With the right routine, you can get into a good headspace, which will allow you to shut off your overthinking mind and sleep better.
I never used to believe in having an evening routine. Like many people, I didn’t think I needed one. Instead, I’d sit and watch TV for hours and scroll on my phone until my eyes were too heavy to stay open and then I’d head to bed… where I’d spend the next hour tossing and turning until I fell asleep. As an introvert, it took a while for my overthinking brain to relax.
It wasn’t ideal, but what else could I do? I lived in a cramped bungalow with my grandparents at the time and I was short on things to do. I felt bored with my evening routine and, deep down, I knew I was feeling uninspired in life.
When I moved in with my partner, I knew something had to change. Here I was in a more spacious property, in a different town, living with the person I loved most of all. I didn’t want to fall back into old habits — I wanted to make the most out of my time. So I created an evening routine that I stick to most days, because I know it works for me. With the right routine, you, too, can get in a good headspace, which will allow you to shut off your overthinking mind, fully relax, and get a better night’s sleep. After all, as introverts, our bedrooms are our havens, so we might as well make the most of the time we spend in them.
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A 5-Step Evening Routine for Introverts
1. Switch out of work mode and put your laptop away (and keep it away).
As someone who works from home and sets my own schedule, it can be hard establishing a work-life balance, but it’s something I’m working on. Most days, after 4 p.m., I finish what I’m working on and respond to any urgent emails before closing down my laptop and shutting down work mode.
Finishing work earlier in the day gives me plenty of time to prepare dinner and unwind for the evening. During this time, I try to avoid social media and the news, as this can contribute to unwanted feelings of stress and sadness — which only makes me think (and overthink) even more.
2. Spend time with loved ones, whether it’s your partner or your pet.
During my working hours, I spend most of my time in my own company. As an introvert, I’ve become accustomed to spending a lot of time by myself. Although I cherish this time to grow and work on myself, I do start to miss the company of others.
So, after I’m done with work, I make an effort to spend quality time with my partner and cat, as these are the two beings I cherish most of all. They make me feel good, and it’s important that I surround myself with love, positivity, and inspiration. Spending time with the person and animal I love makes me appreciate my situation, which allows me to relax more in the evenings.
3. Watch a feel-good TV show.
Although I do try to stay away from screens when I’m not working, I can’t resist a feel-good TV show in the evening. My favorites are quiz shows, light-hearted dramas, and documentaries. I usually watch them with my partner while we have our dinner, and we both really appreciate spending that time together. We don’t often do candlelit dinners, but this feels just as special and relaxing.
4. Unwind with a gentle yoga session.
I like to practice yoga for several reasons — it keeps me calm and grounded, it’s great for clearing the mind, and it provides me with a few moments of stillness. My favorite positions at the moment are Child’s Pose, Standing Half Moon, Forward Fold, and Warrior Pose, but I tend to switch these up regularly to challenge myself.
When I’m doing yoga, I try to focus on my breathing and how it feels to completely stretch out the muscles in my body. As an introvert, taking some time out of the day to bring some peace and calm into my life is important for my mental well-being. For me, yoga helps me relax and get present before bed. Whether you do yoga, meditate, or just sit in silence a while, the idea is to do whatever helps calm you down.
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5. Do Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR).
Before I go to sleep, I like to relax my mind by watching Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) videos on YouTube. They’re videos wherein people do quiet things on camera, from whispering to brushing their hair. (Fun fact: Even celebrities like Jeff Goldblum and Eva Longoria are into ASMR and have videos up.) There are also ASMR podcasts, and some research has found that ASMR can help reduce stress and insomnia.
I often find myself feeling stressed and anxious due to work, health, and other reasons beyond my control, so ASMR allows me to find a way through that. I enjoy watching visual role plays, along with gentle sounds, which allows me to clear my head and let myself loosen up. (There’s such a big variety of ASMR videos online that you will find something you like, trust me!) This is one of the most essential parts of my evening routine, because without it, I’d find it very difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.
Now, if you don’t have an established evening routine yet, here’s why you should.
Why Every Introvert Should Have an Evening Routine
1. Structure helps calm an overactive mind.
Many introverts feel emotions on a heightened level, which is why we may be more affected by news stories and world disasters. We tend to overthink and keep our thoughts to ourselves, and this can cause our minds to go into overdrive with so many different thoughts and feelings all over the place.
Having a go-to evening routine provides some structure, control, and stability in your life, making it easier to relax and unwind. It’s important for your well-being that you have moments of calm and stillness, and this can promote better sleep. This will improve your overall health and wellness, as well, which is a goal we should all be striving for.
2. It’ll break the pattern of self-sabotage.
Let’s be honest: If none of us had any kind of routine or structure in our lives, we would often turn to the things that harm us rather than help us. Watching too much TV, scrolling through social media, and overworking are things many of us are guilty of.
But as an introvert, these habits can contribute to negative feelings and low energy levels. More than anyone, we need to value and appreciate our alone time so we can recharge our batteries for social occasions and outings. It’s hard to reset your mind and relax if you are spending too much time focusing your energy elsewhere. Remember that you don’t have to be everywhere at once — doing nothing is still something.
3. It helps prevent burnout.
For those introverts who have to socialize at work frequently, whether that’s with colleagues, customers, or a manager, having an evening routine is more important than ever. Socializing can take a toll on your well-being, as it’s incredibly exhausting, and this can inevitably lead to burnout and chronic stress.
We all need time to relax by ourselves, even if that’s just for an hour or two. Introverts gain energy from spending quiet time by themselves or with a very small, close-knit group of family or friends. This time is crucial because it allows you to reflect and appreciate that moment of calm. This time is yours, so own it!
My fellow introverts, what do you do as part of your evening routine? I’d love to hear in the comments below.