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4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual

by | Sep 23, 2019 | Decorating Inspiration, Fall Decorating, Fall Nesting 2019, Seasonal Decorating & Entertaining

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4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual

One of my FAVORITE ways to usher in fall is to get back to my nightly rituals (or create new ones!). I have different routines I tend to practice (or aspire to) in each season, but (of course!) fall is my favorite time for rituals. It’s like rekindling a familiar friendship. It just makes me so happy to get back to a comforting rhythm for my day!

Often these practices are habits I know will serve me well in this season, but to be honest, even though I know they will be good for me, I don’t always naturally do them. I have to work at it and be intentional about it.

So just as we talked about the other day in the gratitude post, in order to be more successful in doing what we want or intend do in the mornings (or what we do not want to do, as the case might be), we have to prepare for that success the evening before.

I had a few people ask me for more specifics on how exactly I set intentions for my mornings. I’ll for sure write a new post soon sharing more of what those intentional practices are. Without practicing, I don’t succeed at anything. :)

But on a related note, today let’s look at some helpful evening rituals that can help us rest well AND get our fall mornings off to a more successful start!

If you feel frazzled at the start of the day, whether you have kids, or a job to get to, or just don’t feel like you can pull yourself together as effortlessly as you want to, this excerpt from my book Dwelling might help.

When you establish more order for your evenings, it means more peace for YOU so you can sleep better and start the day with more intention!

If you haven’t read Dwelling yet, it would make a wonderful fall read (if I do say so myself, haha?!). It’s about all of the practical and mindful things we can do to treat ourselves well in our home, so we can feel our very best.

Going into the fall and winter season, doing what we can to feel well on every level of our being is so important! While everything we feel or experience isn’t within our control to change, so much is! I love designing a better day for myself and I hope this post, and my book Dwelling, inspires you!

4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual

4 Ways to Treat Yourself Kindlier in the Evenings:

1. Focus on Your Essentials. Don’t ruin your night with a long list of tasks, but identify what tasks tip your morning over the edge to chaos and take care of them the night before.

Think of evening rituals as self-care, a thoughtful gesture to your future self, the self that will wake up tomorrow morning feeling cared for!

  • Lay out your next day’s outfit, right down to your underclothes, shoes, and jewelry.
  • Set out a clean towel for your shower (because no one enjoys hunting for one in the chill of the morning).
  • Put your cozier slippers by the bed to warm your toes. Pack yourself a lunch while you pack the kids’ lunchboxes.
  • Premeasure the coffee and get it set up in the pot.
  • Fill your water bottle and set it by your bed so it will be there when you wake up. (It’s a little thing, but it makes me happy every morning.)

2. Reset your kitchen. Give the kitchen a quick cleanup after dinner so you don’t create an unnecessary pileup that will cause you future stress. No one likes to wake up to food dried on the dinner plates that are still sitting on the counter. If you don’t have time or energy to clean after dinner, get your family on board to help, or, as a gift to yourself, serve dinner 15 minutes earlier to give yourself more of a buffer for cleanup.

3. Prepare a peaceful mood. Before bed, make sure you empty the surface of your nightstand of clutter and grab any piled-up junk, laundry, or other belongings that disrupt the calm atmosphere of your bedroom. Turn on lamps at dusk.

4. Put your mind at ease. Empty your mind of to-do lists and tomorrow’s tasks earlier in the evening. Write out plans, lingering thoughts, or nagging reminders so your brain can rest. Brew a cup of tea, turn off stress-inducing TV shows and movies, and avoid scrolling through social media in favor of reading, silence, or your favorite restful music. Experts recommend you stop using electronic screens an hour before bed because the light can affect your quality of sleep. Don’t bring work or stressful conversations to the bedroom . Let it be a place where you can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere.

– excerpt from my book Dwelling!

Bonus tip:

What aroma feels ‘peaceful + cozy’ to you in the evening? I love to set the tone for rest by filling up my diffuser with soothing essential oils that help me to relax. Lately I’ve been diffusing 3 drops Valor and 3 drops Peace & Calming every evening. It’s hard to describe the scent–it’s kind of woodsy but also sweet and citrusy? With a hint of blueberries? Lol! I’m not the best at describing how things smell, but I do know they help. I start to feel much more calm and collected the minute the diffuser starts up!

(Find the diffuser and essential oils I use and recommend here!) — no kit required, order anything you want!

4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual

Related Posts:

The Best Way to Start Your Day

Click here for cozy fall morning routines (from last year’s fall nesting series!).

8 Tips for a Tidy and Peaceful Bedroom

How to Have a Happier Home

4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual
4 Ways to Create a Life-Changing Restful Nightly Ritual

Catch up on this year’s Fall Nesting series here!


  1. Patty

    Reset the kitchen. This really struck a chord with me. Once I got this down and done…..bam! What a difference it made to walk out there in the morning. I take a few minutes to just do all the rooms I see and it puts a smile on my face

  2. Richella J. Parham

    Yes, Melissa! You have to practice these things!! We fail to attend to restful habits (including adequate sleep) to our great detriment. Thank you for the inspired tips.

  3. Renee

    We recently switched the lightbulbs in our family room and bedroom to hue bulbs & programmed the timers to run softer, warmer light colors for the evening. What a difference! I especially like the slow dim at bedtime – it’s a gentle reminder to wrap up evening activities and go to bed at a reasonable hour instead of starting *just one more task*.

  4. Paige

    Great ideas. You’re exactly right about having a clean kitchen to wake up to.

  5. Leslie W

    Restful habits before bed really make a difference and help us to transition from day to night and put our minds to rest. All great tips Melissa thank you!

  6. Bonnie Stoltzfoos

    A good night time routine is something I’d like to practice this week. Thanks for the inspiration and tips! :) I can’t wait to read Dwelling. I just ordered it this morning – what a great sale! ?

