My Morning Routine During Quarantine

I made a prediction that we would start feeling the mental & emotional effects of the disruption of our day-to-day lives within 2-3 weeks. I made this prediction knowing that the anger & frustration would soon dissipate and turn mental. As a mental health advocate, I always want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to take care of myself & provide as much guidance to others that I possibly can.

I noticed myself struggling during the first full week of April. Ever since I went through my own experience with mental health struggles and depression, I have been able to identify my warning signs that something just isn’t right. 

If you know me or have been following me for some time now, you know that I turned to fitness and going to the gym first thing in the morning. I used my morning workouts for many reasons, including maintaining my healthy habits & keeping my mental health on track. 

With being forced to stay home and out of my routine, I would be lying if I said that I didn’t struggle to adjust to this new normal. That’s definitely true for everyone, right? 

Well, here’s the thing. We can’t control the current unprecedented circumstances that we find ourselves in, but we CAN control how we respond. I know this can be extremely hard because the pain that this whole thing has caused can seem to be so severe that it overshadows all of the positives that can come from this and all that you CAN indeed control. 

For me, my mornings are sacred. How I spend my mornings are extremely important for determining how the rest of my day is going to go & how I show up. One thing that I’ve missed since working out in the morning is my slow mornings to really just take it easy and ease into the day. I have more information in my posts on How/ Why I Go To The Gym At 5AM & My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home.

What I started noticing

  • unhealthy choices
  • increased anxiety & stress levels
  • bloating all over my body
  • low energy/exhaustion (needing to lay down and take a nap almost everyday)
  • creative blocks 
  • lack of motivation

So, I wanted to share with you how I have adjusted my morning routine based on what I have learned over the years. I’ve focused on what I am still in control of and utilized the knowledge that I have about what I need. 

I hope you find this helpful in creating a routine for yourself, based on what it is that YOU need!

GET UP EARLY AS USUAL.

One thing that I noticed to be important for me is waking up early in the morning. It’s just something that is important for my mental health & stress. I don’t handle sleeping in very well, especially during the week because it makes me feel rushed. 

I understand that it sounds a bit crazy to some people, but for me, I noticed that getting up at the same time as I would to go to the gym has helped. Instead of working out, I take it easy and let myself ease into my morning. 

I very much rely on time to myself to maintain a healthy mental health and being able to create that time to allow myself to have that time to myself has been very important. 

However, what I have noticed is that I started getting more and more exhausted for reasons that I am not sure of. This could be due to the fact that emotions and stress levels are higher, therefore I am feeling more rundown than usual. So, I have learned to listen to my body and let myself sleep in a little bit if I need to do so a couple days during the week. Not just during this time, but all the time! Your body will tell you what it needs and it’s important to listen and not get frustrated. 

GET RIGHT INTO THE SHOWER.

For me, I don’t feel like my day can really start if I don’t jump in the shower. My new routine included going to the bathroom and getting right into the shower to wake up and get in the mindset to get my day started. 

DRINK 24oz OF WATER.

When I go to the gym in the morning, I usually drink at least 16oz of water before I go to the gym and drink another 24oz-32oz while I’m at the gym. I would rely on that to make sure that I am getting in my water. Starting the day with water is incredibly important and comes with many benefits. 

Now that I don’t have the gym to rely on, I started making it a goal to drink 24oz of water right when I get up. Before I start drinking coffee and eating breakfast. It helps for many reasons, but I also always feel dehydrated and lethargic when I wake up anyway, so getting in 24oz of cold water upon waking up really helps with waking up my body and making me feel more energized and I notice that I don’t feel as bloated, plus I don’t get headaches like I would if I neglected getting in the water.

MEDITATE & JOURNAL.

After I get showered and drink most of my water, I go into the living room and do a 5-10 minute guided meditation and journal.

MOVE MY BODY.

When I don’t go to the gym in the morning, I always make it a goal to get in 1000 steps. I understand this might sound a bit bizarre to some, but I started pacing around the apartment or lightly jogging in place to move my body and start getting in steps. This doesn’t take long but it always feels so good to start moving my body right away. Not to mention, it always wakes up my body even more. I am so used to the treadmill really waking me up in the morning and doing this releases those endorphins that I am used to.

