The Morning Routine That Changed My Life
Ugh. Mornings, love to hate them. I spend most of my nights up late working and wake up late in the morning. Usually cranky and not wanting to deal with anyone in my house. I have found that because of this my stress and anxiety has gone through the roof. Does this sound like you?
Stress and anxiety is nothing new to me, in fact, I have been dealing with it for years. But more recently I have noticed it affecting my overall health wellness and relationships.
I found myself to be unmotivated to do simple chores around the house, and I struggled to workout or run. And eating in the morning was pretty nonexistent.
With all this extra stress, I found I wanted nothing to do with my family in the morning. With two young kids that I had to feed, dress and get to daycare, my mornings were stressful.
I had heard of morning routines and always thought of them as a sham. I mean who has time to meditate, journal and workout for 30 minutes. How early do I need to wake up for this?
Finally, a business mentor of mine convinced me to create a morning routine and consistently practice this routine for a week. As skeptical as I was, I put together my routine, I went to bed early and started putting this plan into practice.
It didn’t take me long to start seeing significant changes in my mood. I seriously saw a complete 180 difference in how I dealt with my family and how I felt throughout the day.
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What is a morning routine?
So by now, you might be thinking alright Ashley, what is this morning routine? Morning routines are a great way to include self-care into your daily routine as well as set your day up for success. Morning routines can be a quick 15 minutes, 30 minutes or even an hour. Whatever works for you, everyone’s version of a morning routine will be different. But they are a way for you to wake yourself up and mentally and physically prepare yourself the day without distractions. And as a bonus, you get some self-care in your day as well.
My morning routine starts at night.
But it’s a morning routine, why are you starting at night? In order to start early, you have to go to bed early. I naturally am a night owl. I do most of my work at night, once the kids go to bed I tend to stay up late writing and working on my business. But in order for my morning to go as planned, I need to get to bed at a reasonable hour. To do this I use my iPhone which has a great feature called “bedtime” that allows you to choose a wake-up time and the number of hours of sleep and it will set an alarm for when you should get ready for bed. If you do not have an iPhone, set a timer to go off every night at the same time, alerting you that its time to wrap things up and get to bed.
Do not hit snooze.
When my alarm goes off in the morning, I do not hit snooze. Instead get right out the bed. This was very hard for me since I can hit snooze multiple times or worse, just turn my alarm off and end up sleeping in longer than I planned. So I make a point not to hit snooze, once the alarm goes off, I sit up to get the blood flowing and move into my routine.
Put the phone away.
Once I am up, I do not use my phone. Otherwise, I will find myself scrolling through Instagram for 30 minutes, getting nothing done.
Checking emails that early is also a no for me. I will get wrapped up in the email and may even respond to it. Again nothing productive in setting my mood and intentions for the day, so email and social media can be put off until a later time.
I am a firm believer in exercising daily, even if that is just a brisk walk. Whatever your flavor, getting up and moving your body for a minimum of 15 mins first thing in the morning.
I like to run, which I do 3 days a week, 2 days of HIIT and 2 rest days. But usually, on those rest days, I do a quick 15-20 min yoga routine, just to wake my body up.
I love to get my thoughts on paper. I use this time to write down what I am grateful for. Any major thoughts that come up, and prayers. I typically follow a journal prompt to help get things started. I take about 5-7 minutes to complete each journal entry.
I typically read my Bible in the morning, but if I am reading some professional development book that I want to get deeper into I will read that as well. I average no more than 10-15 minutes of reading. At this point, both my kids are awake wanting breakfast. If my oldest is awake she likes to listen to my Bible readings, so I include her in that portion of my morning routine.
And that is a typical morning routine for me. There are days where I can get through my whole routine uninterrupted but usually, one or both of my kids wake up midway through and I have to make slight adjustments to my routine. Despite having kids in the mix, I find I am so much more happy and enjoyable to be around in the morning due to having those few moments each day to prepare myself for what is to come.
Do you have a morning routine? What does a typical morning look like for you?
If you currently do not have a morning routine, I encourage you to commit to 5 days of morning routines and see how it affects your mood, and sets the tone for your day.