Do you have a nighttime routine that works for you?
Or do you struggle to find things to do when bored at night?
After a hard day’s work, it is not unusual to struggle with insomnia. It is frustrating when you are finding it hard to fall asleep, waking up several times during the night (with no idea of things you could do) and lying in bed bored!
Personally, developing healthy routines and habits has never come easy. BUT, I made progress with my night-time routine after reading a book by James Clear called Atomic Habits. It helped revolutionise a lot of aspects in my life.
The key takeaway from this book is that a slight change in behaviour will improve your life. BUT, if you turn that behaviour into something habitual, it can lead to massive changes.
James highlights that it is not about making breakthroughs or transforming your entire life overnight, however, it is about the little behavioural changes we make.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
12 Guilt Free Things to Do When You Are Bored at Night
By figuring out what sort of stuff to do when bored at night, you could drift off to sleep more quickly.
So, when you are bored at night, what things can you do?
Let’s explore this properly with 12 things to do before you go to bed.
If photography is a passion of yours, then try night time photography. Photography at night can reveal views that people aren’t used to seeing.
For example, with long exposures, you’ll see stars you didn’t realise were there. Areas you are familiar with will look different at night.
This can be an interesting activity and you could produce stunning images which could eventually earn you some income.
Put on Some Relaxing Music
Music is highly effective for relaxation and managing stress.
A slow and calming music can help relax your muscles and quiet your ‘monkey’ mind, making you feel appeased and releasing the stress of the day.
Personally, I love listening to music to make me relax at night.
My favourite is the compilation below on YouTube by Soothing Relaxation.
This is a way to reward yourself after working so hard on your allocated cases.
You may feel exhausted and tensed, and this is an excellent way to tell your body that it needs to relax now.
It is a perfect way to spoil yourself and to practice self-love! Check out my article on 57 Ways To Practice Self-love HERE.
- Take a long, warm and relaxing bath
- Have a bubble bath
- Massage your head
- Brush your teeth
- Use a mouth wash
- Use dental floss to remove food and dental plaque from between teeth in areas where your toothbrush cannot each. This can help prevent gingivitis and plaque build-up.
- Wear a comfy clothing
- Have your favourite drink!
Shhhh…. of all the things to do when having dull nights at home, this is what I regularly go after!
Dancing releases endorphins or the happy hormones, which help reduce stress and makes the body feel optimistic and happy.
If in doubt, try dancing to this tune by Taylor Swift – You Need To Calm Down
Light a Candle
What to do when you’re bored at night? Light a candle!
Lighting of candles brings tranquil. It has established scented candles to transform your mood.
According to Ophthalmologist Dr Annie, gazing at a lit candle in a dark room is literally calming on the brain resulting in a relaxed and creative state of mind.
My favourite candle is the Yankee Candle Calm and Quiet Place Jar.
Personally, the lemon and lavender is one of the best Yankee Candle!
I use it at night and the next day, after work, the house still smells like the candle.
Our mindset can get lost in our always-on-the-go world of social work. Training the mind to shift its focus back to ‘you’ is important.
Visualisation can be a powerful tool to help reduce stress and calm the mind.
When you visualise, you are able to relax the mind, have better health and even achieve your goals in life much quicker.
Where do you start with visualisation?
This technique demands dedication and concentration. Find a quiet place where you won’t feel disrupted.
You need to stay still and conjure up a mental image. You then close your eye and project an object or place in as much details as possible.
If you need help, try the simple stop sign technique.
Stop sign technique
This simple technique is my go-to when I need to put an end to draining thoughts. Negative thoughts can disrupt our lives.
When we face challenges, a rush of toxic thoughts fills our minds, becoming a major source of stress and anxiety.
Use this technique by visualising a big, red stop sign on an empty street with a clear blue sky overhead.
Then focus on the stop sign and repeat the word “stop”. Then visualise any tensions or anxieties leaving your body and mind.
Keep a Mental Health Journal
I keep a mental health journal to help calm and clear my mind. With this, you can release built-up feelings and everyday stress and anxieties.
Remember that an overabundance of stress can be damaging to your physical and emotional health.
Have you tried journaling? And does journaling make you feel better?
Keep a Gratitude Journal
There are several benefits of expressing gratitude.
Keeping a gratitude journal will help you write all the things you are grateful for, and accomplishments no matter how small.
This can help you appreciate life and shift your focus on the positives in your life.
Over-time, counting your blessings becomes habitual and you develop a more positive mindset.
Set the Scene
It is useful to set the scene for a good night sleep.
