Personal Training and Wellness Advice from Crux Fitness – My Evening Routine
The evening routine clears the mind from the day’s bullshit and sets you up for a restful night of sleep. It prevents insomnia by allowing for a period of mindful, single-focus stimulation (versus the daily tsunami of sensory input from technology and other people) as well as reflection so that you’re better prepared for the next day and have a better chance of not fucking up with the same mistakes day after day. Due to individual needs, everyone’s evening routine should be different, but in my opinion there are three core principles that must be followed when constructing this super important nighttime ritual:
- Prepare for the next day. Write down everything you have to do tomorrow in a journal or planner. Write down the focus for the day. Write down the type of exercise you’ll be doing. Write down the mandatory to-do list. Write down the hopefully optimistic (i.e. the if-I-have-extra-time-and-motivation) to-do list. Pack your bag or purse with all the shit you may need the following day. Set out the clothes you plan to wear by the foot of your bed.
- Reflect on everything that happened during the day. Journaling is probably the best way to do this, but it would probably be equally effective if you wanted to sit down with some chill music and think these thoughts in your head. What were the biggest victories during the day? Oh, you abstained from the Doritos and made time to file your taxes? Fuck yeah, give yourself a mental pat on the back. Conversely, in which areas did you shit the bed a little? Don’t be too hard on yourself, write those mistakes down so that you can consciously make the choice the following day to become better. Evening reflection time is key for quelling ruminating thoughts and for keeping you on the path of growth and positivity.
- Unplug. Stay away from the ADD-machines (i.e. phone, computer, and TV) at least an hour before bed. Pre-bedtime is a time for mindful, non-automatic experiences and interactions. Reading, meditating, light movement, or sex are all great examples of mindful experiences that allow you to become present and slow the erratic, racing mind.
By following these three key principles, anyone can construct their own effective evening routine. When performed consistently you’ll notice a reduction in anxiety, depression, and an overall increase in your capacity to get, and keep your shit together. Very important for living a good life. Anyways, if anyone is curious, here’s the most recent rendition of my ever-evolving evening routine:
7:45pm-ish: Take my SIBO meds. Shout out to my naturopath Dr. Drew Jamieson, the only doctor who’s been able to fix my long-standing IBS. He can also deadlift more than me, which I think is pretty cool.
7:46pm: Pack my food for the next day (for the 87th time, don’t forget the fucking spoon, Pat). Fill up a thermos with hot water and set it beside the SIBO meds I’ll have to take the following morning.
7:49pm: Take out my work clothes for the following morning. Crew socks, shorts, t-shirt – standard meathead uniform. Possibly smoke a little weed or eat an edible.
7:51pm: Brush my teeth, wash my face.
7:54pm: Break out the planner and write down everything I need to do the next day. Reflect on the day’s victories and losses. Put the planner into my backpack along with my laptop.
8:10pm: Go into the bedroom and read. I usually like reading fiction in the evening in order to turn off the cognitive problem-solving part of my brain, but recently I’ve been reading Conscious Coaching by Brett Bartholomew.
8:30pm: Set the alarm for 4:53am. Prop myself up on a cushion and meditate for 15 to 20 minutes. Sometimes I’ll play a guided meditation on my phone. Other times I’ll play soft music. Sometimes I even go full hippie and light a few candles in the dark.
As always, if you’d like to know more about, and start taking responsibility for your own health, fitness, and wellness, please reach out to Crux Fitness Richmond for any of your personal training needs.
Patrick Koo – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and Personal Trainer at Crux Fitness Richmond