One of the best gifts I’ve given myself over the years is a consistent morning routine. A way to start the day feeling GOOD. It’s a growing and evolving process, that seems to always be changing with the seasons. But something I do, every day, and has quickly grown to become one of my favorite times of the day.
I’ve always struggled with anxiety since I was a young woman, and as crazy as it sounds, my morning routine is a huge part of keeping my anxiety at bay. Waking up already knowing there’s a set routine helps calm me. It gives some order to the day. Plus I love that I can do my whole morning routine while my house is still quiet.
So much of my day now, especially during this pandemic, feels so out of my control. With the kids and JP home ALL day, EVERY day, so much of my day is centered around serving other people. Always wondering “who needs what?”. And while I LOVE that, and fills up a huge part of my life, I need to start my day with my cup already full.
I take care of ME first, so I can take care of THEM happier. Me putting myself first allows me to show up as a better mother, wife, and friend.
I wrote a blog post last year about my morning routine, and to be honest, not much has changed. But with each season and year, my routine evolves a little. So I thought I’d share with you what I do now.
Here’s my morning routine, in hopes that it inspires you to find YOUR OWN.
Stretching and moving
The very first thing I do when I roll out of bed is move. I physically need to clear out the cobwebs. The older I get, the more important this is for me. Just a few gentle movements. Always starting in a child’s pose to stretch out my lower back and then moving into some easy, slow, organic movements. It doesn’t have to be anything planned out. It should just feel GOOD. Like giving your body a warm hug to wake up.
I wrote a blog post about my lemon water routine years ago and here I am still here doing it (so I guess it’s helping!). It’s the first thing I do when I walk downstairs after stretching, and then while my lemon water is cooling off a bit, I sit and read.
This could be as simple as a quote or mantra. A book of poetry. It doesn’t have to be anything “profound”. Just something that will help you set the tone for your day. I keep a few books near my yoga mat in my office that I go back and forth between. I just read a page or two while I drink my lemon water and it just helps give my mind something to focus on. Here are a few of my current favorites: A Year WIthout Fear, The Book Of Awakening (I’ve had this same book for almost a decade….and it looks like it), Savor (an old friend from high school sent me this years ago and I still read it)
This can be anything you want. A minute or two of deep breathing or a 30-minute meditation. It honestly doesn’t matter. You don’t have to make it anything formal. I wrote a blog post a few weeks ago about my current meditation practice. Right now I’m sitting for 8 minutes. Don’t ask me why eight. It’s just the magic number for me at this season of life.
Morning pages over coffee
This is my big brain dump for the day. I write out my goals, what I’m excited about. Look over my schedule for the day and then list out any “to-dos”. All with a great cup of coffee. Right now I’m using this french press while sitting at my desk and it just makes my mornings feel “fancy”. And this is the planner I’m using. I still use my google calendar that I swear by – but I also like having something written out on paper, so this planner just helps me keep my day organized. A big “brain dump” after my meditation (and with a great hot cup of HOT coffee) just feels so good.
And then after that, my day is off and running!
The whole thing takes about an hour – which I know may sound long. But it’s actually perfect. It’s leisurely and relaxing and gorgeously SLOW. I get up early when the house is quiet, and then about the time I’m finishing up my last cup of coffee and my french press is sadly empty, I hear a kid crying (let’s be honest, screaming…lol) and I’m back “on”.
I think the thing isn’t worrying about trying to create some “magical” morning routine, but rather to just START one. Just pick something that’s going to work for you and then give it a try for a few weeks. If you need to change it, change it. But finding a consistent routine you can come back to you, especially when life can feel so crazy, I promise makes you feel GOOD. And right now we could all use a little extra “good” in our days.
What about YOU? What’s your morning routine?