There is a lot of talk about a morning routine, but few people talk about the importance of a good evening routine.
My last post weighed in on a morning routine. And yes, a morning routine sets the stage for the rest of the day. It is important tto understand that while your morning routine is imperative, so is your evening routine.
The importance of a good evening routine gets overlooked. But our evening routine is just as vital as our morning. God sees the start of your day from a different perspective.
God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:5, NKJV)
The evening and the morning were the first day. Considering the night before, a part of your current day may seem odd, but God links them together. Even if you don’t subscribe to the truth of Genesis 1:5, you cannot argue that your day begins while you are sleeping. A good night’s sleep is the genesis of a great day. You will struggle to experience a fantastic day if you fail to check the box of needed rest.
Rest is not something that most Americans prioritize. And yes, it is costing us dearly.
“Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing — anything — is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet ever-growing expectations, we do not rest.”
-John English Lee
You cannot outperform a poor night’s sleep. Eventually, a lack of sleep will affect your performance, attitude, and emotions.
So let’s look at when a good begin.
Phone free late nights
The world never stops. The news rolls out 24 hours a day, and the radio offers 24-hour broadcasting. The billboards shout for attention day and night.
And then there is the phone. The phone notifications alone — are enough — the text messages — are relentless. And maybe you are a phone scroll-er. Have you considered phone fatigue as a possible detractor to your rest? Continuous scanning is not a healthy habit. Maybe your tiredness is because you fail to jump off the information treadmill. Like the hamster, you run until you die. Not a good idea.
Carey Nieuwhof advises, “Stop endlessly scrolling.”
So replay your regular evening routine. Do you waste time scrolling on your phone and bowing down to FOMO? Do you hop into your pajamas, flip the lights off, crawl into bed and reach for your smartphone? Many are there. The problem is … we spend all day taking in information, and there is a “must time” to shut it off. Numerous studies have found that using your smartphone before bed is harmful to your health.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that you stop using electronic devices, like your cellphone, at least 30 minutes before bedtime. The blue light from your cell phone restrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep-wake cycle (aka circadian rhythm). The circadian rhythm is especially sensitive to blue light. Studies also show that exposure to blue light can cause damage to your retinas, and this makes it even more challenging to fall asleep and wake up the next day.
Blue light is harmful to your eyes
So here is the strategy. Turn your phone off at least one hour before bed. OK, then what? Do something that calms your soul. I realize there are days the phone must stay on. I have been there. But the everyday “grind” is unhealthy, and eventually, you will burn out. Also, living in the “grind” for many years will shorten your life span. My best evening routine is the nights I turn off the phone and grab my Bible or a good spiritual book. My brain switches from outer to inner.
Introspection is healthy and life-changing. During introspection, we connect to God and disconnect from the daily grind. When I connect to God through His Word, I am reminded of the things that God invites us to do.
- Quiet your soul
- Hunger after Me
- Abide in Me
- Seek Me
- Cast your cares
- Thirst after Me
God never called us to be busy. He called us to rest.
Martin Luther said, “The spiritual rest, which God particularly intends is this: that we not only cease from our labor and trade but much more, that we let God alone work in us and that we do nothing of our own with all our powers.”
My best evening routine includes:
- Prepare my best culinary dish for my family
- A nice walk after dinner
- Prepare the house for the end of the day
- Turn off your phone or set do not disturb one hour before bed
- Read the Bible or spiritual book
- 5–10 minutes of worship and prayer
- Hop into bed with a plan to sleep 7–8 hours
Most of us realize our current evening routine is not serving us well. I know adapting to these changes is a total life change. But you can do it.
Every positive change requires hard work and accountability. So turn off that phone tonight and receive the reward of a fantastic day. You won’t regret it.
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This post first appeared here.