I'm all about routines.
They make me feel safe, and in control, and like I have my shit together.
I guess maybe I could loosen up a little, but I really feel like my best self when I'm consistent with my habits, patterns, and rituals.
Also, I care a LOT about sleep. It's a basic human need and I think it's weird when people brag about not needing very much of it (ahem, POTUS, ahem.) Like, you only need 4 hours of sleep to function and "make good decisions", tough guy? How very college of you. Sleep is super important for your hormones, skin, mood, happiness, productivity, selfie game....you name it!
I mean, I realize some people actually need less sleep than others. Good for them. But according to everything I've read, most people need between 7 and 9 hours each night.
I function really well on a solid 8 hours of sleep. And I function reeeeeeally well with an extra pep in my step on 8 and a half hours.
I just don't need to keep learning the lesson that sleep is good, and that the recipe for a good day (and a good week) is staying on a schedule and getting some Z's.
Also, you can totally get jet-lagged without crossing any time zones. If you get up at 6:00am Monday through Friday and then sleep in until 10:00am on the weekends, your body still needs to adjust for the 4 hours. I'm not a total robot about it, but I do try to not vary my wake times by more than an hour or two if I can help it.
Anyway, back to my nightly routine.
Basically, as soon as I get home from work, I put comfy clothes on. And by 'comfy clothes', I mean I get in my pajamas at 5:30pm.
Then it's time to make dinner. Joe and I usually start making dinner by 5:30 or 6:00. We've been on the meal kit delivery train for a while now and have settled on Sun Basket as our favorite (more on this later.) While we cook dinner, I will sometimes go wash my face. (I'm super into winding down from the day as soon as effing possible and this gets the process started.)
My nightly beauty routine goes like this:
- Wash my face with organic olive oil
- Let my face dry for 10 minutes (This is what you're supposed to do before applying Retin-A. Apparently, if you apply it to wet skin, it intensifies the medication and your face will freak out.)
- Apply Retin-A to my face, neck, chest, and hands (That's right, hands. They say a woman's hands show her age. In the summer, I only do this every other night. It doesn't work as well with sun-exposed skin, so I go every 2 days in the summer and every day in the winter.)
- Let the Retin-A soak in for 5-10 minutes
- Apply this magic lotion that I love so much (My friends and I call it "the frosting lotion." It's made with manuka honey, aloe vera, and coconut oil, and it will solve some of your problems.)
- Steal one of those little flosser things from Joe's bathroom drawer and get the gunk out of my teeth
- Brush my teeth with my quip toothbrush (Joe and I got a pair of these last year and really like them. They have super sexy marketing, make you brush for 2 minutes twice a day, and send you new brush heads and toothpaste every 3 months. Also, last time I went to the dentist, I got an A+ score from the dental hygienist and I attribute it to quip.)
- Put a little bit of beauty oil on (I usually only do this step on my off days with Retin-A, or sometimes every day, depending on how dry my skin is. I've been using Burt's Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil, which used to be called Burt's Bees Repair Serum. When that bottle runs out, I'm switching to this jojoba oil because it has over 6,000 Amazon reviews and a perfect 5/5 stars.)
- Apply my mixture of 1 part coconut oil and 1 part castor oil to my eyebrows (This is a trick I learned on Youtube that helps them grow in when they're sparse)
- Pop in my Invisalign retainers
- Braid my hair into a low braid that won't bug me while I'm sleeping
After (or sometimes before) my beauty routine is done, I like to lay out my work and workout clothes for the next morning. It helps me sleep better.
I am a sporadically OCD weirdo, and have always been this way.
Also, sometimes around this time, I like to stretch, especially if I didn't get to it after my morning workout.
To cap off the evening, I usually read a book or watch a show with Joe. Lately we've been into Ozark on Netflix, The History of Comedy and The Nineties on CNN and MTV's The Challenge. (I still keep up with the Teen Moms too, do you have a problem with that?)
I am totally guilty of using melatonin and sometimes Advil PM to help me get to sleep and am 0% apologetic about it. Quality sleep is important to me. Sometimes I can get it naturally. Sometimes I can't. I am a very busy woman and adequate sleep is a non-negotiable ingredient to my productivity. IMO, assuring myself a good 7-8 hours of sleep each night greatly outweighs any side effects from using supplements some nights. Like, I live a good life. We all have our vices. (I haven't noticed any side effects anyway, so back off.)
I also use the bedtime feature on the alarm clock app on my iPhone. You set your preferred wakeup time, how many hours of sleep you want to get, and how long before you go to sleep you want to start winding down. I usually have it set to wake me up at 5:00am, that I want at least 7 and a half hours of sleep, and that I'd like to start winding down an hour before I'm asleep. So at 8:30, my phone sweetly tells me via the first few notes of "Lullaby & Goodnight" that it's time to start reading a book or snuggling up.
Joe got me a My Pillow for Christmas last year. The infomercials aren't lying. It's actually the best pillow and makes me sleep better.
I've always been super into going to bed early. It's like controlled sleeping in. If you know you need a certain number of hours of sleep in order to feel refreshed, you can make it happen by getting to sleep at a certain time. Joe used to think I was a super-nerd for this, but he gets it now. A few weeks ago, he was all distressed because we didn't get to bed before 10:00pm on a Sunday evening! I taught him the good life.
Oh and sometimes I get that creepy dry feeling on my hands from handling paper books. Since I'm usually already comfy-cozy in bed, I keep a travel size hand cream within arm's reach. Lip balm too. Just in case.
Well, I think that's all! I'm off to go take my makeup off and start cooking dinner like the little routine freak I am.