Don't waste your evening hours on mindless, time-sucking activities. Use that prime time after kids are in bed, for self-care, partner connection, & organization strategies. Learn how to set yourself up for a great night's sleep & a seamless, stress free morning by creating a Powerhouse Adult Evening Routine. With FREE Planner Printable.
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Creating an Adult Evening Routine for After the Kids Go To Bed
By the time my kid goes to bed I have most things for tomorrow already prepped. Smoothies have been made, things are clean, lunches packed for tomorrow. The weather has been checked and outfits picked out accordingly. This is all thanks to our recently created family evening routine.
Creating a family after school and night routine has been a huge success for us. We've been able to spend more time together as a family. The house is as clean as it's ever been. Less time is spent on electronics. There's a happier feeling all around. My 7 year old has learned to take more responsibility for himself and his actions. There is less nagging, yelling and arguing with our evening routine in place. We have a peaceful home.
After seeing how much our family can accomplish with a set routine, I decided it was time to try an adult evening routine for after my kiddo goes to bed. Typically this is a really lazy time for me. Pretty much nothing gets accomplished except some good old fashion binge watching.
Most of the time I go to bed later than I should because with Netflix I can keep on watching. Shows are so good at enticing me to watch one more episode. Damn cliffhangers. So what if I need to get up early? I need to know what happens next!
I decided I didn't want to waste those evening hours. That is prime child free time and a lot can be accomplished in those later moments. On the other hand I don't want to give up all my relaxing time either. I need some decompressing after a long day.
An evening routine could be the best solution to finding a balance. It gives you a chance for self-care and quality time with your partner. Creating rituals can help you fall asleep easier and sleep better through out the night. A routine sets you up for a successful morning, and helps you relax after a long day. You can pack a ton into your night with a powerhouse, adult evening routine.
Why You Should Have an Evening Routine as an Adult
There are many reasons to have a nighttime routine as an adult. An evening routine will help you end your day well. Everyone needs a chance to relax and unwind after a long day. The kids are in bed and you finally have some adult time. Without a routine it's easy to waste away those precious hours with mind numbing activities like facebook scrolling or too much Netflix. A routine will help you maximize the time you have left in your day, to get as much out of it as you can.
1. Establishing an evening routine helps start your day out right.
I'm NOT a morning person. Pretty much everyone who knows me knows this. The idea of waking up before my child so I can enjoy some time to myself is blasphemy in my mind. It ain't happening. Nothing is getting done in my morning induced comma.
This means I need an exceptional night routine so I don't have to deal with anything come morning. It's already taken care of. When breakfast is already made, clothes are picked out, the house is tidy, lunches are packed and my kiddo has everything he needs for school packed, then there's really nothing else to worry about in the morning. Stress free mornings set you up for a productive day and a calmer you.
2. Nightly Rituals can lead to a better night's sleep.
Once your bedtime routine is set you'll start to see a difference in your sleep. It can be hard to fall asleep when you have a million things running through your mind. Having nighttime worry about the millions of things you need to get done tomorrow isn't great for fast sleep.; however, having a scheduled time to evaluate tomorrow's tasks means no longer worrying about them so you can clear your mind for better sleep.
Turning off devices and electronics at least an hour before bedtime will also contribute to a great nights sleep. As I mentioned before, when I'm not on a nighttime routine I can watch way too much TV. If it's not Netflix, it's mindless scrolling through Facebook or Pinterest. Bedtime procrastination leads to late nights and inconsistent sleep times. Sticking to a set bedtime will help develop your body's internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep each night.
Computers, TVs, phones and other electronics are bad for sleep. They emitted blue lights that can disrupt our natural sleep cycles. The blue screens make us more alert at night so we have a harder time falling asleep. Turning off electronics an hour before bed can increase our chances of falling asleep and getting good rest. When you are creating your evening routine try to cut off screen time early if you can.
3. Spend quality time with your partner.
After the kids go to sleep may be some of the only time you have to spend with your partner so make it count. Date nights can be hard to come by but there are hours of kidless time each night to spend together. Are you using it wisely? I was not! The entire amount of kidless hours don't need to be spent on couple's time but some should be. Make sure to add this into your evening routine.
My husband and I like to spend some time together talking so we grab a healthy snack and chill on the patio and chat. This is a great time to reconnect each day. After that we usually watch one episode of what ever show we're currently watching. We love to swap shoulder rubs at this time too. Make sure to mix it up a bit though so things don't get stale. Here are a couple of other things you could easily do together:
- Read a book as a couple
- Go for a walk around the block - if your kids are old enough to be left at home
- Start a journal together
- Listen to a podcast
- Complete a couples devotional book
- Sexy times
- Couples messages - hint- this usually leads to more sexy times
- Talk about family goals
Come up with some ideas with your partner and throw them into your routine. Take the time to work on your relationship and strengthen your marriage.
