.
As you switch off your screens and disconnect from technology, allow this to symbolize you moving into relaxation.
4. Dim the lights
Artificial light tells your body that it’s daytime, which tricks you into thinking you need to stay awake when you’re meant to be falling asleep.
The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found that exposure to bright electric light between dusk and bedtime can suppress melatonin levels and leave you feeling wide-eyed.
Melatonin is the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycle. The less your body produces, the harder it may be for you to drift off into slumber.
So if you can, switch off all bright lights and opt for softer lamps, candles, or Himalayan salt lamps as your source of light in the evening. There’s something so soothing and sacred about candlelight—I have candles in every room of our apartment. Opt for soy wax where possible to avoid inhaling unnecessary toxins and chemicals.
5. Do some yin yoga
Stretching your body at the end of a long day is the next step to create the perfect evening ritual. Work out those kinks and get the blood flowing back into all those tight areas of your body with some gentle yin yoga.
This is a slow-paced (and my all-time favorite) yoga style that focuses on the deep connective tissues between the muscles and the fascia throughout the body. It will increase circulation in your joints, improve flexibility, decrease stress, and increase the flow of vital energy and nutrients through your entire body.
All you need is a yoga mat or a towel and a small bit of floor space, and you’re yin yoga ready. I love Alo Moves for at-home yoga workouts (click here for your free 30-day trial). They have a variety of styles and instructors to choose from and dreamy sound baths and yoga nidra sessions, which are both great for relaxation.
6. Have a shower or bath
The purpose of an evening ritual or routine is to help you unwind and let go of any heavy thoughts. A hot shower or warm bath is a blissful way to return to calm.
Water is known to be healing and therapeutic. It will soothe your mind, body, and soul and get you ready for a peaceful sleep.
If you’re short on time, have a quick rinse in the shower and let the day wash away.
If you’re going to run a bath for yourself, make it the most luxurious bath possible—you deserve it.
Think lots of candles, some gorgeous scented bath soak, and salts, maybe some dried flower petals, and a soothing music playlist to drift off to.
Add some magnesium (found in Epsom salts) when you want extra relaxation for your muscles and to induce sleep. Magnesium is widely known as the “anti-stress” mineral because it removes calcium from your bloodstream, quiets the nervous system, and activates your parasympathetic nervous system. In a nutshell, it will calm your mind and body.
For more inspiration on creating a beautiful bath ritual tonight, check out this article.
Soak, relax, and repeat… really soon!
7. Indulge in a skincare session
After you step out of the bath or shower, it’s time to indulge in a little pre-sleep pamper sesh.
You can keep it as simple or extravagant as you like here.
Give yourself a quick five-minute facial to wash away the day.
Lock in the moisture in your skin by massaging in your favorite body lotion. Follow with your chosen night-time face cream and a couple of drops of facial sleep oil if desired.
You might want to use a sleep face mask once a week for some deep cleansing and restoration. All you do is apply a thin layer that will absorb into your face and then wash your face as normal the following morning.
I’ve recently become a Beauty Pie convert. They run a membership-based beauty business that allows you to buy high-quality skincare and beauty products at cost price (genius, right?). Plus, they’re 100% vegan and cruelty-free. Everything you need for an evening ritual skincare session can be found at Beauty Pie—click here to get your first month of membership for free.
Looking for a more natural skincare approach?
Natural Homemade Skincare is a beautiful and brilliant book full of recipes to help you whip up skincare solutions using everyday ingredients from your kitchen. And check out this post on natural remedies for glowing skin.
8. Slip into something comfy
Last winter, I invested in a luxurious white snuggly robe from The White Company, which I LOVE. I put it on as soon as I’m done moisturizing in the evening and first thing in the morning when I wake up. It’s super comfy, and I feel like I’m in a fancy hotel every day at home!
If you prefer wearing something a little lighter, a pair of silk pajamas are the perfect option. Invest in pure silk for an extra luxurious feel.
Whatever you decide to wear, make sure it’s loose-fitting and made from a breathable, comfortable fabric.
9. Brew yourself a cup of sleepy tea
You want to avoid anything with caffeine in it after lunchtime. That means no more 3 PM cappuccinos!
If you’re looking for something soothing to sip on in the evening, try herbal tea.
The best herbs for calming your body and promoting sleep are:
- valerian root,
I love Pukka—their teas are herbal and organic, and really soothing. Allow to steep in your favorite mug, sit back and relax.
Herbal teas are also one of the many natural remedies to soothe period pain. So if you enjoy them, be sure to stock up in time for when you bleed.
10. Fill your bedroom with a relaxing scent
Certain scents help create a calm and relaxing atmosphere and signal to your brain that it’s time to unwind get some shut-eye.
Lavender, vanilla, and ylang-ylang are some of the best scents for creating a sleep sanctuary in your bedroom. We’re all different, so keep exploring until you find a divine scent that works for you.
You could light some scented candles, use a room spray, or an essential oil diffuser. I’ve had an Anjou one for almost 10 years that I love, and most of their diffusers are under $50 on Amazon.
Journaling is a great thing to do to clear your mind any time of day, particularly as part of a morning or evening ritual.
