As I am nearing the end of my university experience, I have become tired of the lack of routine- especially when it comes to nighttime. A few weeks ago I realised I hadn’t been letting myself fall asleep early enough. When at university, I just assume I’ll be awake until about half eleven and have conditioned myself into this bizarre routine. At school I never had an urge to be awake past nine and I wanted this lifestyle back. When at uni, with the help of the cosiest routine, I am in bed most nights by ten/half ten. The thought of the process I have developed makes me super excited for evening to roll about and prepare for a 10/10 sleep.
Although the main bulk of my attempt at an evening routine is shutting-down-focused, I have really started to value the brilliance of exercise in producing a happily fatigued evening. Previously I would power through any fatigue I’d feel from any training and get myself into a weird, uncomfortable state of awake. Recently I’ve been super invested in the outdoors, making the most of walks as well as my normal exercise, in turn helping my getting sleepy process later on which, of course, allows for a more complete sleep.
As of right now, I can’t make any “no laptop evenings” rules because university work doesn’t often give me a break after four pm. Because of this, from six/seven pm onwards I try to get my body to slowly switch off before my laptop screen turns black. To do this I have been trying to do all of the clearing up an evening requires. I’ll clear my bed (I’ve always been a “I’ll just chuck that on the bed” person), take off any make-up and do my skin care routine before brushing and plaiting my hair. There’s something quite nostalgic about this and makes the stress of university lift a little (or maybe I’m just being sentimental).
As soon as I’m feeling bed-ready, I’m still likely to need to finish off some work. I do so with a candle on in the background (don’t worry mum- it’ll be blown out before I get sleepy!) and pyjamas on (and the brightness on my laptop turned down as low as possible!). This more relaxed approach to doing work both makes me feel more at ease with any essay or revision, and begins the process of happy yawning.
Since I have been a bit of a boss in terms of organisation this academic year (first year me would never believe it), I don’t feel guilty when pulling out something that makes me a little more relaxed than an essay to write. At this point I’ll turn off my laptop and produce some background bedtime inspiration. This normally takes shape in the form of a Disney piano collection on YouTube. Disney songs performed only with the help of a piano is SO relaxing. Since my brother and I are planning our trip to Rome at the moment, I have enjoyed looking through the cookbook and guide he bought me, getting cooking and travel inspiration.
Recently I’ve been trying to get myself into the swing of reading again, after the longest hiatus I’ve had from consistently reading. I switch off the music, avoid my phone as much as humanly possible and delve back into a fictional world that only ever welcomes me. For me it’s the most natural way of winding down before feeling sleepy enough to join my own fictional world.
And before I know it, I’m out! Zzz…
~ Kat ~