How to Incorporate a Nightly Routine if you Don't have One Already

It is finals season, and for me, the most stressful thing about these few weeks is how unorganized they make you feel. You are up late almost every night, you only shower when time allows and you almost always crash with your makeup on. Say goodbye to this normal, because incorporating a nightly routine with not only keep your self-care during finals up to par, but it will also help you feel less stressed and more organized. 


In my opinion, a nightly routine should consist of four main parts which you can add on-to if you have anything else you wish to include. These four parts include self-care, care for your physical environment, goal setting, and relaxation. 


The first part, self-care, is my favorite. This is where the makeup comes off, the showers turn on, and the teeth are brushed. As hard as it is to admit, many of us struggle to find time to take care of ourselves when making dozens of flashcards and reviewing every single vocab word our textbooks covered this semester. So, take some time every night and care for yourself. Even get out a face mask if you feel like it. Self-care is so under-appreciated during stressful times in our life when really it can help us feel ready to take on the next day. 


The second part, care for your physical environment, is not everyone’s top priority (sometimes ever). I have found that functioning in a clean space during finals week, and all of the time really, makes me a much more productive person than if I were to sit among the dozens of notebooks and highlighters I own. If you are a person that studies in the same space that you sleep in, tidy up that room before you click the light off for the night. Even if you study elsewhere, don’t forget that your home deserves a little TLC (even if it is hanging up just one shirt). Not only will you wake up with one less thing on your to-do list the next day, but you will also feel more motivated to study in a clean space. 

The third part of your nightly routine, goal setting, can serve as a great motivator for the day to come. I like to split my goals into three categories: personal, school, and work. This helps me separate different parts of my life so that I can have something to accomplish in each. However, there is no correct way to set goals for yourself, just focus on choosing something that is attainable but still pushes you in some way. This way you have a reason (or three) to feel accomplished at the end of your day. 

The final part of your nightly routine is really subjective. Relaxation can be taken in many different ways depending on the type of person you are. I have friends that like to meditate before they sleep and others who read a few pages of a book. Whether this is the case for you or you prefer to spend your relaxation time scrolling through Twitter, the most important thing to remember is that you should spend time doing something that you love for at least five minutes. You deserve it. 

The rest of your nightly routine is up to you! Whether you decide to add multiple new steps or leave it at four, you are giving yourself some time at the end of the day to get away from all of the stress that December school weeks can give. While a nightly routine like this may be easier said than done, it is one way to de-stress that you should give a try.