We’ve all heard all about how setting a solid morning routine is incredibly important for starting the day. I don’t believe there’s one “perfect” morning routine universal for everyone. What works really well for me might not work for you and vice versa and that’s OK! But, I do think it’s important for everyone to set one for themselves & test out different strategies to figure out what that ideal morning routine looks like.
The thing about routines is that they change often. They change with us, when certain life shifts happen. For me, it’s changed many times over the years & especially with starting my own business working from home.
Personally, I’m a BIG morning person. I’m definitely one of those “annoying morning people” that people like to complain about. I just think mornings are so peaceful, especially early mornings. I love getting up early before the sun and taking my time to get ready for the day because how I spend my mornings definitely sets the tone for how the rest of the day is going to be.
Figuring out what works for you
Since everyone is different, it’s important to learn about yourself & test out different things to be able to come up with a solid morning routine. One thing that I’ve learned about myself over the years is that I get stressed out really easily. It’s frustrating, but it’s just one of those traits that I have. Once I get stressed out, it’s hard to get myself back together & I have figured out the best way to deal with it is to prevent myself from getting to that point.
The most prominent thing that I’ve learned for preventing stress is being planned, organized & prepared. The feeling of being behind or that I am under time pressure is one of the easiest ways for me to get overwhelmed. I need to have things planned out and prepared ahead of time, I do not handle procrastination well AT ALL!
My morning routine might seem a bit excessive for some, but this is what works for me. After experimenting with my morning routine for several years now, I’ve been able to pinpoint certain things that are important for my morning routine.
Here’s what my routine looks like:
My morning routine starts the night before
I think this is true for a lot of people, but making sure everything is prepped & ready is helpful in making sure the morning flows smoothly. Plus, you can save yourself a lot of time & stress in the AM!
I prep the coffee maker, prep breakfast (crack eggs into a tupperware, measure oats), prep snacks/smoothie so I just have to reach in the fridge throughout the day.
I also lay out my gym clothes & make sure everything is packed in my gym bag. Having everything ready helps me feel like I can make sure I’m not rushed and make sure that I don’t get stressed out!
(I’ll write another post on my night time routine!)
EArly morning gym time
I have been going to the gym first thing in the morning for about a year and a half now. A lot of people call me crazy, but it’s been the most amazing lifestyle shift. I’ve found that getting my workout done first thing in the morning helps with my anxiety & not talking myself out of getting to the gym throughout the day.
You can read more about this in How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM & also 3 Tips for Early Morning Workouts if you are thinking about transitioning to working out early!
Starting my day with a sweaty workout has been the key thing to making sure that I don’t get overwhelmed. I notice that if I go more than 2 days without a workout, I get on edge and start feeling overwhelmed & stressed out. It’s such a great feeling to start the day getting to the gym early & clear my mind!
I always have breakfast with my boyfriend when we get back from the gym! He jumps in the shower & gets ready for work while I prepare a healthy breakfast for both of us. Having everything prepped the night before helps makes things so much easier for me!
I’ve been experimenting with meditation for the last couple years. I have been inconsistent with it, but I have recently added it back into my morning routine. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to meditate for 5-10 minutes after I shower & get dressed and it honestly helps significantly.
Once I start, I notice how much my mind is focused on all the tasks I have to do for the day. Letting my mind calm down helps me to be able to focus & think more clearly.
Even though I’ve been practicing meditation for a couple years, I’m not very good at it! It really takes a lot of practice. It can be difficult to shut everything off & focus just on your breath, so I’m a big fan of guided meditations. My favorite guided Meditations are in the Sanvello app that I talked about in My 8 Step Process to Overcoming Depression.
Sitting in mediation for 5-10 minutes helps me calm my mind so I feel nice & grounded. Since I get stressed out easily, making sure my mind is calm & clear is extremely important in making sure that I don’t start my workday feeling like my mind is all over the place.
After calming my mind with 5-10 minutes of meditation, I sit at my desk and get ready for the work day. You’ve heard me mention this many times, especially in The Power of Journaling! Over the summer I would sit out on my patio for about 30 minutes to journal & get some fresh air.
I journal about what’s on my mind, what’s bothering me, what I feel like I need to get done for the day & how I’m feeling. I just let my mind do the writing and get everything out that I need to. I find that getting everything out of my head & onto paper helps me organize my thoughts and make sure that my mind is calm and ready to take on the day.
Sometimes I find myself thinking that I can skip journaling & sometimes I do. When I do skip journaling for a couple of days, I start getting overwhelmed so I try not to make it habit.
I actually just recently talked myself out of journaling for about a week because I had a lot on my to-do list. I started feeling myself get consumed by my thoughts around everything I had to get done. After I noticed this, I decided I needed to stop talking myself out of it & I ended up journaling for about 2 pages. Taking the time to journal has really helped in getting everything out of my head and out on paper, ultimately helping me feel better & better able to focus.
Review my to-do list & make a plan for the day
I try my best to write out my to-do list the night before, but that doesn’t always happen & sometimes I have some new ideas that I want to add into my schedule. So, I make sure that I take some time to review everything that needs to be done and make sure I have a plan for the day.
By this time, it’s around 8am and I am ready to get started on my work for the day! It’s always so nice to be able to start the workday with a clear mind & fresh perspective. We are all so busy and often get caught up in the motions of everyday life that we don’t take the time for ourselves.
I have enjoyed the transition to being my own boss & working from home, but it has been a hard & stressful journey! Being completely in control of my time & schedule is difficult, but I’ve been able to figure out what works best for me. Having a solid morning routine in place, especially focusing on self-care and prioritizing my mental health has been so refreshing!
I hope you take the time to try out different things for your morning routine. Even making it a goal to get up a little bit earlier so you can ease into your day can be very helpful!