GET MY COFFEE & WATCH THE NEWS.

By this time, I’ve already been awake for about an hour and I have really taken the time to prioritize myself and I am feeling awake and ready to take on the day. So, at this point I will grab my coffee and turn on the news. 

One thing that I do miss since I have started working out in the morning is just relaxing and taking it easy before sunrise. So, I am really taking the time to enjoy being able to do this. I love just sitting on the couch and sipping my coffee. If I am feeling like it, I will grab my laptop or planner and get some work done.

BREAKFAST AT 6AM.

I do this until my boyfriend wakes up at 6am. We still eat breakfast at this time because he still has to clock in for work at 7am. 

MAKE THE BED.

After breakfast, I will make the bed since my boyfriend is up. I am definitely one of those people who has to make the bed in order to be able to get my day started. It’s like being able to immediately check something off my to-do list and makes me feel like I am already starting to get things done. 

GO ON A WALK AT SUNRISE.

I’ve started going on walks when the weather is nice at sunrise. It’s just another layer that I have added to my routine that I have found really helpful. It allows me to get some light cardio and also get some fresh air. 

By this time I start getting ready to tackle my workday. My workday looks a little bit different than usual, but I just take it a day at a time. 


I don’t follow this routine exactly everyday, but I have found these elements to be helpful in making sure that I am doing what I can to manage my stress and anxiety. Over the years, I’ve been able to learn about what it is that I need to manage my stress & anxiety. Using that information, I’ve been able to learn about what I am in control of and be able to focus on what I can start implementing to make sure that I am doing what I can to get through this. 

I hope you found this to be at least a little bit helpful. I know that it sounds a bit crazy to some people, but this was developed based on what works for me. It’s always important to make sure that you are adjusting your routine based on what works best for you. Maybe you don’t need such a structured routine and you are doing well sleeping in as much as possible. 

That’s OK! Just make sure you are focusing on what you are in control of and doing what YOU need to do to get through this. ❤

Related posts:
>> Self Care & Activities During Quarantine
>> Tips for working from home
>> Staying on track while stuck at home during quarantine

xx
-Jess

Tips for working from home

I’ve been working from home for almost 2 years now & it’s been one of my favorite things. I love being completely in charge of my schedule throughout the day. While it has become one of my favorite things that I’ve been able to create, it hasn’t been an easy journey to getting to where I am today.

With more and more people working from home, I completely understand how hard it can be to get into this new (maybe temporary) normal. Lucky for you, I’ve been able to test out a couple of things that I think will help you out for adjusting to this new normal.

Get prepared the night before

When you are working from home, it’s hard not to get into the mindset that you don’t need to prep as much as you would normally. However, I have found that preparing & prepping the night before is just as helpful to keep me on track all day.

Things to prep & prepare:

  • Meetings. It’s important to pull out your planner & write in when you have any meetings that you have to be present for.
  • Family/kids obligations. Write down in your planner any obligations that your kids have related to school, nap times, etc.

It makes it easier plan your day when you are able to see the times throughout the day that you are busy & need to work around.

  • Meals. Make sure that you have all of your meals planned out for the next day so you aren’t scrambling to figure out what you are eating. This can even go as far as planning out breakfast, lunch, snacks in addition to dinner and prepping them to save you time during the day. 

Stick to a schedule/routine

Writing down everything that you have to do, especially those that have to be done at a certain time is important for making sure that your day runs smoothly. 

It’s important to pencil in those times in your schedule so you can see when you can tackle your work and how long you have at each time. Depending on what your household is like, this will look different for each individual. 

If you are like me and don’t have any kids & not many meetings to work around, then your schedule will obviously have much more flexibility. 

Even if you are like me, it is very important to get yourself into a good routine to make sure that you stay on task and remain productive.

Get ready for the day 

I believe this varies from person to person. I know there are several people who are more productive if they get dressed and ready for the day. Personally, I prefer to work in my comfy clothes.

