Oh great. Another list of morning routine ideas. I know… some of those list posts irritate me too. That’s not the goal of this blog post, I promise. My intention is to show you how to SLOW down a little and actually enjoy a few minutes of calm or high energy before the day runs away. You don’t need 30 minutes to get your day started on a positive note… sometimes, all it takes is five minutes – the same amount of time it takes to make a decent cup of coffee.
We can start our days with intention… instead of rushing as though we’re in some kind of competitive race – or begrudgingly going through the motions on autopilot.
So let’s talk about designing a routine that works for you.
CREATE YOUR VERSION OF PEACE AND POSITIVITY
Listen. I want to make one thing clear – this is not a post about having a jolly-ol-morning every single day and things just flowing all good and groovy. Because that’s not real life. We’re in the midst of crisis and chaos. So to expect super happy vibes and insane productivity all the time is a little unrealistic.
There will be bad days and days we don’t get much done (I’ve felt this already). That’s okay. Give yourself some grace – this is all so new. Accept where you are right now.
But let’s choose to make the best of the situation we’re currently in. Deal?
ANXIETY AND SELF-CARE
My personality is prone to anxiety – I used to imagine the worst-case scenario and get upset about things way beyond my control. I’ve gotten a lot better about that over the last year or so. I think that’s why self-care and mindset is such a big deal for me.
We are living through a time of incredible uncertainty right now and it’s easy to get overwhelmed with anxiety. To feel demotivated and sluggish, or stressed. I’ve found that one of the best ways to combat these negative feelings is to start the day on the right note. And yes, I know – it can feel impossible some days.
So let’s start by UNCOMPLAINING things a bit…
Let’s simplify things so they fit into our life as it is right NOW.
(*ahem* not some airy-fairy fluffy version some self-help gurus will have you believe in).
MAKE TIME AND CREATE SPACE
First thing’s first… As with almost anything in life, if we want to create positive change, we need to prioritise it.
Figure out how much time you’d like to get into a good space in the morning and block that off. (I even go so far as to schedule time in my Google calendar for this).
Do you need 15 minutes or an hour? Make that time a priority.
In case you needed the reminder: Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s not something to be pushed aside. The more you take care of yourself, the better you’ll be able to take care of those around you.
Next, find a space at home where you won’t be disturbed (much) – or disturb anyone else. When I used to get up very early, I’d sit in my home office with the door closed. So quiet. You could sit outside in the garden or on the patio, in the lounge, a spare room, or even your bathroom!
Get creative and make it something you’ll actually look forward to (that’s the key!).
MIX AND MATCH YOUR MORNING ROUTINE
Do you prefer a quiet, calm start to the day over a nice cup of tea or coffee? Or, do you get that energetic boost after a mini burst of exercise and a hot shower?
I did a poll recently and got some feedback to suggest a few morning routine variations. So here you go – a variety of ideas you could try, depending on your mood:
SLOW, CALMING MORNING ROUTINE
If you’re feeling a little low on energy, down, or anxious, easing into the day is a great place to start changing that. I love quiet, peaceful mornings where I have space to connect to myself and get real about how I’m feeling, talk to God, pray, and practise deep breaths. Depending on what you enjoy, here are a few ideas you can mix and match:
- Do a gentle 5-10 minute stretch
- Take a few deep, intentional breaths
- Pray and think about what you’re grateful for
- Write your feelings in a journal
- Enjoy a leisurely cup of tea or coffee
- Tune in to some nature sounds (I like Insight Timer)
ENERGISING MORNING ROUTINE
As much as I love my quiet mornings, occasionally I need a burst of high energy to help me feel inspired and full of positivity for the day. I’m constantly amazed at how a little endorphins boost can do that. Here are some energising ideas for starting your day on a natural high. Again, mix and match as you like – it’s your routine:
- Do a quick and easy 7-minute workout
- Watch a motivational video on YouTube
- Put some upbeat music on and dance like no one’s watching
- Go for a run or try a HIIT workout
- Get those steps in with an indoor walking workout
- Listen to an inspiring/empowering podcast
MAKE IT YOURS
These are just a few ideas – please don’t think you have to do all of them, or just one lot (e.g. only calm or only energising). The idea is to design a routine that YOU enjoy. So combine and create a little daily habit you’ll look forward to. Maybe that looks like a 7-minute workout and five minutes of deep breathing. That’s great! (Btw, I actually did this one the other morning and it was amazing).
And lastly, here are a few other things you could add to tailor your morning just the way you like it:
- Take a refreshing, warm shower
- Stay hydrated, drink a glass of water – be fancy, add some lemon, ginger or mint
- Make a tasty, nourishing breakfast
- Tidy your workspace and areas you’ll frequent during the day
- Read a few pages of a book or an interesting blog post
- Dress for success (and comfort!)