Book binding

Night-time routine – Reading and journaling before going to bed

I haven’t been much of a “journaler” for most of my life. I have kept diaries for taking notes, but most of my journals have taken a while before they get filled up (read years).

My recent interest in book binding has had a nice side effect – I’ve started journaling a lot more, since I enjoy writing in my own handmade books. It gives me great pleasure to write in my own handmade notebooks – I enjoy their texture, I take mental notes on what’s working and what’s not working about the diary – sometimes I write this down in the diary itself as reference notes for future projects :). And of course, I write any thoughts and musings that come to me.

Handmade journals I’m filling up! 🙂

While it’s been gratifying to be able to use my own handmade products in this way, I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy journaling. I don’t write a whole lot, but whatever little I write acts as a great way to sort of “unburden” any thoughts that might be going around in my head.

At first, I didn’t really have any routine around journaling. I would sometimes write in the mornings, sometimes I’d jot things down in the middle of the day, sometimes at night. Over time however, I have found that journaling at night is a wonderful way to decompress, and prepare myself for a good night’s sleep. I’ve always been more of a night time person, and with that comes the issue that my brain has a hard time “turning-off” at the end of the day. I’ll keep getting stray thoughts – items I need to finish the next day, projects that need my attention at work, some to-do task that I’ve forgotten….it’s annoying to not be able to tune off.

I have however found the following 3-step night time routine to be a great way to put myself in the mindset of “time for bed”, and signal to my brain that it’s time to switch off:

  1. Face wash – not only is this great for the skin, it also washes away the day’s toxic build up and automatically relaxes the tension in the face. I’ve also discovered face rollers recently – while their benefits are debatable, their massage action alone makes them worth it. This jade roller on Amazon is well rated, affordable and easy to use. I really look forward to using it every day! 🙂
  2. Journal – Once in bed, I write a few things in my handmade journal. It can be anything – things annoying me, to do lists, lingering thoughts. But it’s a great way to get rid off anything that’s looping in my mind, put it down on paper, and allow my mind to stop thinking about it. After a long day at work, I find this quite therapeutic. In fact, what I write at night makes for interesting reading at a later point. Your thoughts at the end of a day can be quite different from thoughts at the beginning of a day, and it’s interesting to see this pattern.
  3. Read – After a few minutes of journaling, I read. I read pretty much anything, typically fiction at night as it makes for lighter reading and allows me to disconnect. Even 5-10 mins reading can work wonders in helping me relax and begin to ease into sleeping.

Having a night time routine is a big shift for me. For a long time, I used to scroll through my phone before sleeping, or simply just go to bed directly. I’ve found that having a bit of a routine, however short, can create a nice transition from “alert mode”, to “sleep mode”. I love my new found routine and highly recommend it to others as a nice way to unwind at the end of a day. It can be a nice part of the day that you start looking forward to each day 🙂

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