There are no rules—allow yourself to run wild and free here.
Journal about your day, what you’re grateful for, how you feel, what you’re celebrating today, anything that’s worrying you, or check in with your current goals and intentions.
If you’re born with an achiever gene (I am) and find you get caught up in what’s left to do rather than what you’ve managed to complete, a celebration list might be exactly what your soul needs.
Most of us write endless to-do lists for ourselves each day, then get to the end of it and focus on that one thing we didn’t quite manage to do. And we forget about all the amazing things we did achieve.
This is what a celebration list is all about. Focusing on the good and showing yourself some love. Because we don’t do this enough.
You’ll end the day on a much more positive note, and it’ll help you have a more peaceful sleep as you bask in a sea of your own awesomeness.
You can go all out on this one and create a sacred yoga and meditation altar in your bedroom if you have space. Light a candle or some incense here before you go to bed.
Invest in a soft cushion to sit on cross-legged as you bring your focus to your breath. Put on a guided meditation if you prefer, or use a ready-made meditation playlist on Spotify.
Meditation has an endless amount of health benefits and has been proven to reduce anxiety and stress. Plus, it might also help you relax and fall asleep faster. If you’re new to meditation, check out this handy guide on where to start.
I love reading and can read pretty much any time, anywhere, and feel like I’m in my happy place. But I now struggle to get to sleep if I haven’t read for at least 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter what I’m reading—fiction or non-fiction—I just need to make time to read something.
The only rule is it shouldn’t be on a screen. Ipads and Kindles are great; I get it. But looking at a screen will only keep you awake, so try and make sure you’re reading a physical book.
If you need some inspiration for what to read next, check out this post for the best feminist books every woman should read at least once.
14. Sleep on silk
Did you know that the average person will spend around a third of their lifetime sleeping? That’s a lot of z’s.
So if you’re going to be asleep anyway, why not make it the most relaxing, peaceful sleep possible?
And did you know that your body does most of its repair and regeneration while you’re asleep?
So getting a great night will boost your health in a multitude of ways. By the time the morning rolls around, you’ll be full of energy, ready to jump out of bed and win the day.
Since we spend so much of our time asleep, it’s vital we make our sleep as comfortable and luxurious as possible. That means investing in silky soft bedsheets and pillows.
I invested in my first set of bamboo sheets a year ago, and they are the softest sheets I have ever slept in (comfier than any hotel I’ve ever stayed in, too!).
If investing in a new, high-quality bed-set isn’t workable with your budget right now, why not treat yourself to a silk pillowcase?
Here’s why you need one:
- It feels gorgeous.
- Better for your skin and will reduce lines and wrinkles.
- Better for your hair because it won’t cause friction (less breakage & frizz).
- And you’ll feel like a total Goddess.
15. Turn on some soothing sounds
If you struggle to drown out those voices in your head at night and push your to-do lists aside, try putting some soothing background sounds on as part of your evening ritual.
Think ocean waves or soft rain falling outside. There are plenty of playlists like this on Spotify to choose from.
I also love listening to the sleep stories on Calm from time to time. Usually, I’m fast asleep before the story ends, so they work like magic.
16. Lights out
When you go to sleep, you want to block out all light if possible.
This is because natural light will interfere with your body’s natural signals and make you think you should be awake. Even a small amount of light is enough to suppress melatonin (the sleep hormone) and increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone).
This is why investing in blackout blinds or curtains is a must. When you go to sleep, you shouldn’t be able to see any trickles of light seeping in.
If you’re looking for a more affordable and easier fix, try investing in a silk sleep mask. These are great because you get the benefit of silk on your skin, they keep the light out, and they’re ideal if you have a partner who tends to go to bed later than you do.
The only problem with sleep masks is I find they need washing every few nights; otherwise, they end up causing spots on your t-zone because of the build-up of sweat & bacteria throughout the night. So I’d recommend using these as a last resort—but definitely bring one with you when you’re traveling anywhere.
If you want to create your own evening ritual, here are a few things to consider:
Make it relaxing
Think about what feels most relaxing to you. What would you look forward to doing at the end of the day that would also help you unwind?
Ask yourself what you need today
We’re all different, and we need and want different things depending on how we feel and what stage of our cycle we’re currently in. Check in with yourself at the end of each day.
How do you feel? What do you need? What would feel most nourishing today?
Keep it simple
We all have responsibilities, which means there’s only so much time at the end of the day for an evening ritual. So be realistic. Don’t try and cram too much in—this is likely to make you feel more stressed and have the opposite effect that you want.
Stick to a couple of things at first and see how you get on. If you find you have more time to play with, add something to your ritual. And don’t be afraid to pair it back if it becomes overwhelming at any point.
And that’s how to create a blissful evening ritual!
Creating a blissful evening ritual like this will help you feel relaxed and nourished and help your body fall into a natural sleep rhythm. This will mean your sleep is restorative—you’ll wake up energized and ready to face a new day.
So, I invite you to take some time to create a divine evening ritual tonight. And create space to make sure it happens. Make yourself a priority because you are one.
And if you want some inspiration for creating a beautiful morning ritual, check out this article.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.