I never thought the shit I did in the morning was super interesting until Instagram stories came around.
I post a lot of content about a lot of different topics. I share fitness tips, recipes, BTS, client stories, random facts. And yet the thing I am always asked about the most is my morning routine.
“What do the crystals do?”
“What card deck do you use?”
“How do you start meditating?”
I’m not an expert in healing with crystals. I can’t sit still for hours yet. And I choose decks based on how pretty they look.
But what I am an expert in, is how powerful a morning routine can be for elevating your day, whether it lasts 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 50 minutes.
When I first became self-employed, I was in the habit of waking up ultra-early to squeeze in a workout before spending the day with clients and working on my business before heading to my j-o-b in the evening.
I stuck with my early morning workouts, but I soon realized that once it was over, I would end up working all. day. long.
My great idea, or so I thought, would be to ditch the early morning workouts and get my sweat on in the afternoon. That way I’d break up my work day with a workout, a shower, and some food. Because at that point, nothing was breaking it up.
This plan was great in theory, but because I was no longer spending an hour or so working out, my morning routine soon consisted of rolling over, grabbing my phone, and seeing what the day ahead consisted of.
“What emails did I forget to respond to?”
“What random spammers are asking if they can write a guest post for my blog?”
“What is everybody else doing in a way that’s so much better than the way I’m currently doing it?”
Clearly, that’s not a very positive headspace to start the day with.
Since then, my morning routine has evolved from a walk on the treadmill while listening to an inspiring podcast to (very) early morning swim practices to bike rides to crystals, oracle cards, and meditating.
As you can see, sometimes I’m sitting down and taking time to reflect. Sometimes I’m moving my body. To me, it doesn’t really matter what I’m doing. What’s important to me is that I’m creating space for myself while being flexible. I’m a creature of habit so I’ll often stick with a particular routine for awhile, but once it becomes stale or less inspiring, I like to switch it up.
In case you’ve been hearing all about morning routines but aren’t convinced you’d benefit from one, today I’m sharing five reasons why you need a morning routine (and how to create one now!).
Reason #1: It Helps You Prioritize Yourself
I have a hunch that if you’re reading my blog and you’re a part of my community, you likely have a lot on your plate. Maybe you’re killin’ it at work, taking on new projects and helping out your team. Maybe you’re volunteering for organizations that tug at your heart strings. And maybe you’re doing all of the above with a toddler in tow.
Whatever your story, I’m willing to bet you’re sharing a lot of your energy with others throughout the day. And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
But what’s equally beautiful is giving yourself space to take care of yourself, before handling allllll the other responsibilities on your plate like a boss.
And in my humble opinion, that space is best created first thing in the morning, before any other distractions and to-dos can take over.
Whether it’s a workout, a meditation, or some journalling, when you take time for yourself first thing in the morning you send yourself a subliminal message that you are a priority.
Reason #2: It Increases Productivity
When you wake up a little earlier for some You Time, you can begin your day in a calm state. Have you ever had one of those days where you slept through your alarm, woke up in a panic before getting ready in a hurry and feeling flustered all day?
Yeah, those days suck.
Waking up a little earlier for a workout will boost your mental clarity and prepare you to take on the day. Journalling and meditating can also help you clear your mind so you can focus on being a badass.
Reason #3: It Reduces Anxiety
A morning routine helps you start your day being proactive about improving your mood, as opposed to relying on all of the external factors in your life to dictate how your day goes. Those of us who have struggled with chronic anxiety will benefit from channeling some of that nervous energy into something productive before going out into the world.
You may not consider yourself to be someone who “has anxiety”. But if you’ve got something hanging over your head that’s causing you grief, taking some quiet time in the morning to reflect can help you see the picture more clearly.
Reason #4: It Improves Emotional Well-Being
More self care, more productivity, and less anxiety – sounds like a recipe for contentment, doesn’t it?
When we get off the defensive and start really taking care of ourselves, all while accomplishing the work that matters in as calm a state as possible, we begin to experience greater enjoyment in other areas of our lives. Improved relationships, better intimacy, a desire to engage in hobbies just for fun.
All these things that lower stress and elevate mood have a positive effect on your physical well-being, ie lower blood pressure, reduced risk of diabetes, lowered cortisol…I could go on and on 😉
Reason #5: Your Willpower Battery is Full in the Morning
Think of your willpower like the battery on your phone. Every time you have to make a decision, that battery drains. Some things drain the battery more than others. For example, saying no to your co-worker’s famous cookies because you’re off sugar, versus responding to a client’s email in a polite way when you really have a few choice words you’d like to say.
If there’s something you really want to do for yourself, whether it’s working out, meditating, journaling, or pulling a tarot card, you’re far more likely to do it when your willpower battery is full. And it’s at its most full right when you wake up, before you’ve had to make any other decisions.
Need I say more? 😉
Simple Tips for Creating a Morning Routine
I think I’ve made my case on why you need a morning routine. Now how do you go about creating one that feels just right for you?
Be realistic. How much time do you actually have in the morning? How much earlier are you really willing to wake up? It’s great to say you’re going to workout, meditate, and write 6 pages in your journal, but if you’re only willing to get up 20 minutes earlier, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Instead, find a happy medium. Can you do a few quick stretches, a short meditation, and half a page instead of three? Remember that a short morning routine is better than no morning routine.
Ask yourself what actually makes you feel charged up. Take some time to think about what actually helps you start your day on a positive note. If meditation is just not your thing, cool! Go for a walk instead. Absolutely love freewriting? Take some time to jot down thoughts, ideas, poems, or whatever else comes to your mind in the morning.
Consider the habits you’ve been wanting to cultivate. If you’ve been saying you should start meditating for years but you’ve yet to try it, your new morning routine is a great place to start! The things you always say you want to do but don’t have time for are a perfect place to start when looking for activities to add to your morning routine.
Be flexible and experiment. Keep in mind that your morning routine will probably look a lot different in 6 months than it does now. It can take some time to figure out what’s going to help you start your day on the highest note possible. Try a few different things, and don’t hesitate to switch up your routine if it’s feeling like it’s getting stale.
Forget about perfection. This is one of those spaces where it’s 100% okay to get messy. Did you have no idea what you were doing but still made it to the gym anyway? Awesome! Pulling oracle cards and creating your own meaning out of them? That’s great too.
Sure, there are ways we can maximize our results from our efforts. But especially when you’re just starting out, it’s important to remember that creating that morning space is an accomplishment in and of itself. It doesn’t have to look perfect.
Do you have a morning routine? What do you like to do to start your day on a strong note?