For many working moms, it can feel like life is getting more out of control, and we have to fit more into each day just to get by. Maintaining a balance between your responsibilities and self-care can make all the difference. Many people are now exploring the idea of a self-care night – one night where you dedicate time to yourself, unapologetically, to make sure that you are recharging your batteries to 100%.
Here, we’re going to look at how setting boundaries with technology can let you re-center yourself again, and the ways that stress can hide in plain sight. It’s only once you allow yourself to hit the pause button that you really notice it.
We’re also going to get into some science-backed methods to look after yourself, reduce stress, and be the best you can be – whether that means being a better mother to your children, a better friend, a better wife, or simply a more relaxed version of you.
After all, if you’re not at your best then what good can you be to anyone else?
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In a word, yes. Like nutrition, it’s sometimes hard to see the benefits until you’re further down the line, but once your bad eating catches up with you and you get sick, that’s when you know. Stress can be the same – it accumulates and ultimately can lead to you feel run down.
A night routine is not just about getting ready for bed; it’s an act of love towards yourself. It helps you wind down from the stressors of the day and prepares your body for a restful sleep.
Several studies have indicated that establishing a regular bedtime ritual may lead to better sleep quality and general well-being in children and adults. This could include anything from reading a book to taking a warm bath or practicing yoga – consistency is key.
A well-planned evening of self-care can be something to look forward to at the close of each day. So why not start thinking about what that might look like for you? This is your time for relaxation and rejuvenation.
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Your self-care night should be all about activities that bring you peace and joy. Whether it’s soaking in a bath with your favorite bath bomb or getting lost in the pages of an engaging book, try to bring these actions into your daily routine.
1. Take a Digital Break
If you’ve slipped into the habit of mindless scrolling before bed, or podcasts to help you sleep, you might want to think again. One of the most beneficial things you can do for your night routine is to set boundaries with technology on your self-care nights. Screens emit light that messes with your melatonin, the sleep hormone.
Make it a rule not to check your phone after a certain hour, which will help you disconnect from work and social media, giving you more space for relaxation. Apps like Freedom can help with this, by blocking distracting websites and apps during self-care time.
If you want higher-quality sleep, try banishing your phone to another room and keeping other devices out of the bedroom. And hey, why not go old school with a good ol’ alarm clock, instead of the familiar PTSD-inducing phone alarm? Check out one of my fave alarm clocks that simulate the sunrise to help you wake up easier.
If you can’t bear to part with your gadgets, some smart devices have a “night mode” that adjusts the screen brightness and color, giving you a sleep-friendly filter for your phone. And if this isn’t enough, here’s a little-known tip – most phones have color filters from the screen in accessibility settings, allowing you to add a red filter on your screen, and block out the blue light that affects sleep for several hours before bed.
2. Pamper your skin for deep relaxation
Bad skin can be an indication of poor health, so when your skin is looking good, you’re probably taking care of yourself. If you find that it’s not, then it might be time to start a new regimen and give your skin the care it deserves. Using all-natural products with ingredients like donkey milk and argan oil can take your pampering game to the next level.
Use natural ingredients that are gentle on your skin and help to eliminate irritation and allergic reactions. The nutrients from natural sources nourish your skin, giving you that enviable healthy glow. Natural products often have comforting aromas that add to the relaxation factor during your self-care night routine.
As women there’s often guilt attached to really putting yourself first, but it’s time to get past this. So go ahead, indulge in some self-care, and let your skin shine.
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Think of self-massage like a mini vacation for your muscles. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a long day of adulting or chasing after tiny humans. Studies have shown that massage can seriously help you relax.
And hey, you don’t need a fancy spa appointment to do it. Just grab a foam roller or massage ball and get ready to knead away the stress. Focus on those tension hotspots, like your neck, back, or legs.
Here’s how to make self-massage part of your nightly routine:
- Locate a peaceful area where you won’t be disturbed. No kids allowed.
- Grab your trusty foam roller or massage ball and gently apply pressure to those tight spots.
- Breathe in, breathe out, and slowly roll or move the tool across each area. Ahh, feels good, doesn’t it? For tougher areas you can hold the roller there for a while and then release it.
This simple practice not only helps release physical tension but also sets the stage for a peaceful night’s sleep. So go ahead, give yourself a rubdown, and say goodbye to those knots.
