Hello. Yes, it’s been a while. Sorry about that. I was busy watching The Bachelor (as you probably know if you watch my Instagram Stories) and bingeing Love is Blind (as you probably know if you watch my Instagram Stories) and buying furniture (as you probably know if you watch my Instagram Stories). It’s been a month but lets be real, nothing has really changed around here.
Except for my new couch. I’m insanely excited about that.
But back to the topic for today: I was inspired to write today’s blog post while listening to an old episode of Bad on Paper (one of my favorite podcasts). They were talking about self care and they each dove into their ideal self care day. And I was like “yeah, that sounds amazing, but I don’t have 12 hours to devote to self care every day. I’ve got like 2-3. Maybe 4 on a good day. How do I practice self care during the work week so I’m rejuvenated and ready for the next day?”
And then I realized several things:
- I definitely have a weeknight self care routine. And I practice it religiously.
- I’m a blogger (who, admittedly, doesn’t blog all that frequently), and I could just write an entire post to pose and then answer that exact question.
So, I posed the question. And my weeknight self care routine is below. So keep reading.
It can be really hard balancing self care and a hectic work schedule. Often, establishing and maintaining a weeknight self care routine is pretty far down the list of to-do’s. Especially given the time constraint on weeknights.
I work fairly far from my house, so I’m typically not getting home till 6:30PM or later. It’s not realistic for me to then launch into a 10 mile walk or do any of my other favorite self care day activities – I just don’t have the time during my workweek evenings.
So, I create my own mini self care day routines each and every evening.
I like to unwind by cooking and socializing… ideally at the same time.
For starters, whenever possible, I try to cook. I love cooking. Unfortunately, if I start to get hangry, I lose all decision-making capabilities and end up ordering in (and consuming) a feast. BUT I really love cooking and eating clean. Lately, I’ve been working my way through the Defined Dish Cookbook and I’m absolutely obsessed with every recipe I’ve made.
However, cooking alone combined with living alone can get pretty lonely. As a result, I like to cook dinner with a friend at least once or twice each week. I’m really outgoing, so spending an evening this way leaves me feeling happy and rejuvenated.
One quick note here: I do try to avoid drinking during the workweek. If I go out for drinks with friends or on a date, I typically have a cocktail or two. However, I hardly ever drink when I cook at the house (or at a friend’s house) during the week.
My one exception to that rule? If the recipe calls for wine. I mean, the bottle’s already open and it’s just the responsible thing to do at that point.
The most important part of my weeknight self care routine: clearing my mind.
I’m not going to lie: I love watching TV. After dinner, I love nothing more than to curl up on my *new* couch (very excited right now!) and watch some super addictive drama. My friends tease me for watching quite literally everything on Netflix / HBO / Starz / Hulu / etc., but I really do feel happier after watching an episode or two after a long day.
Watching TV helps me clear my mind and de-stress and those are two necessary components of any self care day routine – weeknight or otherwise.
Sometimes, instead, I watch an episode while in the bathtub or while sitting in bed. Typically I’ll start something on the TV downstairs, move it to my iPad as I go sit in the bathtub, continue watching it as I do my nightly skincare routine, and then switch it off as I climb in bed.
At that point, I switch to my latest book. This is the one part of my weeknight routine that I always do, no matter what else is happening in my life. I read every single night before bed, at least one chapter. Right now, I’m rereading the Red Rising series as I wait for my book club to sort out its next pick.
Beauty and skincare are both huge parts of my weeknight self care routine.
While I don’t believe that having a beauty routine is the same thing as practicing self care, I do believe that beauty is an important care of self care. As I’ve mentioned time and time again (and, most recently, here), I love skincare and doing face masks. I find skincare really calming… so a very important part of how I unwind each day after work is doing my skincare routine, often including face masks.
My skincare routine is currently pretty simple. I take off my makeup, cleanse my face, and then put on my moisturizer and eye cream. If I do a face mask, I’ll include that in between my cleanser and moisturizer (or just use it as my moisturizer!). Sometimes, I’ll do the face mask while sitting in the bath, soaking in epsom salts and bubbles, and watching my TV show. Sometimes, I’ll do it while painting my nails or doing some other kind of maintenance activity.
How I ensure I’m rejuvenated and well rested for the following day:
Last but certainly not least: sleep. This might be the most important step of my weeknight self care routine. While I’m one of those freaks that can function on as little as 3 hours of sleep (I once adventured for 8 hours in Berlin on 3 ½ hours of sleep after landing!), I find that I really need at least 8 or 9 hours in order to feel my most alert the next day.
I try to get in bed no later than 10:30PM, so then I can have 30 minutes to read and unwind before falling asleep around 11PM.
To ensure I have the best quality sleep, I take melatonin gummies and set my thermostat to the same temperature each night. My sheets, comforter, and pillowcases are all cool but oh-so cozy when I get into bed.
The last thing I do before getting into bed is I put my phone on the charger and I don’t pick it up again till the morning. FYI that’s not because of blue light concerns (I read on my iPad each night in bed, after all): I put my phone away because I can be endlessly distracted by my text conversations, emails, and social media.
I then read for 20-30 minutes and then, as I start to feel sleepy, I turn on my white noise machine and go to sleep!
And If Shopping is Your Self Care…
In the event shopping is your self care (no judgement), there’s an awesome Shopbop sale going on right now. Here are the details:
- You can get up to 25% off full-price styles by using the code SPRING
- The more you spend, the more you save: Shopbop is offering 15% off of orders of $200+, 20% off of orders of $500+, and 25% off of orders of $800+
- The sale ends tomorrow night at 11:59PM PT, so act fast!
Now’s the perfect time to buy a pair of Melissa sandals for summer (aka that brand I rave about all summer, every summer). You can grab a pair of white jeans or my favorite summer bag. Or you can stock up on classics like Vince sweaters or BaubleBar statement earrings.
Click here to shop the sale.
What’s your weeknight self care routine? Do you do the same things each night after work, or do you like to shake things up? Share your tips in the comments below!