Two months after graduating from college, I realized I needed to form different routines because my schedule had shifted greatly. Gone were the sporadically organized classes and random assignments. Now I had a job with stable hours - 3pm to 11pm.

Between starting this new life stage and being tired right after work, I decided to build a routine for myself after I got off of work. I wanted something relaxing, while also starting to form habits that would be healthy for me - drinking a glass of water, flossing, skincare, and lotion - things that I'd only occasionally done during college.

However, despite knowing that all of these things are healthy for me, I needed something else to motivate me to actually do these things nightly - a habit tracker.

So at the beginning of July, habit tracker in hand, I started implementing my routine. While I may not have done everything every day, I have stuck by the two-day-rule, in which I haven't skipped anything two days in a row. And while I am still greatly motivated by being able to check off four boxes on my habit tracker, I am truly starting to enjoy my nightly routine.

I love my routine because it is relaxing. My mind slows down, focusing on the mundane tasks of applying lotion and flossing. I can let my brain begin to shut off for the night, leaving the stresses of the day behind.

I love my routine because I feel like I am taking care of myself. While the acts themselves are methodic and pleasant, I also get joy out of knowing that I am doing good things for my body. These simple things replenish my body (and might even get my dentist off of my back).

Overall, since starting my nightly self-care routine, I have become happier. Despite what happens during the day, I know that I have those fixed twenty minutes of me-time to relax and wind down for the night, all while giving my body things it needs to keep running.

No matter what you add to your routine, I encourage everyone to carve out time to devote to taking care of themselves - whether that be exercise, skincare, or something else. Your body will thank you.