“Routine” makes it sound boring, but I often go to sleep at night looking forward to my morning routine to start my day off right. It does not necessarily have to be a strict schedule that is followed exactly the same everyday. The beauty in it is that you can adjust it based on how you are feeling that morning and to suit your needs in the moment.
Some of the benefits of a morning routine include feeling more productive before your day actually starts, taking time for yourself, and focusing on important tasks first to set the tone for your day.
Nobody else is going to prioritize your needs or schedule time for your self-care, that is why you must do it yourself!
Plan Out Your Morning Routine
Making a plan is a necessary first step to starting something new; otherwise it becomes easy to fall back into old habits. One day passes by: “I’ll start tomorrow.” Another day passes by: “Is it really that important? I don’t have time for this.”
This is when you can lose sight of the bigger picture and allow your life and what you do to be dictated by others, instead of focusing on your values and mental health. Don’t allow the needs of others to dictate how you live your life… they usually won’t have your best interests in mind.
In addition, you cannot help others unless you are tending to your needs first. The best way to teach others how you want to be treated is by treating yourself that way. When you don’t respect yourself and your needs, other people won’t respect you either.
Okay, enough preaching… Let’s get to the planning!
What Fills Up Your Cup?
Figuratively speaking, what helps you recharge, relax, and feel rejuvenated? This is going to be different for everybody so choose what feels good for you.
We are exposed to so many inputs and stimulation throughout the day and this most certainly has an impact on your mood. Take control into your hands first thing in the morning and do something you will look forward to during your morning routine.
Here is a list of suggestions as a starting point:
After you have decided how you want to spend your morning routine, the next question is when?
Start the Night Before
If you don’t go to sleep earlier the night before, then you probably won’t be getting enough sleep to start your morning routine right. Make it easier to get into your routine the night before by doing the following:
Take It Easy
One thing I have noticed across the board that stresses people out is rushing around in the morning. When you don’t have enough time to take things slowly, you become more stressed, forgetful, and irritable. These moods often filter into the rest of your day, including your interactions with your family, significant other, or coworkers.
Therefore, it is so important to give yourself enough time to take things slowly. As humans we often tend to underestimate how long something will take. I want you to work on overestimating so you won’t be stressed and rushing around in the morning.
For example, if your morning routine consists of drinking a glass of water and meditating for 10 minutes, give yourself 20-30 minutes so you can enjoy the moment and not feel rushed.
If a Morning Routine Isn’t in the Cards for You…
I realize having time for yourself in the morning isn’t a realistic goal for everybody. Whether you have children, pets, work the night shift, or any other responsibilities that make a morning routine unlikely, I have good news!
You can try a night routine, or an afternoon routine, or an evening routine, or a mid-morning routine. Choose your special time of day that you can devote to yourself and truly make it your own.
There is no exact formula for how or when to practice a morning routine. The most important things to remember are focusing on yourself first and doing things that you enjoy and help you feel better.
Try out a morning routine for a week and see if you notice any changes in your mood, stress levels, or relationships. Let me know your thoughts on morning routines in the comments below.
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