- The One Year Love Language Minute Devotional
- A Little God Time for Couples: 365 Daily Devotions
- #Staymarried: A Couples Devotional
- Our Q&A a Day: 3-Year Journal for 2 People
- The Book of Us: The Journal of Your Love Story in 150 Questions
- The Quiz Book for Couples
- Routine Breaker - Game for Couples - Adult Card Game
- TABLETOPICS Couples: Questions to Start Great Conversations
- Loopy UNIQUE Game For Couples
- Nooky Orange Blossom Massage Oil
- ZONGS Manual Massage Ball Pain Relief Back Roller
- The Book of Massage
4. Take some time for self-care.
At the end of a long and overwhelming day, self-care is also a must. We need to recharge so we're ready to take on tomorrow. Time to ourselves and some pampering is important. This could be anything from, 10 minutes of stretching or yoga, to developing a nighttime skin-care routine. Here's a quick list of ideas you can easily incorporate into your bedtime ritual:
- Read a book
- Listen to a podcast or book on tape
- Sip some tea that helps with sleep - make sure to do this early enough that you won't have to get up to pee a million times a night
- Personal prayers
- Scripture study
- Aroma therapy
- Hot shower or bath
- Listen to calming music
If you need more ideas check out our Self-care and Positivity Pinterest Board.
I know that if I don't schedule time for washing my face and flossing my teeth it won't happen. At most, I use astringent to take off some of the dirt and sweat that's collected on my face but that's it. Flossing just doesn't happen. Think of some of the personal things you would like to do that you don't leave time for. These will give you a great start to self-care.
- One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book
- Knock Knock I Need Some Serious Me Time Inner-Truth Journal
- "She is Clothed with Strength and Dignity" Turquoise Flexcover Journal
- Good Days Start With Gratitude: A 52 Week Gratitude Journal
- 100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self
- Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
- My Prayer Journal: A 3 Month Guide To Prayer, Praise and Thanks
- Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence
- Little Book of Mindfulness: 10 minutes a day to less stress, more peace
- The Mindfulness Journal
- Read 'Em and Sleep: Mindfulness-Based Insomnia Relief
- The Ripple Effect: Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better
- ArtNaturals White Noise Sound Machine & Essential Oil Diffuser
- Zen Breeze Essential Oil Diffuser
- Good Sleep Essential Oil
- Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime Extra Tea
- Premium Muscle & Therapy Set, All Natural Bath Bombs
- Good Vibes Coloring Book
5. Review your day and plan tomorrow.
I don't always finish everything on my to-do list so checking in at the end of the day helps me plan tomorrow's day. Looking back on my day also gives me the opportunity to see what went well for me and what didn't. We're not always good at noticing and acknowledging our accomplishments, and a review of the day can help us take notice.
How did your day go? Were there any highlights? What's something to be thankful for? This is a great time to write some thoughts in a journal or say personal prayers while your feeling grateful.
Is there anything that didn't get done today that needs done tomorrow? Also take the time to make or review tomorrow's to-do list so there aren't any surprises. Go over your schedule so you feel ready to take on the next day. Check the weather and plan your outfit if you haven't already. I do this earlier in the day because I want my son to plan his outfit based on the weather as well. Keeping a journal, notepad, or planner by your bed is great for all of these self-care needs.
- Orange Circle Studio, August 2018 - December 2019, Moms Do It All
- Bloom Daily Planner 2018 Calendar Year Daily Planner
- Redi-Tag Divider Sticky Notes 60 Ruled Notes, 4 x 6 Inches, Assorted Neon Colors
- MyLifeUNIT Fineliner Color Pen Set
- Life Planner Stickers Set. Monthly, Weekly & Daily Planner Stickers
- Essentials Mom's Planner Stickers
How to Create Your Perfect Adult Evening Routine
Creating your own evening routine is important. It's helpful to see what others have in their routine but you'll need to establish your own personal plan if you're going to stick with it.
Start by writing a list of all the things you want to accomplish after your kids go to bed. Make this list long. Cover everything you can think of. You don't have to put all of it on your schedule. Right now you're just coming up with ideas of things you want to accomplish. Plus, once you have your list you don't have to fit it all into each night. You can stagger nights if you want. Maybe you'll read Mon, Wed, Fri and watch a show Tues, Thurs. Right now we're mostly brainstorming.
