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My Evening Routine (The Fall 2017 Edition)

Photo by Tammy Strobel

Fall is here! The temperatures are starting to drop, and the light is changing. I’m going to miss the bright summer evenings, but I won’t miss the smoke from the wildfires. I hope fall will bring cooler temperatures and rain to our region.

Fall also means that my husband, Logan, has an overly full schedule. In addition to working a full-time job, he’s teaching part-time at a local community college. Logan loves his day job and teaching, and that’s why he’s working crazy hours. Since Logan works in the evenings, it’s just me and the cats on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights. Since I’m alone in the evenings—and not spending as much time on my phone—I decided to restructure my evening routine.

During weeknights, here’s what my routine typically looks like:

—I turn off my computer and put my smartphone on silent at 6:00 p.m. To unwind, I play with the cats, do mobility exercises, go for a walk, or read.

—Then, it’s time to reheat dinner. On Sundays, we’ve been preparing our meals for the week, and it’s saved us time and money. For example, last night I reheated Thai curry, and it was delicious. Other favorite dinners (and lunches) from the past week included:

  • black beans wrapped in corn tortillas with avocados, carrots, spinach, and hot sauce
  • coconut rice, chicken, and green beans

—After I eat, I read a book in my POÄNG chair or in bed. My cats, Christie and Elaina, know when it’s reading time. They either battle for a spot on my lap, or Elaina will snuggle with me in bed. Without the distraction of my smartphone, I’ve been flying through books. Over an eight-day period, I read three non-fiction books (including The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, Bored and Brilliant by Manoush Zomorodi, and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown.

—When I end my work day, I leave my phone in my purse or on my desk. I still use my phone as my alarm clock because it’s challenging to hit snooze if my alarm is on my desk. However, I purchased a small vintage-themed clock for my bedside, and it’s assuaged my need to check my phone at night. Other than our phones and laptops, we don’t have a clock in the house. It’s nice to know what time it is without picking up my phone.

—Getting enough sleep is essential to my well-being, so I try and close my eyes by 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. because I get up between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. to attend a 6:00 a.m. CrossFit class. Also, I’m obsessed with my bed, bedding, and pillows.

My routine isn’t static, and it’s subject to change. For example, if I have the chance to hang out with friends or attend an event that sounds interesting—I go! Recently, Logan and I went to a local comedy night, and it was hilarious. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time, and with all the crazy events that are happening in the world—storms, earthquakes, politics, etc.—laughter, sleep, and sticking to mindful routines help me stay grounded.

With gratitude,
Tammy

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  • Kathy September 30, 2017, 12:32 pm

    I loved reading about your evening routine–too often we forget that we have more control over our free time than we think we do. Being mindful and actually choosing what we do with it is so much more satisfying than mindlessly watching TV or surfing the net and finding that it’s 11 p.m. and where did the evening go? Not that this has ever happened to me ;). I’ve been wanting to make my evenings more enriching, and your post is just another nudge in that direction. Thanks for sharing!

    • Tammy Strobel October 2, 2017, 11:31 am

      YAY! That makes me happy. Let me know how things go. 🙂

  • Annie September 30, 2017, 1:49 pm

    Sounds similar to mine. I also cook big on the weekends so we can reheat and/or have a time consuming part of a recipe already done, like browning mushrooms for both a frittata and pesto pizzas during the week. Three days a week I take classes in my community center, two days for tai chi, one for meditation after dinner. After that I settle into my bedroom to stretch and practice tai chi for 30 minutes on my non-class days and then read until 9:30 p.m. I often listen to Rainy Mood while I read as it relaxes me towards sleep. Then I move my phone out of the bedroom and it’s lights out by 10:00 p.m. so I can get up at 6:00 a.m. fully rested. In the last few years since I started keeping a regular sleep routine I find not only has my sleep improved but so has my immune system. I rarely get sick now even when everyone at work is passing a bug around.

    • Tammy Strobel October 2, 2017, 11:31 am

      That sounds like a lovely routine, Annie. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rebecca | Seven2Seven8 October 2, 2017, 9:39 am

    I am really struggling to disconnect from the blue screens. I want to read more, but I do enjoy reading blogs and articles online, and find myself scrolling much later and more often than I would like. Truly something I need to work on.

    • Tammy Strobel October 2, 2017, 11:30 am

      You can do it, Rebecca! 🙂

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