How to start your mornings feeling connected, calm, and ready to take on the world! (Or at least take on your day)
What is a morning routine?
There are a lot of people out there that will tell you they have the perfect morning routine to set you up for success- and most of them are really great routines. A lot of them are unrealistic and require you to wake up at 4am because tHaT’s WhEn SucCesSFul PeOpLe WaKe Up (I can’t believe there still isn’t a sarcasm font). I tried the 4am wake up routines. I tried a lot of one-size-fits-all routines. What I found to be most successful for me is doing what makes ME feel good. What a concept, right?
So what is a morning routine? I define it as a series of activities that you perform every morning that get you ready to re-enter the world as a functioning human. It prepares you mentally and physically for whatever might pop up during your day. The morning routine can be a spiritual practice if you let it.
Your morning routine really begins the night before. Get to bed at a decent hour so that you can wake up on time, feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. Evening/Bedtime routine blog to follow at a later date.
Why do you need a morning routine?
I suppose you don’t need a morning routine. They can be an important part of your daily self-care practice. A morning routine can keep you grounded and calm throughout the day. A morning routine keeps you connected to yourself, mind, body and spirit, as well as to your goals. A morning routine helps you show up as your best self in all areas of life.
Basic Parts of a successful morning routine
Like I said, I am very anti-prescription when it comes to a successful morning. One size does not fit all. What works for me as a person without children and plenty of freedom in my schedule will probably not work for a single mother of 3 who has to be at work at 8am. With that, I do think that there are some important basic parts that can be tweaked to fit your needs and lifestyle.
These are the 5 basic parts that I work with. Let’s break them down!
You have been fasting for at least (hopefully) 8 or so hours. Your body will thank you sooo much if you give it some water (NOT COFFEE) first thing. I can already hear you screaming at me about the coffee! Listen, I’m not saying don’t drink coffee. I’m saying put some water in your body first. That’s all. I don’t like to just drink plain water in the mornings, so I rotate between a few different elixirs. The OG choice is warm lemon water. I squeeze the juice of half a lemon into my water, and voila! If you have never done this before, start with less lemon and work your way up to half, it can be pretty sour! Another option is to add a little bit of honey. I will also add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar because I have low stomach acid and this helps with digestion.
Another great way to start is ginger tea. You can either buy your favorite brand of tea or make it fresh. I cut up about an inch or so of fresh ginger into slices and boil them in water on Sunday evenings. That way you have fresh ginger tea ready to go throughout the week. Just keep it in the fridge. I sometimes add a cinnamon stick to the water while it’s boiling for some extra flavor.
You can make a green juice or smoothie; you can stick to plain water!
The options here are endless and can be whatever you like- try to stick to herbal, non-caffeinated choices first and then move on to the good stuff like coffee.
This is one of my favorites because it really gets your blood and circulation flowing first thing in the morning and makes it easier to manage whatever comes in your day. If you are a morning workout person, you are already doing this. If you aren’t, that’s ok. The movement can be 5-10 minutes of stretching or a quick cardio burst (jumping jacks, mountain climbers, jump rope, whatever). Your movement can be a walk, it can be a dance party- literally the only requirements are that you are moving your body in a way that feels good to you. Find that, do it every day.
Both movement and stillness are important to our wellbeing. We are constantly on the go in our world today. We are constantly connected via the internet, social media, and our phones that our brains don’t ever get a break. We are over consuming without even realizing it. It is so important to find just a few moments of stillness and quiet time when you can. For me, this looks like 10 or so minutes of meditation. I usually listen to a guided meditation on the Calm app or on YouTube, depending on what theme I want. Sometimes I will just observe my thoughts as they come by, but that tends to be much more difficult for my mind because I have a lot of thoughts. I provide some guided meditations on my IGTV @messyauthentic and am in the works of creating a YouTube channel to offer the same- I will update you once that is up and running. Stillness can also look like just taking a few minutes to focus on your breath. Many people find that spending a minute in bed focusing on the breath right after they wake up is beneficial.
Having a gratitude practice is essential to maintain perspective and a positive mindset. Recognizing all of what we have- big and small- feels really good. I used to share this practice with my partner. Each morning we would share our gratitudes with one another via text. In a journal, or even quietly to yourself, bring to mind just 3 things that you feel grateful for. Allow yourself to truly feel the gratitude and joy that these things bring you before moving on.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of why you do what you do. Spending time thinking about what you want keeps you on track and helps make decisions that you can feel proud of. Maybe you are working on getting a promotion at work, maybe you want an entirely new career, perhaps you are saving up for a big vacation… Whatever your goals are, spend time thinking about them. I practice future journaling, where I write about what it will feel like once I have achieved my goals. I pick a date in the future, usually a year away from the date, and write about the last year and the success it brought me. You can also just use your mind’s eye to visualize, or you can write out a to do list of steps that will help get you where you want to be. However you connect with your goals is up to you, but the connection is what will help your morning routine set you up for success. Whatever you are thinking about is where your mind will take you.
What is your morning routine going to look like? How can you incorporate each of these 5 component parts into your successful morning?
If this resonates with you and you want to take it deeper by working with me, I offer one-on-one coaching! We will work together to empower you to feel confident and clear about what you want for your life. The first step to success is defining what it is.
Contact me today!