Don't forget to include your partner in part of the planning process. They don't need to be there for all the planning but you should get on the same page when it comes to a timeline that works for the both of you. This is also a great time to come up with some ideas for your together time and decide how long it will be.
Write out a timeline starting with the time your kids go to bed until the time you go to bed. My kid goes to bed at 8:30 so my timeline starts then and ends at 11:30 when my lights go out. Now start adding tasks at the beginning of your timeline and work your way until bed time. You may need to adjust your times to fit in all the tasks you want in your routine.
My Night Routine
Here's a look at what my basic adult evening routine looks like. My schedule varies from night to night so this is just an example of one night. Sometimes I read and sometimes I watch a show. If I watch a show I like to swap the schedule a bit so I watch earlier. This gives me less screen time before bed so my body can adjust from the bright screen.
Your routine is not set in stone but I do suggest keeping to it as much as you can otherwise you'll start to slack off. Before you know it you'll be back to your unproductive nights. Have a basic evening routine set and then write out your specific schedule at the beginning of each week.
- 8:30 - Set my phone in my room, grab a snack and go chill on the patio with my husband
- 9:00 - Watch one show together while we switch off rubbing shoulders or feet
- 9:45 - Check my phone for any last minute business and then set it aside or turn it off
- 9:50 - Check off today's to-do list and write tomorrow's list
- 10:00 - Write in journal
- 10: 15 - Read my scriptures
- 10:30 - Get ready for bed - pjs on, take out contacts, wash my face, brush my teeth, etc.
- 10:40 - Read
- 11:15 - Last rounds - trip to bathroom, check on kid, kiss hubs
- 11:25 - Personal prayers & meditation
- 11:30 - Check alarm and lights out
Put Your Adult Evening Routine into Action
Getting into an adult evening was easier than I thought. At first I was worried I would slip back into my lazy ways but once I saw how much I could accomplish it was a no brainer. Plus I feel like I still have plenty of relaxing time to unwind at the end of the day.
Try your new routine out for a week and see if anything needs to be adjusted. You've never run through this routine before so you might find that your times are a bit off. Or maybe you didn't love having partner time first and want to swap it for personal time. Maybe you want to split it up so you have some partner time, then personal time, and then end with more partner time.
I was going to bed around midnight every night and waking up sleepy. Once my routine was in place I realized I could get more done and didn't need to stay up that late so I adjusted my times. You won't really know these things until you've tried them out.
Here's a couple last tips to rock your routine:
- Leave your device in the other room or across the room from you early in your evening. This will help you resist the urge to constantly check your phone. I use an alarm clock to wake up in the mornings and only use my phone as a back up alarm. I love these natural light alarm clocks.
- Sunrise Alarm Clock, Bedside Sunrise Simulator
- MYFREE Wake Up Light with Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock
2. Once you've gone to bed don't look at the time again until your alarm goes off. Checking the time makes your mind race and that's not good for sleep. How many times have you woken up in the early morning and saw the time and thought, "Hey, I've got two more hours before my alarm goes off."
Then you start thinking of things you need to do that day and now you can't sleep. Break that bad habit. That's why the clock above on the right is my favorite. The time is at the top off the clock making it harder to check at night.
3. Keep your bed side table clutter free. A clear space near your bed is important to keeping your mind free of clutter. It's hard to relax with a candle or book if you don't have any where to set them down.
4. I am less strict with my routine on Friday nights. This is a little Hooray for Friday celebration. I still keep a routine but I have less on it. However, it's important to go to sleep at the same time. No staying up late and sleeping in just because it's Summer. Sticking to a bed and wake time is important for your body to stay on a sleep cycle.
Since starting an adult evening routine, I can honestly say my nights have been amazing. Creating an intentional evening spills over into every aspect of my life. I feel more relaxed than ever. I am enjoying my self-care time and love having my days planned. My mornings are virtually stress free. Sleep is my friend and I wake up feeling more refreshed. My husband and I really appreciate our time spent together. It's nice to have mini date nights all week long. Planning our time together is expanding our regular TV watching pastime into more meaningful activities.
Creating an Evening Routine Summary
- An adult evening routine for after the kids go to bed is the best way to end your day for a more organized, relaxed, and well rested you.
- Create Your Evening Routine – Brainstorm by yourself and with your partner for ideas that will help your evenings function better.
- Customize your evening routine by writing out a timeline of events from the moment your kids go to bed until your bedtime. Fill in the spaces with ideas from your brainstorm list.
- Evaluate and adjust your new bedtime routine after trying it out. Keep on adjusting until you have the perfect night time routine for you.
- Enjoy a happier more productive you!
Do you think an adult evening routine will work for you? Is anything holding you back from creating one?