Let me ask you a quick question; what was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?
Checked your email?
Responded to text messages?
Scrolled through social media?
I bet, if you're anything like me, you fall into one of those categories or somewhere in between. And honestly, I'm not here placing any judgment because you know that's not my jam. But, also because I used to (and sometimes still do) a few of those things too.
Listen, I remember mornings where I'd be down a deep rabbit hole of my friends, sister's, co-workers, nieces new puppy's Instagram account and it wasn't even 7:00 am yet. I really hope I'm not the only one here.
And on those same mornings somehow I was always frantic, running around & trying to get everything together at the last minute. I mean, rightfully so, right? How is it possible to scroll through puppy Instagram accounts, shower, make breakfast & lunch, get dressed & remember to turn off all the lights & not lock yourself out in like...1 hour?
Pro tip: it's not really possible.
With that type of a morning, you're bound to forget something, do something a little half-assed or simply just start your day off on the wrong foot. And, I don't know about you but, the way I begin my morning truly does set the tone for the rest of my day.
For example, let's say you get in an argument before going to work, your dog shits all over the place or you realized last minute that the shirt you had planned to wear never got washed...any of these scenarios would make for a rough morning. And hey, I get it. Sometimes the things that happen in your morning are out of your control. But, those aren't the type of mornings we're talking about.
What I want to do is help you create a morning routine that works for you 9 times out of 10. The 1 time being the dog shit, argument, etc.
So let me tell you about how my mornings used to work & then what I changed to improve them.
My Old Morning Routine
Knowing I needed to be out the door at 7:30 my alarm would go off at 6:15. I'd hop out of bed, turn on the light right away and go shower. After getting squeaky clean I'd stand under the warm water for another 10 minutes or so. I'd get out and toss on whatever outfit was the easiest and head to the kitchen to see what I could make for breakfast & take for lunch.
Sometimes I would just grab some oats or make a quick smoothie, other times I would make chia pudding, scrambled eggs or roast potatoes. Then I'd pack my leftovers from dinner the night before or realize I had no leftovers and decided I was going to have to buy lunch out that day.
I'd go put on the simplest amount of makeup to get out the door and look presentable, grab all of my stuff and be out the door.
Now, nothing is truly wrong with this routine. But I knew that I didn't want to keep rushing like that. I wanted to take my time in the mornings and enjoy my day a little more. Sometimes I hear people talking about "all I do is work" and, I think we have a bit of control over that. It's like, let's take a look at the time we do have and recognize how we're spending that time.
For me, that recognition came from my morning routine.
My New Morning Routine
I knew that I was a morning person but I wasn't enjoying it the way I wanted to. So I decided to take back some of my days and wake up a little earlier. So instead of setting my alarm for the last possible minute at 6:15 am, I set it for 5:45.
I never hit the snooze button (I know, I'm weird like that) so, no change there. Then, I decided to not turn on any bright lights. I turned on my soft glow lights that are on my headboard to let my eyes slowly adjust to the light. I also don't turn on the light in the bathroom while I'm showering. I live in a studio apartment so, instead, I turned on the light in the kitchen that's a tiny bit brighter than the ones on my bed and that light flowed into the bathroom just enough.
Once I'm out of the shower, I turn on the bathroom light and start to get ready. With these curls, they need a lot of TLC. So I take my time with them and twist and turn them with hair product.
What comes next is probably one of the most important parts of my morning. I literally stand buck naked in the mirror and take my time putting on lotion - really looking at myself and giving gratitude for my body. I don't know about you but, I'm a person that will shy away when given a compliment or will respond with a "ha! yeah right, you see this cellulite?!" But, I've decided to change that conversation and really recognize my body and give it gratitude.
Then, I either grab my journal and brain dump what's taking up space in my mind or I go through a basic yoga flow to loosen up my body. This takes about 10 minutes or so.
After I'm dressed, I finish off my morning gathering food for the day & I'm out the door.
The biggest change I made here was giving myself more time. And I know we all value sleep (especially me...I have a whole episode on sleep health coming soon). But, there are sacrifices we must be willing to make to improve our life overall.
If you're hesitant to get up early, take a glance at when you're heading to bed. And don't tell me you can't go to bed earlier when all you're doing anyway is scrolling through puppy Instagrams. Make the time to improve your life.
Why You Need A Morning Routine:
- Your morning is your first chance to decide how the rest of the day is going to go. Why not put more effort into it?
- You're begging for more time to do the things you love. Why not add them in before you head off to work?
- Brene Brown says "we wake up and think 'i didn't get enough sleep' and go to bed thinking 'i didn't get enough done.' Both of those are in your control and both can be improved by a morning routine.
- My favorite phrase is "you can't pour from an empty cup" and I think one of the best ways to fill it is by giving yourself permission for me time. Now, you don't have to have "me time" in the morning but, we give a lot of ourselves to others throughout the rest of the day so it may be best to.
I would love to hear if you have a morning routine and what it looks like for you. Don't have one? Maybe share your afternoon or evening routine with me! Shoot me an email over at firstname.lastname@example.org or a DM over on Instagram.
Until next time!