A mindful skincare routine, sleep tea, and some casual e-com wishlisting to wind down - Youtimer and beauty expert Gemma Watts shares her evening routine.
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All of my friends who have children tell me to enjoy sleep while I can, and I have very much heeded their advice. Love. Sleep.
I am an early riser, so an early bedtime (when and where possible) is a large part of ensuring I can wake up feeling fresh and ready the next morning.
Where my morning rituals are all about boosting my energy levels, my evening routine is similarly thorough but, naturally, with an emphasis on really winding down and calming the nervous system after a busy day.
I am fortunate in that physically staying asleep has never really been an issue for me, but given that I drink a lot of coffee (my order is a long black, which speaks volumes about me as a human) and am generally buzzing at all times, I like to spend quite a bit of time winding down and just tempering that energy.
I would love to tell you that I go completely tech free from dinner time onwards, but that would be a lie.
We try to have the television switched off at least an hour before bedtime in my house, however I’d be kidding myself if I said anything to the tune of “I switch my phone off and leave it in another room.” Honestly, I’ve never even tried. And I have no desire to!
I’m not responding to emails before bed, nor am I spending a great deal of time on social media, but I am partial to a bit of e-commerce wishlisting (on youtime, of course) before I head to bed. And I don’t judge myself for it!
Despite not switching the phone off, I do try to minimise my exposure to bright light for a good couple of hours pre slumber.
If I’ve been existing within a dimly lit space for an hour or two before bed, I can almost guarantee that I’ll be out the second my head hits the pillow.
Something I’ve added into my evening routine over the last couple of months has been a pre-bedtime stretch.
I’ll roll out my Maat and do around 15 to 20 minutes of stretching (usually guided by The Pilates Class app), which really helps to free up my perpetually tight shoulders and back of an evening- which, in turn, helps me to have as comfortable a night’s sleep as possible.
Around an hour before bed, I’ll sip on a sleep supplement. My approach to supplements isn’t as hardcore of an evening as it is in the morning, but I love taking a sleep tea to help me really relax.
For me, this is less about falling asleep, or even staying asleep. A great sleep tea helps me get a better quality of sleep so that I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to do it all again.
Next, I’ll work through my skincare routine. This varies from evening to evening, but it’s something I try to work through as gently and mindfully as possible.
I used to rush through my skincare so I could get to bed faster, however, although it might sound silly, I see my skin rituals now as a form of meditation.
Almost anything can be a bit meditative if you work through it mindfully.
To remind myself to slow down, I’ll put an episode of The Space podcast on while I do my skincare. Each episode is around 5 minutes long, containing a little mindfulness tip without any “woo woo” stuff in there. It’s also hosted by Casey Donovan, who may just have the most soothing voice of all time.
At the conclusion of my skincare routine, I brush my teeth. This used to be a boring step, one not worth spending any time discussing, but I started using Gem dental products last year and now it’s a step I genuinely look forward to.
I got onto the brand because of the name, admittedly, but I love that their whole ethos is really around the health of the mouth’s microbiome. I’ve tried most of their Triple Whitening Toothpaste flavours and am currently on the Coconut Mint. It’s delicious.
Finally, it is time for bed.
I’ll often pop my airpods in and do some guided breath work (again, using The Pilates Class app) in bed, and once I’m done I’ll put a silk eye mask on so that I won’t be tempted to pick up my phone again.
This is purely psychological - for whatever reason, knowing that there’s an extra step between me and my phone (that step being the 0.5 seconds it would take me to slip my eye mask up) prevents me from touching it. My mind is a weird and wonderful place.