May was a chaotic month in the Love Audrey household. We navigated another burst ovarian cyst {me}, Covid Round Two {Izzy and Carl}, an emergency dental situation {Carl}, a cancelled trip to Norway and half term. Then, on the first day of June, our car broke down near Leeds and we had to be towed back to Bristol. A journey that should have taken six and a half hours took closer to twelve and we all needed a few days to recover. Meanwhile, the car is still waiting to be fixed.

Throughout these major disruptions, I’ve been grateful for the rhythms and rituals I’ve worked hard to create at home and within my business. When things go wrong and they fall apart, the fact they exist at all makes it so much easier to get back on track.

Morning routines get a lot of airtime, but how you end the day is just as important. If my evening rhythm is off, my days never start as smoothly as they should.

The timings are pretty flexible to allow for days that don’t fit the normal flow of events, but here’s what my evenings look like right now…

  • Early Finish

I rarely work past 4pm. Being around for my kids when they get home from school has always been a top priority and I’ve built my business around this goal. I end every working day by writing a quick to-do list ready for the following morning.

Now they’re older, there’s less for me to do when the children get home from school and college, but I still like being there to chat, fix them a snack and generally hang out. I also use the time before dinner to power through a few chores and catch up on my favourite podcasts.

  • Family Dinner

We don’t always eat the same food, but we dine together as a family almost every night and have done since the children were very small. Having survived seasons where this was not much fun at all, we’ve finally reached a point where it brings us all a lot of joy. I’m glad we committed to this habit and stuck with it because I’m sure it’s something I’ll really miss when the children have flown the nest.

  • Reset & Recharge

After dinner, we usually clear the kitchen and complete whatever that day’s task is on our cleaning schedule {I talked about this on a recent episode of Friends With Business Benefits – How to Do Life and Run a Business}. The main living space is tidied, packed lunches are prepared for the following day and the kids get ready for bed.

Meanwhile, I retreat to the bathroom. Most evenings, I take a bath, listen to music and read my book. When I don’t feel like soaking in the tub, I’ll still spend some time slowly removing my makeup and applying skincare. Sometimes I use this part of the evening to do something creative like letter writing or a spot of scrapbooking.

  • Tea & TV

The children head upstairs around 8.30pm to do their own thing. We don’t have an official ‘lights out’ policy, but Jesse is generally asleep by 9.30pm and Izzy tends to follow suit around 11pm. Once they’re out the way, we settle down to watch TV or a film. I try to avoid alcohol during the week, so I usually have a mug of fruit tea. Twinings Cranberry & Raspberry and Strawberry & Elderflower are my current favourites.

  • Book Then Bed

I am a big fan of early nights and sleep in general! I’m almost always in bed by 10pm, but I do read for at least 30 minutes before finally falling asleep. At this time of year, I rely on a silk sleep mask to block out as much light as possible and help me drift off. In winter, I love the sunset function on my Lumie* alarm clock {which is worth every penny – I’ve had mine years}.

  • The Benefits of an Evening Rhythm

Brooke McAlery, whose book Destination Simple* taught me everything I know about rhythms and everyday rituals, says it best…

‘You can settle gently into the evening… you can prepare yourself for rest… you can sleep calmly, knowing you’re prepared for the next day – your home is tidy, you know what needs to happen in the morning: you’re ready.’ 

What does your evening rhythm look like these days? I’d love to hear all about it

Love Audrey xxx

P.S. My Morning Rhythm

P.P.S. A version of this post originally appeared in Letters From Love Audrey, my monthly newsletter filled with creative inspiration for you and your business. If you’ve enjoyed reading this and would like more of the same in your inbox, you can sign-up here.

*Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate which means I’ll make a few pennies if you make a purchase.

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