Recently, I was reading through some fellow bloggers’ posts when I stumbled on a post from Blissfully Brunette called 8 Small Improvements to Live a Blissful Life. Kiara posted a great tip about the importance of having a solid morning and evening routine. Reading her article made me realize that I have been slacking on my morning routine lately. And I am feeling it!
Life without a morning routine feels chaotic. I start my days hitting the snooze more than a couple of times and wake up sometimes almost an hour later than I intended. After that, I spend my morning rushing around, complaining to myself, and neglecting priorities. I get to work feeling frazzled and it takes me some time to calm down and settle into work mode.
I have made a lot of excuses for shrugging off my morning routine. But the truth is, life gets unnecessarily complicated without it. Kiara reminded us that a morning routine helps us to enjoy our mornings and be more productive. Today, you and I are in this together. I’m going to get back into my morning routine and I’m inviting you to join me!
Why do You Need a Morning Routine?
Having a morning routine means having consistency and predictability in your life. When you wake up, you can feel assured that you already know what the beginning of your day will look like. There are no surprises that will ruin your day. In my professional life, I recommend that everyone develop some sort of routine because it has a dramatic affect on mental health and wellness. Life can be crazy chaotic. The last thing you need is to wake up stressed!
How a Morning Routine has Helped Me
Since developing a morning routine, I’ve become a morning person. This is coming from the person who used to sneak down to the basement to play on the computer at 4:00 AM and whose mom would blast on the lights in the morning and practically drag her out of bed. Now, I prefer to get up three hours before I actually have to get to work. If you would have told teenage me that someday I’d prefer to get up at 6:00 AM, I would have laughed at you! Now, if I’m rolling out of bed at 7:30, it feels like I’ve wasted valuable time in my day.
When I wake up earlier, I get a chance to have a little “me” time. At the end of the day, I love to spend time with my husband. But if I’m not careful, that could mean that I neglect time to myself. As it turns out, the morning gives me an opportunity to practice some of my favorite self-care ideas before I go to work. Then I’m going into work feeling like I did something nice for myself rather than beating myself up over rushing.
After work, how much energy do you have to do laundry for the rest of the night? The only thing I want to do after work is crash on the couch with my husband and binge watch Friends on Netflix. When I follow my morning routine, I get more done earlier in the day so that when I get home, I can actually relax. You will find that when you start following your morning routine, you’ll be motivated to get more done. You’ll also find you have a lot more time in your day than you thought you did.
How to Create a Morning Routine
Start with considering what you have to do. Showering and eating come to mind. Make sure you plan in enough time for the necessities. The last thing you want to do is stress yourself out because you didn’t get to shower in the morning! Schedule in the time in your morning to make sure you are meeting your basic needs.
Creating a fulfilled life is simple when you work from a mind-body-soul perspective. Try to consider how you might be able to take care of your mind, body, and soul when developing your morning routine.
Think about what write down on your to-do list that you have a hard time getting to. Think about the tasks that keep your mind busy at night. Instead of saying “I should have gotten ___ done” at night, you can get them done in the morning. Schedule out a bit of time to get some chores completed so you won’t be thinking about them all day! You can choose to do the same one every day, or pick a different chore and rotate through.
Create a morning routine to take care of your body. This doesn’t need to be exercise, but that’s what I like to do. Do a 10-15 minute yoga circuit, take your dog for a walk, or even do some stretches before you get out of bed. Taking care of your body in the morning could also be eating a healthy breakfast. It’s up to you!
Lastly, take care of your soul! There are so many options to really nourish your spirit in the morning. Take some time to journal, pray, read, color, cuddle with your pet– something that makes you smile and feel at peace.
Whatever you decide to include in your morning routine, it’s important to schedule it. Keeping a schedule means you’ll be more likely to stick to your morning routine. Think about how long you want to spend on your morning routine. Don’t set yourself up to fail. If you don’t think you can get up a whole hour earlier, try a half hour instead. Or consider replacing the time you spend lying in bed in the morning.
Write down all morning routine ideas and how long they will take you. Set reminders in your phone or keep a note where you’ll see it! Let me or a friend know that you’re starting a morning routine to keep you accountable. I’m sharing my morning routine with you here to not only give you an example, but also to hold me accountable!
My Morning Routine
6:00 Wake up
6:00-6:15 Listen to a morning meditation. I recommend the Insight Timer app. It has thousands of free meditations! You can find Christian meditations, mindfulness meditations, soft music, bird sounds, chanting– whatever works for you.
6:15-6:20 Make the bed. A made up bed makes my bedroom feel so much more comfortable and inviting, and it feels good to do something productive as soon as I wake up.
6:20-6:50 Have a cup of coffee and breakfast at the breakfast bar, and read or journal. Having my coffee and breakfast at the counter rather than down in the living room means I’m more mindful. In other words, I’m not zoning out into my phone which leads to wasting time. I’ll also feed my pets during this time as well.
6:50-7:00 Get a chore done. Favorites for me include throwing in a load of laundry, washing the dishes, and taking out the trash.
7:00-7:15 Take a shower.
7:15-7:30 Brush my teeth and get dressed. When I’m following a morning routine, getting dressed doesn’t take long because I pick out and iron my clothes the night before. If I’m doing laundry, I’ll swap out the load here.
7:30-8:00 Take my dog for a walk. If David and I have plans to take him for a walk after work, I’ll also substitute going to the gym, doing a yoga sequence, or taking a solo walk here. If I’m going to do something more strenuous during this time, I’ll wait to shower until afterward.
8:00-8:10 Complete another chore. This may be folding the load of laundry or tidying up around the house. I don’t spend a ton of time on housework in the morning as you’ll see. But I do try to get something done to help me feel productive!
8:10-8:25 Finish getting ready for work. I’ll put on my makeup and dry my hair if it isn’t air-dried by now.
8:25-8:30 Wrap up. I’ll grab my lunch which I packed the night before, pour myself a to-go mug of coffee, and put my dog to bed.
8:30-8:45 Drive to work
8:45-9:00 Settle into work. I’ll say hi to all my coworkers and head into my office. I usually start my morning by creating a to-do list for the day, but sometimes I’ll do that the day before. I like to give myself at least 15 minutes before work actually starts to get settled in because I don’t like feeling rushed. Have you gathered that yet? 15 minutes is a good amount of time to help me transition from home mode into work mode.
9:00 Start the day!
Now that you have seen my morning routine, I’d love to see yours! What are some of your favorite morning rituals? How has a morning routine benefited you? Let me know in the comments!