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.
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susie liberatore says
All of these are such great ideas. The exercise and the journal is a must for me. I try to keep away from my phone as often as I can!
I try not to touch my phone unless I really need to for the first 30-60mins of my morning. If I do go on my phone, I get stuck on instagram and an hour later I was not productive.
I used to be in a really good routine and have slipped off of it because of staying up later at night! I need to get back on it though because it always made my days so much more smooth when I had time for myself in the mornings.
I stopped doing my morning routine in the summer and stayed up late. I definitely saw a difference in my mood throughout the day. I used my kids as an alarm clock, and buy not allowing myself that time alone before they woke up created more stress than I needed.
I love your idea of morning routine starting at night. I actually do it myself but never really thought of it this way. I get everything that can be ready like lunches and snacks for work the next day, before I go to bed. I also prepare brekky and wash and dirty dishes in the sink, wipe down counter tops and then go through the apartment making sure windows, doors are shut and make sure evrything is in its place. Then I’m off to bed! So I guess we all have some sort of routine to help us in the morning, thank you for your tips!
D, xo || from https://livedreamcreate-d.com
Yes, I am slowly getting better at preparing everything the night before. Having your routine at night sets you up for a smooth morning routine since you don’t have to worry about anything extra, its all been done the night before.
Yes! A morning routine really does change everything! Even if you think you don’t have time, the truth is you don’t have time to NOT get into a routine! It makes every day more productive.
Absolutely! I am so much more productive when i have a routine in place. I can focus on what I need to for the day instead of running around stressed.
This is a great morning routine! I’m working on keeping my kids on the same morning routine to get them ready for the day because its so important!
Yes, I was just talking to my husband about getting the kids on a morning routine and sticking with it. We create evening routines for them. Why should the morning be any different?
Jaclyn Musselman says
I am usually a morning person but with the weather changing and it still being dark when I get up, I’m having a harder time lately. It totally makes a difference to start with a routine though!
I actually love getting up before the sun. Something about sitting at my desk and watching it rise that makes me feel good about the start of my day.
I’ve been trying to have a better morning routine as well. I find I get a lot more done when I make the effort to wake up a little earlier. I try not to hit the snooze button too many times. Lol!
Snooze is the worst.. or best thing ever made. I try really hard not to hit snooze and actually get up in the morning. But yes, I too find I get more done and am more productive when I wake up earlier.
Love this lost! Go girl! Gonna start to really staet Making my mornings more regimented.
Yes! Having a more regimented morning has helped in setting the tone for my day. I love it!
I love this morning routine. I used one during the summer and found it to much improve my mood and productivity. I am glad to see other people need one just to stay focused.
Yes, morning routines are amazing. If my husband noticed a difference I knew it was working!
Rose | Life Management for Moms says
But how do you have time with kids? Do you get up before them, do they stay asleep?
My kids usually wake up between 630 and 7. I wake up at 545. So I am usually awake before them. But if they are awake, I include them. My 4yr old will meditate with me..until she gets bored. I do a lot of at home workouts in our garage, where I have placed a few toys and books to entertain the kids. And I include both kids in my Bible readings if they will listen. The only thing I cannot do is journal with the kids around. I lose track of my thoughts too easily. I find what works and make adjustments when necessary.
Rose | Life Management for Moms says
Awesome, thanks for the tips. I like that you include them, I can hardly do anything with my kids around haha.
jenna | the urben life says
This sounds just like me, I really need to get into a morning routine!
Morning routines are amazing. I didn’t think it would change anything but I definitely feel so much better each morning. My husband even noticed a difference.
All of this sounds so good. The idea of reading in the morning must be pretty relaxing. I must give it a try. As for not hitting snooze, this sounds hard! I can see where you are coming from though and I’m going to give it a try. We will see how it goes!!
Not hitting snooze is very hard. I admit I still hit snooze every now and then. Until I realize if I don’t get up now my kids will wake up and interrupt my peace. That’s usually enough motivation for me to get up. I also noticed with going to bed earlier, I sometimes wake up before my alarm goes off, but I don’t feel groggy or mad that I missed out on those few extra minutes. I wake up feeling refreshed.
I could’t agree more! The morning routine starts everything off on the right foot, so to speak. I work from home, so I typically have time to do my regular routine. On the mornings I have an early appointment, I’ve found some apps to listen to in the car. Loved this line (good job mama): “If my oldest is awake she likes to listen to my Bible readings, so I include her in that portion of my morning routine.”
Gotta teach them young right?! My son doesn’t sit still long enough for me to read a book with no pictures, but my daughter usually snuggles up in my lap and we read together. Its great connecting moment for us.