Picture yourself in a warm, soothing bath, as the stress floats away from you like the parting bubbles on the water. Add a few drops of lavender oil, and voila, your very own relaxation zone, right at home. Giving yourself a bit of pampering is not just about being clean, it’s also about putting your needs first.
Did you know that the scent of lavender is scientifically proven to promote relaxation and improve sleep? If you’re craving an energy boost, go for citrus-based scents. Feeling fancy? Indulge in rose-infused products. You can also spice up your bath time by switching up your soaps and bath bombs. This can turn a mundane routine into a delightful experience.
Not only do these luxurious soaps and bath bombs come in a range of scents and colors, but they also offer additional skin benefits. From moisturizing properties to exfoliating effects, they’ll keep your skin happy and healthy while you unwind.
Bath time is a simple act but it can make a world of difference in how you feel at the end of the day. It prepares your body for sleep, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to conquer another hectic day. So why not transform your bathroom into a mini spa – just light up some candles, play some soft tunes, and let the warm-scented water work its magic.
Caring for your hands and feet during the night is a sometimes overlooked form of self-care. It happens to be my favorite part of my night routine and practically guarantees I’ll get a good night sleep. After a long day, your hands and feet deserve some TLC. Give them a gentle massage with lotions or essential oils to relieve tension and show them some love.
Consider getting a massage gun for those tight muscles, especially in your feet. There are tons of affordable massage guns that will do the trick. You’ll be surprised how relieved you’ll feel. Here’s how to incorporate it into your routine:
- Soak your feet in warm water with Epsom salts for 15 minutes. Invest in a nice at-home foot spa that will revive your feet with heat and bubbles.
- Dry them off and slather on some lotion or oil.
- Grab your massage gun and give each foot a 5-10 minute rubdown.
This little ritual will help you relax before bed and give your hardworking hands and feet the pampering they deserve.
Adding a little stretch or yoga to your bedtime routine can help you unwind and get that extra sleep you desperately crave.
No need to go all contortionist on us – just 10-15 minutes of gentle stretching can work wonders. Focus on those tight spots like your neck, shoulders, back, and legs. If you think about it, they’ve been through a lot!
If you’re new to yoga, there are beginner-friendly poses like Child’s Pose or Legs-Up-The-Wall pose that are perfect for relaxation. And if you need a little guidance, there are apps and online resources that offer bedtime yoga sessions.
The key here is consistency. Remain consistent and you’ll not only be more limber, but you’ll also find relief from tension and be able to sleep like a queen. Namaste, sleepyhead.
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Reading before bed is a fantastic way to wind down after a long day. Disconnecting from technology and entering an alternate realm, away from the worries of your daily life can be a calming way to end the day, and has been proven to help sleep. Opting for non-fiction books with relatable characters can make this experience even more enjoyable.
Why non-fiction, you ask? Well, non-fiction books tend to be easier to put down than suspenseful thrillers or fantasy novels, letting your mind relax and get into a restful state.
Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily finishing chapters, but creating a cozy environment to de-stress and sleep, and when you feel your eyes getting heavy, don’t fight it.
Journaling at the end of the day has been used for centuries as a way of ‘decompressing’ the mind – meaning taking the thoughts out of your head and putting them on paper. At the end of your day, try writing down some thoughts to decompress and get a good night’s sleep. No need to write a novel, just a few key points or feelings from your day will do the trick.
Structured writing prompts are a great option if you’re staring at a blank page. They guide your thoughts and help shape your reflections. A good rule of thumb is to start with whatever is stressing you the most, and sometimes just writing it down will take a weight off.
By engaging in a journaling practice regularly, you can not only improve your sleep but also gain insight into the sources of stress in your life. For a comprehensive self-care planner that includes journal prompts and a sleep log, check out the Mama’s Self-Care Planner.
Falling asleep to calming music is the perfect addition to your self-care night routine, helping you forget about the day’s chaos and drift into dreamland.
Genres like classical, jazz, or ambient sounds can help to soothe your mind and improve your sleep quality. They help your mind get into key brainwave patterns to help you fall off to sleep, and interestingly the science shows that the type of music you choose doesn’t make as much difference as simply choosing music you like (although maybe draw the line at the hardcore techno).
