Having a morning routine is arguably the most important part of your day.
How would I know? Because creating a good morning routine is something that I have struggled to do, and I know what life looks like with one and without.
I’ve done my damnedest to find something that would justify sleeping in and not having any form of routine (after all, my personality type is “rebel” so the idea of routine gives me cold sweats). But here I am, admitting defeat.
A great morning routine can be simplified into a few customizable steps. I’ve learned that if you’re trying to mimic what works for others (in any aspect of life) you will not be happy. And if you aren’t happy, you won’t do it.
- Wake up around the same time every day (but also go to sleep around the same time each night) – Waking up at the same time each day gets your body in a cycle. The human body is made to run on a cycle (ex: menstrual cycle, hormone cycle, etc). Eventually we will adapt to this cycle and it will be the healthiest for your cortisol levels and ensure optimal brain function.
If you follow a diligent sleep routine–waking up the same time every day–your body learns to increase your PER levels in time for your alarm. About an hour before you’re supposed to wake up, PER levels rise (along with your body temperature and blood pressure). To prepare for the stress of waking, your body releases a cocktail of stress hormones, like cortisol. Gradually, your sleep becomes lighter and lighter. – Fast Company
- Begin with 10-12 minutes of meditation – What you consider meditation is up to you, but before your feet hit the ground you should start your day on a positive. Spend the first 2 minutes waking up, breathing deeply, and then spend the next 10 or so minutes doing what fuels your fire. That might be a guided meditation, going through a list of things you’re grateful for, prayer, setting your intentions for the day, or a mix of all of the above. Whatever it is, be sure to acknowledge that you have already set aside 12 minutes of your day for YOU.
- Do your bathroom routine – Splurge on that designer toothpaste or face scrub that you’ve been dying to try. Make washing your face and brushing your teeth feel refreshing.
- Affirmations – Stand in front of the mirror for 60 seconds and tell yourself all of the things you need to hear. Scream them if you have to. Say I am phrases such as “I am loved,” “I am beautiful,” “I am enough.” You’d be surprised how sending yourself some love will carry you.
- Make your bed – This can occur before your bathroom routine or after – whatever works for you, BUT IT MUST BE DONE BEFORE YOU LEAVE YOUR ROOM or else somehow making the bed never gets done. I just simply HAVE to brush my teeth before I do anything else, so this is what works for me.
If you have a moment, please watch this video because it changed how I viewed making my bed:
- Change your clothes – I learned this one the hard way, but staying in your PJ’s all day keeps you in a sleepy mindset. At least put on something you feel presentable and productive in. For me, that’s leggings and a workout top. Whatever you choose, get out of those sleepy clothes.
- Drink some water – A huge cup of water first thing in the morning is crucial to giving you energy and waking up your digestive system. Follow this with some warm lemon water, a matcha, and a healthy fat-filled breakfast, but have that big glass of water first!
- Tidy your space – Take a few minutes to straighten the pillows on your couch, wipe your counter down, or put any messy dishes in the dishwasher. If your day begins with a clutter-free home, you will have more room in your life for the necessary stressors.
- Consume something motivating – Maybe this means reading an excerpt from the self-help book you’re reading, listening to a mini podcast, or watching a 10 minute TED Talk. Do what pleases you but get yourself inspired for the day ahead!
- Get active – Depending on your schedule, you might not have time for a full workout in the morning, but you can still get active! A 10 minute yoga flow, foam rolling, or a circuit of pushups, planks, and squats are a great way to get your blood flowing and your brain going. If you do have time for that long morning workout, then get it girl!
This list can be done in 30 minutes or stretched out over an hour. You can do half of the things and the others might not register as important to you. However much time you have, just give your mental health what it needs to start your day out on the best note possible.