A From Above View Of A Happy Beautiful Woman In Pajamas Looking Away While Lying In Bed

A Sensual Nighttime Routine Is Working Wonders For My Morning Anxiety, Here's Where To Start

I don’t know what it is about turning 30 that made me super interested in vitamins and routines, but I love it here. Gone (well, not completely) are the days I let the day turn into night with my makeup, lights, and TV on with my laptop by my head. I blamed burnout on an undesirable work culture, a busy schedule, etc., but growing wiser, I realize the responsibility to set aside time to restore my mind, body, and soul is entirely mine.

When it comes to anxiety, the way I look at the dilemma of the mind is as living in the past and being fearful of what is to come. To combat that, intentionally cultivating routines that involve tapping into my five senses as a grounding technique helps me to become more present and realize what a gift the current moment is. Not only am I able to let go of the feelings of frustration that I carry around stemming from what (or what did not) occur in the day, but I also get to regulate my nervous system to the point my mind can start imagining a better future.

I think of my aura as a glass mirror that picks up fingerprints during the day, and I get to find different ways to wipe it clean at night so that I can see myself clearly the next day. Creating a sensual nighttime routine for myself does exactly that. Here’s how I start:

With Prayer

In my younger days, I used to save this step for right before bed, but I find getting spiritually grounded for a few minutes better assists me in switching from productivity mode to giving myself permission to just be. These days instead of defining myself by external factors like what I do for a living, how much I can produce, and accolades, I take a few minutes to express my gratitude through prayer to my higher power, the universe, my ancestors, and my everyday angels I'm lucky enough to call my friends and family. I am reminded that I am part of something way bigger than I often realize.

This then makes it easier to take time to take care of myself.

Sound: Self-Care Playlist 

I’m getting back to my teeny-bopper days when each of my moods has a custom playlist. But this seriously works wonders by listening to music that affirms and uplifts me while soothing me into a restful mood. Don’t get it twisted, I do include a little bit of upbeat music in my playlist to ignite some passion and endorphins needed to carry out this process while I'm exhausted. Hearing my favorite songs at this time just takes the monotonicity out of my routines and inspires creativity. Hey, even a little jig every once and a while never hurts.

Smell: Burning Incense, Candles, and Using Oil Diffusers

Aromatherapy is a part of my routine that I refuse to skip. It's really hard to think about all the annoyances that occurred during the day when I smell the fragrance of citrus or berries in my vicinity! Almost every step of my nighttime routine has scents that are either soothing or delicious to me, from my skincare to the essential oils that I use. This just brings to my attention that often the simplest pleasures in life are free or at least super affordable. Plus, certain essential oils like eucalyptus, lavender, and lemongrass are great for calming down one’s nervous system enough to fall asleep.

Touch: Taking the Day Off

Touch involves quite literally getting my day clothes off, getting in the shower, and changing into some comfortable night clothes. I take my playlist into the shower for some karaoke, inviting laughter and tears. My favorite shower products are great for my sensitive skin, but also layer different scents so that my perfume doesn't have to work so hard the next day. Exfoliating and applying body oils ensure that my skin feels soft.

My skincare routine ensures that when I look at my skin, it's bright and rejuvenated in the morning. I focus on glowing before bed because the nighttime is the only time my skin has to repair and regenerate hence the phrase “beauty sleep.” However, skincare does not stop at the face, so I am exploring new body care products to make sure the skin on the rest of my body has an even texture. The self-massage pays off because, by the time I lay down, I'm relaxed.

Woman Wrapped in a Towel after a Shower Holding a Skin Care Product

FreshSplash/Getty Images

Taste: Decaffeinated Sweets

Health is wealth, and healthy snacks are imperative to my overall happiness. I try to stay away from foods that are too sweet or caffeinated at night, so I reach for rich and creamy textures and my favorite liquids. Decaffeinated teas, sugar-free ice pops, fruity-tasting sparking water, and fruit and veggies with peanut butter or salad dressing are my favorites.

Sight: Journaling And Reading

Journaling allows me to truly release and reflect on what’s bothering me. Guided journals are a great way for me to stay consistent and motivated by answering prompts. It’s so funny that writing about what caused me the most stress in the day and then being asked what I need to release helps me realize I’m in the driver's seat of my joy, happiness, and destiny. All that I desire is often a decision away.

With my overthinking, I find it better to put my sight and mind to use to read and experience an alternate reality. I’m an audiobook lover during the day, but at night my bed is a no-phone zone. With dosing off and missing a few sentences, it's tempting to get up and grab my phone/tablet, and the next thing I know it's 3 a.m., and I’m on TikTok. Holding my favorite book, flipping through pages, and fighting to keep my eyes open in excitement to figure out what is on the next page somehow knocks me right out.

When I wake up in the morning, I feel well-rested and like I had a much better quality of sleep than if I would have skipped my routine. It’s easier for me to be way more resolute and productive because I’m running on a lot of positive energy instead of fumes. As I continue to practice my routine, I am starting to realize whatever it is that I thought I was gaining by working behind a computerized screen after 10 p.m., I am losing my quality of life the next day. I proudly put my Bedtime setting on my phone, confidently assured that whatever it is can wait until the next business day.

I know my energy budget, and these days, I’m hella bougie.

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