- Turn off all screens (TV, computers, tablets, phones) at least 30 minutes before bedtime
- Turn the lights down low
- Wrap your hair up comfortably
- Do not wear make up
- Take off any accessories
- Try warming up your bed if it’s cold
- Have a consistent bed-time routine
- Meditate and dream of success while you sleep
- Find the best time to sleep
Hum to yourself
This yoga meditation generates an all-pervading sense of calm, says Dr Chris Idzikowski, Edinburgh Sleep Centre Director and author of Sound Asleep, The Expert Guide To Sleeping Well recommends this meditation. In his view, this yoga meditation generates an all infusing a sense of calm.
Sit comfortably, close your eyes, relax your shoulders but keep your mouth gently closed.
Dr Idzikowski says: “Breathe gently out of your mouth, lips together so you hum. Try to hum for the whole out-breath. Notice how it vibrates in your chest.
Focus fully on this vibration over six breaths, then sit quietly for a moment. Tell yourself ‘I am ready for sleep’, get up slowly and go to bed.”
If food prepping is something you spend time on during the day, then solving your meal plans can help you free up sometime the next day.
So if you are thinking of what to do when you’re bored at night, then discover the Best Foods to Help You Sleep HERE.
If you can adopt some of these tips in your night routine consistently, you will see some results.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
— William Durant
Finally, if everything else fails, look into the mirror and tell yourself you need to fall asleep!
12 Guilt Free Things to Do When You Are Bored at Night: Final Thoughts
- Put on Some Relaxing Music
- Pamper Yourself
- Dance Around the House
- Light a Candle
- Keep a Mental Health Journal
- Keep a Gratitude Journal
- Set the Scene
- Hum to yourself
- Meal Prep
Pin it for later
Socialworkhaven.com Useful Resources
- Social Work To-Do List
Social Work To – Do List: What To Include: We sometimes struggle with managing our daily tasks as social workers. This is not because we do not have the skills. The work load, crisis and challenges we face can be overwhelming. That is why a social work to-do list may help us manage better.
- Recommended Books
Best Social Work Books Every Student Must Read is a great article full of highly recommended and engaging books. Helping student social workers to equip themselves with knowledge and skills. It is a great way to empower yourself and encourage you to read more.
- Social Work Registration
Social Work Registration: Get it done – is a useful article that walks you through the social work registration process.
- Social Work Burnout
51 Effective Ways to Fight Social Work Burnout helps practitioners explore 51 effective ways to fight Social Work Burnout. Social work burnout can affect the way we execute our role. It can cause social work stress, and a stressed social worker cannot perform their role effectively.
- Active Listening in Social Work
Why You Should Actively Listen as a Social Worker raises awareness of active listening in social work. Social work active listening involves the listener paying close attention to the speaker, making sure not to interrupt, and reflecting on what they have heard. This helps the speaker feel heard and validated, and it can also help them clarify their thoughts and feelings.
9 thoughts on “12 Guilt Free Things to do When Bored at Night”
Ugg! I have struggled with insomnia my whole life! It is definitely no fun! These are some REALLY good ideas!!! I like the thought of keeping a gratitude journal! Remind yourself of all the things you are thankful for before bed that way you go to bed happy!
With a busy life style it is not always easy to make time for ourselves however, once you start, you can gradually make more time.
I have been practicing meditation for a good amount of time and I can contest that it has helped me solve my insomnia.
I am always working in something, so my mind used to race without control. I would get inspired, get up, and do it.
Just like your advice, I found that just writing them down in a journal allowed me to not forget the idea and do it later. This has helped me sleep better because I am aware that I have a plan for tomorrow.
I have never thought about getting up and dancing, truthfully, dancing like no none is looking has always been by go-to stress relieve????
These are some great ideas for when you just want to relax and destress from a long day at work. My only addition would be reading a book. That really calms my stress levels at the end of the day. I have certain books put aside to read at night, ones that I know won’t get me too deeply involved or emotionally hooked. I visualize a lot when I lay down for the night, it helps to put me straight to sleep. I may begin to try doing a mental health journal as well. Good suggestions!
Most certainly reading a book will help as well Erika …. let me know how it goes with the mental health journal
It is as if this article spoke to me. I have been having hard times of sleeping at night and the worst is that I have to wake up in the morning.
However your tips are very good because they will help me as I never thought o f these. I especially like the humming to yourself and also the dancing around one because I am a dancer I love dancing.
Glad you found this article useful Thabo 🙂
Wow, I really love your article. You have some amazing suggestions to help with boredom at night. I’ve started reading the book you mentioned “Atomic Habits”. It’s opened my eyes to the power of forming positive habits with small strides.
Your stop sign technique sounds like a great way to overcome negative thought patterns. I enjoyed reading your article, I’ll definitely be doing some of the activities you’ve recommended.
Thank you for sharing your insights, keep up the great work.
You are most welcome Mikhail 🙂