You know yourself best & maybe you need to test out what works best for you. But, I would definitely continue with your usual morning routine if possible. 

My morning routine has shifted since my boyfriend is working from home with me, but I have generated a new morning routine that contains my non negotiable self care items and gives me the time I need to myself.  You can read more about this routine in my post, My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home!

Give yourself breaks throughout the day

One of the first things that I noticed when I started working from home is that I thought I had to be working all the time, constantly throughout the day. It can be hard to manage your time when outside of your usual office environment. However, that is the best way to work yourself straight to burnout and frustration. 

Listen to your mind & body and give yourself the necessary breaks throughout the day! These can be shorter 10-15 minute breaks or longer, 1-2 hour breaks throughout the day. Definitely listen to your mind & your body & listen to what you need. Having trouble finding motivation? I check out my Tips For When You’re Not Feeling Motivated.

For me, I like to give myself multiple 10-15 minute breaks between work items and then I will take a longer 2 hour break from about 11am-1pm. I started doing this because I noticed that I work best early in the morning, then get a second wave later in the afternoon. Which is why it’s incredibly important to listen to yourself & base your schedule around what works best for YOU!

Ideas for what to do when taking longer breaks:

  • Get outside! Especially right now when we are all stuck at home all day, it can be very easy to get cabin fever. Even if it’s just sitting on my patio for a little bit to breath in some fresh air. It’s important that you are getting out of the inside of your home, giving yourself a break from everything & just get refreshed. Especially now that spring is here and the weather is getting nicer! We all need to get outside & enjoy the fresh air.
  • Exercise. For me, I personally prefer to get my workout in first thing in the morning because the whole process of working out can take a couple hours. However, getting in a workout can be a really great way to take a break from your work & release some stress.
  • Go on a walk. I’ve been trying to make it a habit to go on a 20-30 minute walk at lunchtime to get out of my apartment, get some fresh air & even get in some light cardio. Especially if it’s a nice day, try to get out of the house and walk around!
  • Chores around the house. I will sometimes schedule in times throughout the day to tackle some of those chores around the house to give me a break & also continue staying productive. I will use this time to do laundry, run the dishwasher, put dishes away, clean my cat’s litterbox, etc.

As you can see, most of my ideas have to do with getting out and moving your body, which I think is incredibly important, especially right now. I think that getting outside and walking around is great practice, even if you work at an office usually and you have the opportunity. It’s just a really good habit to start getting into!

Batch your time throughout the day

What does that even mean? It means dedicate chunks of time to work throughout the day, rather than trying to get everything done at once. 

This is where penciling in meetings & other other obligations into your schedule is helpful so you can see what time frames you have to work with.

I like to chunk 1 hour at a time and give myself at least a 10 minute break before moving into my next task to complete. It is sometimes longer & shorter, depending on if I get into flow when working. You can read more in my post about Time Management While Working From Home.

What works best for you?

I do believe that this is different for everybody, which is why it’s important to be able to figure out what works best for you specifically.

For me, I notice that I am much more productive earlier in the morning, so I try to get to my desk as early as possible to make sure that I am able to tap into the max productivity. I realized that if I wait until later in the morning/day to try to start getting to work, I will get distracted and have a hard time focusing. But, like I’ve mentioned, that doesn’t work for everybody.


WHAT I DON’T RECOMMEND

What I absolutely do not recommend is trying to work from bed. I know how tempting it is to wake up and just grab your laptop and try working from bed, but I do not think that is the best way to approach working from home. However, I have done this before when I don’t feel good, but it’s not something that I do all the time.

There are just so many factors that go into being productive working from home and I do truly believe that you should treat it like you would if you were going into the office. Try to keep your routine as “normal” as possible. What might seem like a good, tempting idea, might not be the best, healthiest and most productive decision.

Now, it’s time to start planning out your at-home workday! What does this look like for you?!

I hope you found this helpful! ❤

-Jessie

My Morning Routine As A Young Entrepreneur Working From Home

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! 

Breakfast

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!

Meditation

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.

Journaling

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!

xx