Now that nursing school is wrapping up, I have been reflecting on how important self-care is for those in nursing school and for our already working nurses. My nighttime routine was one of the key ways that I did self-care and I was incredibly faithful to it. I wanted to create something that could easily flip from night to day, as I knew early on that I was going to be a night shift nurse. Somehow I always felt weird doing a face mask at 8 am, even if that was my “night”!
Step 1 – and this is a long-term goal – invest in your space. Get the best mattress you can afford and sheets you love. Replace your pillows regularly. Make your bedroom a calm and comforting place you love.
None of the beauty advice I can dole out will make a bit of difference, if you are sleeping on a lumpy mattress or cannot get comfortable. Plus, today there are a ton of options from shopping in store to the salesman-free options like shopping for a new luxury mattress online at websites like Leesa!
If you work nights, it is equally important to invest in some light blocking curtains.
Step 2 – set a time to remind you when it is time to get ready. I set my alarm for an hour before I want to start following asleep. My phone is also set to adjust the light to be less jarring and more calming. The light from your phone, tv, or computer can reset your internal clock and keep you from falling asleep. So put it away.
Step 3 – start your nighttime routine.
I always like to start with my skincare routine. I remove my makeup with either a makeup remove wipe or micellar water. Currently, I am using this brand of makeup remover wipes which I picked up at TJ Maxx. They are surprisingly east on my skin.
After removing my makeup, I wash my face with the Neutrogena exfoliating face wash, which has been enormously helpful in getting rid of my nursing school related acne.I, then, pat my face dry and put on my nightly moisturizer. I am a huge fan of the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair creme, plus it is like $12!!
Finally, I brush my teeth and take out my contacts.
Step 4 – wear pajamas that make you feel like a champ. Sometime around 28 I decided it was time to invest in pajamas that I loved, rather than my old high school tees. Not that there is anything wrong with that if that is your jam, but I love the feel of putting on soft, pretty pajamas. I wear long-sleeve, long pant matching sets all year long since my house feels freezing. When I am sleeping during the day post-night shift and can adjust the temp to my taste rather than the hubby’s, I switch it up to matching short/tank set. This set is from Victoria Secret.
Step 5 – I light a candle and settle into bed. Right now, I am loving this one, which I found at TJ Maxx. Starting to notice a theme with my shopping?
It smells smoky and sultry, with no hint of sweet.
Sometimes I will drink water with lemon or a cup of herbal tea, but nothing heavy or with caffeine.
Step 6 – I try to read for 30 minutes every night, which helps relax me and settle me into bed.
While I read, I listen to a Canadian classical music show – Nocturne with Marilyn Lightstone. I love listening to this woman. She might be my spirit animal. Plus, there are backlogged episodes available, which means that when I am sleeping at night or day, I can keep my rituals intact.
Finally, I fall asleep.
I try to religiously keep my routine, which promotes my self care and helps me greatly deal with flipping my sleep schedule. If you have any special nighttime routines, I’d love to hear it!