Another interesting recent phenomenon is using white or even brown noise to help you switch off. These are types of ambient sound that act to block thoughts at different frequencies, and let your brain slip into an alpha state, leading to better quality, deeper sleep.
10. Get organized and ready for the day
Getting organized for the next day can significantly reduce morning stress and make waking up a smoother experience.
One trick is to lay out your clothes the night before. Having your outfit already picked out will give you a few extra minutes to savor that morning cup of joe, and just give you a feeling of being in control from the start of the day.
Another time-saving hack is to pack your bags ahead of time. No more last-minute scrambles to find your keys or wallet. Just grab your bag and go.
And let’s not forget about lunch. Prepping it the night before means you won’t have to settle for a sad desk salad or spend a fortune on takeout. Your wallet and your taste buds will thank you.
If you really want to take your night routine to the next level, create an evening checklist. From finishing up homework to making sure your gym gear is ready, an evening checklist can cover all the bases. It also gives your mind less to stress over at night, and improves your sleep in another way.
Mornings don’t have to be chaotic. With a little organization and planning the night before, you can start your day on a calm note and conquer the world like the superhero mom you are.
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11. Create a consistent sleep schedule
Maintaining consistent bedtimes and wake-up times can promote healthier sleep cycles. Your body adapts to this rhythm, making falling asleep easier. Sticking to a set sleep schedule can help balance your body’s inner clock, making it easier for you to drift off and stay asleep throughout the night.
This routine is not just about weekdays; try sticking to it on weekends too. A drastic change in your sleep pattern during off days can lead to what experts call “social jet lag.” This inconsistency might leave you feeling groggy or disoriented at the start of a new week.
So, set an alarm if you need to but make sure you’re getting enough restful hours of sleep every day. Don’t let “social jet lag” ruin your week. Trust me, you don’t want to be a walking zombie on Monday morning. Your coworkers won’t appreciate it, and neither will your coffee mug.
12. Sip on comforting herbal blends
Incorporating herbs known for aiding relaxation and sleep into your beverages can offer extra perks during your evening wind-down sessions. You can jazz up a variety of drinks like coffee, milk, or tea with these herbal wonders:
- Lavender, as we’ve noted earlier, has calming properties. You can add it to your teas or warm milk for a chill vibe.
- Chamomile has sleep-inducing qualities and is known to be a natural sedative. Sip on a cup of tea and let it work its magic.
- Feeling stressed? Lemon balm to the rescue. This herb has been kicking stress’s butt since the Middle Ages. It can also help with sleep, appetite, and tummy troubles.
Mixing these herbal powerhouses with your nighttime beverage not only helps in managing stress but can also foster a sense of mindfulness and presence, allowing you to let go of the day’s worries and prepare for a restful night’s sleep.
13. Set affirmations for an intentional night’s sleep
Affirmations might not seem like much, but actually they can be a powerful and transformative way to set a positive tone for the upcoming week. It’s a great way to boost your self-care game and remind you that you’re worth it. Need some convincing? Just repeat after me: “I am deserving of rest and relaxation.” Ah, feels good already, doesn’t it?
Affirmations have the power to shape our mindsets. Repeating affirmations helps us believe in them, turning them into reality. This simple practice can create a sense of clarity, motivation, and resilience that carries you through the next day. Check out these powerful quotes on days you’re most overwhelmed and need to put things in perspective.
So, here’s a genius idea for your nighttime routine: jot down or shout out some positive affirmations before hitting the hay. You can appreciate your daily wins or declare that tomorrow will be even more epic. Go ahead and dream big!
In the whirlwind of a busy mom’s schedule, weaving in a self-care night routine isn’t just a luxury—it’s a lifeline.
Set boundaries with technology and pamper your skin with natural skincare products for a relaxing atmosphere. Try self-massage, relaxing baths, stretching or light yoga before bed, and reading books to promote a restful night’s sleep.
Write down your thoughts at the end of the day, listen to calming music, and stay organized for the next day. Maintain consistent sleep schedules, practice power affirmations, and enjoy herbal blends for improved mental health.
Amidst the chaos, remember this: you are a priority too. Take a moment for yourself, honor the physical and emotional needs that make you uniquely you.
And cheers- to nights that aren’t just restful but restorative!