The Best Evening Routine, Based on Your Self-Care Style
We can all agree self-care is necessary, yes? But given that there are so many ways to pamper ourselves, it can be tough to decide where to start. You may have heard of the popular “love languages." In the same vein, Atkins—the originator of the ketogenic, low-carb lifestyle—has created five Self-Care Styles to help you sustain your mind, body and soul: Energize, Nourish, Connect, Give and Calm. To figure out which bucket you fall into, think about what makes you the happiest. Do you feel your best when you’re on the treadmill? Then your style is most definitely “Energize.” Maybe feel a greater sense of reward when you’re helping others, in which case your self-care style is “Give.” Once you identify yours, read on to see which wind-down routine is best suited for you.
Self-Care Style: Energize
- Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood
- Give yourself a foot massage using a richly scented cream
- Do some light stretching before bed
As an “energize” self-care style, you crave sweat: hitting the gym, going for a run or even taking a quick power nap to reset and refuel. To start winding down for the night after dinner, take a walk to aid in digestion while also blowing off any extra steam. With all your hustle and bustle, be sure to pay extra attention to your feet since they’re getting you from A to B. A soothing foot massage in a rich scent you love should do the trick. Finally, before getting into bed, do a few nighttime stretches to relieve sore muscles so you wake up feeling refreshed and invigorated.
Self-Care Style: Calm
- Go device-free starting at 8 p.m.
- Treat yourself to an indulgent yet guilt-free dessert
- Burn your favorite candle while listening to calming music
Your ultimate idea of self-care is serious R&R, which is why you should block out all pings, pop-ups and notifications starting at a certain hour—say, 8 p.m. Go screen-free and set your phone to Do Not Disturb in order to make the most of your precious me-time. Then, satisfy your sweet tooth with a calming treat, like the new keto-friendly Atkins Endulge Dessert Bars. Launching this month in all major stores (including Target and Walmart), the dessert bar contains only 1 gram of sugar and comes in three flavors—Lemon Tart, Strawberry Cheesecake or Chocolate Caramel Fudge—and is the answer to your nighttime cravings, but without the guilt. Finally, stay away from the TV—instead, light your Boy Smells candle (or whichever is your go-to) and tune into Spotify’s Calm Vibes playlist to really slow yourself down before hitting the hay.
Self-Care Style: Connect
- Call a long-distance family member or friend
- Reset your mood with a gratitude journal
- Meditate with an app
As someone who finds comfort in compassion and attachment, a “connect” self-care style should use their evenings to better their relationship with others and themselves. Start by phoning someone you don’t get to speak with often, then take stock of your own feelings by jotting down a few things you’re grateful for. Finally, decompress from the day by using a meditation app like Calm that helps you more easily tap into your own thoughts and nurtures the most important connection of all: the one between mind and body.
Self-Care Style: Give
- Meal prep with your S.O.
- Practice mindful breathing
- Turn on your essential oil diffuser
As a “giver,”, you feel your best when you’re helping others, so make a delicious dinner or meal-prep for lunch the next day with your partner or roommate. You’ll find that doing something productive for yourself and others is the best way to relax after a stressful day. Next, try a breathing technique like "square breathing" in order to give yourself space and time to fully decompress from the day. Finally, give your mind and body a break with essential oils, either in a diffuser or applied topically (just make sure to have a carrier oil mixed with it as well). Might we suggest lavender oil, which can help you feel calm and relieve stress? After all, you have to give back to yourself so that you can continue to give to others.
Self-Care Style: Nourish
- Wind down with a luxurious bath
- Drink chamomile tea with lemon
- Set aside time to read your favorite book
“Nourish” self-care styles find the most comfort and relaxation in the familiar and indulgent. Start with a peaceful candlelit bath or a hair-towel and clay mask, making sure to find time to nourish your skin from head to toe. To indulge your taste receptors, pour yourself a cup of chamomile tea with honey or lemon. The tea contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness and reduce insomnia. Finally, feed your mind by cozying up to a good book to help you drift off to sleep.