  7. jen S

    I love to curl up on the couch after dinner with jsut a few low light lamps on and watch something funny with my husband! I am looking forward to the new fall premiers this week on tv. I have been wanting to invest in the Young Living oils also, but I do love the light that a candle lit room provides.

  8. Rachel

    I’m going to work on preparing a peaceful mood by addressing all the clutter that has crept into my bedroom this summer. I definitely need to clear my surfaces. It’s a bigger job than one I can tackle just before bed because I haven’t reset in so long so I’m going to take time during the day to do this.

  9. Maureen

    The nightly ritual is so important. I have fibromyalgia and well sleep is so necessary. I do a routine to tell my body to wind down and that I am to rest and restore. Thank you for addressing this subject.

  10. Kim

    All great tips! I’m organized and keep my house clean. Don’t like dirty dishes in the sink. Now if I could just calm my thoughts before bed. I’m such a worrier. Lol. Reading Dwelling and enjoying it. I really need to work on self care more.

  11. Lila Piercey

    My nightly ritual starts around 8:30 or 9:00 (my kids are grown so I have that luxury): wash face, brush teeth and floss, gather my two cats for my reading time (real book-no device)! After I read for 30 minutes to an hour, lights out followed by meditation to relax my muscles (I start at my toes but rarely make it past my kneecaps). Also, I eat 3 prunes just before bed. The magnesium in prunes also helps relax muscles. Same routine every night for years-works for me.

    Oh…….and NO TV in the bedroom, ever!

  12. Mary Stewart

    I’m retired now but find that my sleep pattern/habits are out of control. Since I no longer have to schedule my day around work, I find that I stay up really late at night doing crafts, reading, etc. Then I get up at my usual time in the morning and feel grogged out for the rest of the day! I’m going back to my old routine so that I can get back to a normal sleep routine. Thanks for the tips, they were really helpful!

  13. gina

    No matter how tired I am, the kitchen has to be clean before I can relax and go to bed. There is nothing worse than trying to make a pot of coffee in the morning when the kitchen is a wreck!

  14. Mercedes

    Do you sell your books any other place than amazon?

  15. Christine

    I think it is absolutely essential to shut one’s mind off to extraneous stuff that will keep one awake at night. When I get plagued with stuff running wild in my head I tell myself that “I don’t need to think about this now as there is nothing I can do at this time of night.” When I get up during the night to use the bathroom, I deliberately do not think of anything pressing just so I can fall back to sleep. Because as soon as I start to think, then sleep flies out the window. So the only thought that goes through my head is “sleep, sleep, sleep.”

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Oh yes I find the same thing, I can’t let myself have any thoughts but sleep or I might as well get up for good!

  16. Samantha

    I love your Dwelling book. I started it this summer and it took a little break but I look forward to picking it back up now that it is fall!

  17. Susan

    I agree, getting a head start by getting the coffee ready, laying out the next days outfit, etc.. really does make for a smoother morning.

  18. Pam

    I think the key is to do skin care ,lotions, etc as soon as possible in the evening. Seasons of life determine the bedtime routines. I love just having me time now as an empty nester no more late night homework sessions and sports.

  19. Helene

    I’ve been enjoying Dwelling!

  20. Jeannie Maschino

    I love waking up to a clean kitchen but I fear it will never be 100 percent clean until I have an empty nest.

  21. Beth

    My weak area is putting my mind at ease. It seems I cannot stop thinking! Ugh!

  22. Leigh

    I’ve loved getting my house back into a cozier fall feeling. I finally pulled my slippers out, even in the 90 degrees here in Texas and I am loving drinking hot tea in the morning. I’m not great at evening rituals. But after my teenagers go to bed I set myself up for a comfy night, whatever it may be. I get a drink and healthy snack and cozy up on the couch next to my hubby. I really like to just roll on Tranquil right before bed since I read in bed before I sleep. It’s my favorite. I set out my to do list for the morning and do stretches before I tuck in for the night.

  23. Isabel Z

    Thank you for these wonderful tips some of which I already do each evening. It’s always good to reevaluate and see where else I can make improvements to bring more calm into my life.

  24. Angela G.

    I suffered from insomnia for a year so ritual is an important component of bedtime. As part of my recovery I began sleeping in ear plugs and so putting those in once I get into bed signals my body and mind that I am prepared to sleep. I think training ourselves by using the power of habit makes life easier. I reccomend Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit, fascinating read.

  25. Shari

    This is something I really need to be better about. I would say I’m about half way there. I do have some evening rituals that I do regularly, but there are some things I know I should do, but I just don’t make it a priority. Time to re-evaluate. Thanks for the reminder!

  26. Lynn

    If I don’t take care of my kitchen at night, I feel defeated in the morning seeing the mess. It really does start my morning off better when things are taken care of the night before.

  27. Brittany Romero

    Nighttime routines are so important! I feel so relaxed when the house is picked up and the kitchen is clean, nothing beats waking up and starting a new day with a tidy house.

  28. Cindy Bailey

    i need to start doing a brain-dump in the evening – lately, i always feel like i am forgetting something! :-(

  29. Laurie

    What tips or strategies do you have for implementing nighttime routines with a spouse who abhors routines? :)

  30. Kelly

    I have a list of the repetitive daily things (season of life — young kids, so every day is different) that I can just cut and paste into the “real” to do list, so my mind is not whirring trying to remember those things too…

    And lavender lotion on my feet inside soft socks

  31. Amanda

    I have a five year journal. I often forget to fill it in, when when I take a moment to jot down what happened during the day, it is a pleasant wind-down moment.

  32. Cassidy

    The clean kitchen is such a huge one for me and really does make a difference.

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