Let me start by saying I am not a morning person! Getting up at the crack of dawn and starting my day before the rest of the world has never been a sustainable option for me. So if you’re anything like me, no worries! You can still create a morning routine that gets your day started on a peaceful, positive, and productive note.
I’m not gonna lie, I’ve struggled for years to
create maintain a morning routine. A couple of years ago I was inspired after reading “The Miracle Morning.” A great book all about the benefits of incorporating a morning routine and some best practices. I was so pumped to start my own morning routine and found myself waking up at 5 am to do about ten different tasks.
To make a long story short, that did not last.
Nevertheless, I did see the value in it, I just needed to tweak it and find something that worked for me. And that’s exactly what I recommend you do too.
Now, because we are in the midst of this global pandemic and are quarantining at home, I decided that this was the ideal time to commit to doing a morning routine. In a time where all the days are running together and things are just weird in general, I thought this would give me some structure, bring a sense of calm, and aid in my productivity throughout the day.
And honestly it has! What I love about morning routines is the feeling of accomplishment that you get after completing it. I love having that positive energy early in the day.
That’s why I want to encourage you to create and stick to (the tricky part) a morning routine. Especially right now as a way to keep you grounded and bring more positivity to your day. We need all the positive vibes we can get!
So! If you’re interested in doing so, read on to learn about my current morning routine as well as tips and ideas for creating your own.
My Morning Routine
When creating my morning routine, I thought about the things that I wanted to do daily but often wasn’t getting around to. Most of these were things I was already doing, but making a routine around them allowed me to prioritize getting them done on a daily basis.
My routine consists of the following activities:
- Oil pulling
- Drinking water
- Yoga or stretching
- Eating breakfast
This may seem like a lot, but as you’ll see, many things take just a few minutes and also overlap.
Okay, you might be wondering what this is! Oil pulling is an ayurvedic oral health technique that involves swishing oil around your mouth kind of like mouth wash to kill harmful bacteria. Some of the benefits of oil pulling, specifically with coconut oil, include preventing bad breath, cavities and inflammation, whitening teeth, and improving gum health. It has also been said to reduce inflammation and support detoxification throughout the entire body (source).
On my nightstand I keep my coconut oil in a Tupperware container. And the first thing I do when I wake up is to take a tablespoon of oil and swish it around for about 20 minutes. This can be challenging! If you’re interested in trying it, start with 5 minutes and work your way up. Don’t swallow it. While I am oil pulling, I do my gratitude practice and reading.
There are many benefits to incorporating some time in your day to reflect on the good things and remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for. It’s the ultimate mood booster. While I’m oil pulling, I write down 1-3 things I’m grateful for in my bullet journal.
I used to use the Five Minute Journal to do this, but recently adopted the bullet journaling method and have everything contained in there. This takes about five minutes and then it’s on to reading.
I love reading and I have quite of few books on my To-Read list. But I don’t always make the time for it. Incorporating reading into my morning routine has helped me to make reading more of a habit and put a dent in my reading list. I usually read for about 15 minutes. It’s not a whole lot of time, but I do feel like I’m making consistent progress. I do this while oil pulling.
After 20 minutes I’m done oil pulling and I move on to brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc.
There are many benefits of drinking water, particularly lemon water, in the morning. It hydrates you, helps with digestion later in the day, and can even contribute to weight loss (source).
I’m obsessed with lemon water and drink it all day long, but I start with about 8-12 oz in the morning. I have this prepared overnight and I keep my bottle on my nightstand, so this takes just a few seconds.
One of my goals lately has been to improve in my yoga practice. I’ve gone through many phases in my workout journey and right now yoga is what feels the best for me and what I’ve been enjoying the most. I love the focus and the feeling of calm it brings me.
Depending on time and my mood, I’ll either do a guided yoga video, a yoga flow on my own or I’ll just do some simple stretching. I don’t spend more than 20 minutes because I plan on doing more extended workouts at other times during the week. But it’s a great way to get some movement in and wake up the body.
I have really grown to love meditation. It’s one of my favorite practices for stress relief and calming my mind, which is very much needed. I have a few apps that I like to use, but my favorite is Calm. Usually, I do a guided meditation, but other times it just me and my thoughts. This lasts about 10 minutes.
Lastly, I end my morning routine with breakfast. What I eat varies from day-to-day. Although it’s usually pretty simple. I kid you not, my go-to breakfast is actually homemade soup that I just pop in the microwave. But it’s less about what I eat and more about how I eat. I try to practice mindful eating by sitting at the table and eating slowly, trying to be present and enjoy what I’m eating instead of rushing and multitasking like I often do. I also listen to music or a podcast and relax. I spend about 20-30 minutes on this.
So there you have it, that is my current morning routine!
Create Your Morning Routine
Feeling inspired to create your own routine or maybe revamp one that you already have?! Before you do, I want to give you some tips on how to create and sustain a morning routine that works for you and give you a list of possible activities and habits you can build into your routine.
4 Tips for Customizing Your Morning Routine
1. Think about how much time you want to spend and how much time you reasonably have to spend.
What time do you have to be up vs. what time do you want to wake up. That will give you a sense as to how much time you’re working with. Your routine does not have to be 2 hours to be a worthwhile addition to your day. Right now, my routine is working for me because I have more time on my hands. But down the road that may change and I’ll have to adjust.
2. Consider what your goal is for your routine.
Here are some questions to think about before creating your morning routine:
- How do you want to feel? Relaxed? Energized? Empowered?
- What do you want more of in your day? Productivity? Peace? Happiness? Better health?
- What do you enjoy doing but find you don’t have enough time for?
Your answers will tell you what types of habits you should prioritize.
3. Start slow.
There’s nothing worse than ambitiously starting something and not being able to maintain it. You beat yourself up and then give up on it altogether. Save yourself the stress and start slow, especially if you don’t have a lot of time to work with. I recommend choosing 1-3 activities to incorporate and add on as you solidify it as a habit.
4. Keep some flexibility.
You’ll feel accomplished when you complete your morning routine, but it’s easy to feel the opposite when you don’t make it through the whole routine or do it at all. Prepare yourself for those days when you just don’t have time or don’t feel like it. It happens!! Don’t be afraid to modify your routine when needed, just keep going!
Here are some ideas for activities you can include in your morning routine.
Morning Routine Ideas
- Practice deep breathing
- Write down your dreams
- Listen to a podcast
- Listen to an audiobook
- Take an online course
- Listen to music
- Gratitude practice
- Work on a side hustle or business idea
- Work on a hobby
- Drink water
- Make tea or coffee
- Eat breakfast
- Go outside
- Enjoy aromatherapy
- Make your bed
- Make a to-do list for the day
- Look over your budget
- Water your plants
- Talk with your partner or a friend
- Do a skincare regiment
There are so many options! These are just a few ideas to get you going. I hope that you’ll create a morning routine of your own that brings you peace, joy, feelings of accomplishment, and whatever else you need for an enjoyable start to your day.