I missed my morning routine this morning.
It’s my own fault, I over slept. And because my children are being challenging it took me 15 minutes to write those two sentences. So yeah, not the morning to miss my routine. And, I haven’t always had a morning routine, in fact, it’s actually a relatively new thing for me. Over the past 5 months, I’ve made major changes in my life in an effort to take control of my mental health and to make my anxiety (and subsequent depression) easier to live with.
Now, I consider myself to be a natural night owl, so at first the idea of waking up early on purpose and “without reason” seemed a little daunting. And impossible.
So, I started to talk to morning people. My older brother, a self professed super early morning person, swears an early morning routine is the key to productivity. A friend of mine is one of those joyful, 5am workout people (follow her IG for morning workout inspiration). And my husband swears by his routine as part of a successful day.
I had to wonder, was I really missing out?
Turns out, I was.
7 Ways A Morning Routine Changed My Life:
Clarity and peace – waking up a couple of hours before my children allows me to visualize the type of day I want to have. This is especially beneficial after a poor nights sleep. In the past, a bad night’s sleep used to equal a bad day. But now, I allow myself the time in the morning to get myself into the right head space for the day which allows me to be my best self for my kids.
Creativity – turns out I’m more creative in the morning! In hindsight, it makes sense that a well-rested mind would work more quickly and produce better quality work. Now, I will say that my night owl brain still produces its best ideas at night but my morning brain makes better use of those ideas.
Luxury of time – time is an illusion so put that illusion to work for you! Waking up early gives me a sense of ‘me time’ without feeling rushed. Those couple hours before my children get up are mine to use as I please. If that means bingeing on some Gilmore Girls while I blog or do yoga or what-have-you, it doesn’t matter. It’s my time that I don’t have to quantify to anyone else.
Structure and stability – anyone with anxiety understands that terrible feeling of not being able to control ones brain, or when your nervous system randomly spins out of control. So, having a personal morning routine (outside of my kids routine) adds a layer of structure and predictability that starts my day in a calm and peaceful way. And bonus, I’ve found that I’m less affected by any craziness going on around me (I mean hi I have twins) throughout the day when I stick to my morning routine.
Focus and productivity – I’m much more productive over the course of the day when I’ve spent the early morning planning and prioritizing the things I want to get done. I also like to do some light yoga and have a quiet cup of coffee. These things help to approach my morning in a more mindful way.
Positivity – Goal setting is a part of my early morning routine. By setting 3 daily goals (for me, this is generally blog and fitness related) I am getting much more accomplished each day and progressing my business at a much faster pace, and that in turn makes me happy! I’m much more capable of dealing with my anxiety and life’s challenges when I feel accomplished each day.
More energetic – My early morning routine contains some form of early morning movement. Whether it’s walking the dog or yoga, getting my body moving early in the morning gets rid of any sluggish feelings, gets some endorphins moving, and puts me in a good mood.
Things to avoid:
The news – no one needs to hear about all the terrible things that happened overnight first thing in the morning. I wait until noon and then I check out the biggest headlines.
Sleeping in – an early morning routine only works if you actually wake up! Sleeping in on a weekday (like I did today) makes you feel like you’re spending the whole day playing catch up. It sucks.
The key is to make your morning routine work for you. Create a morning schedule that makes you feel calm, centered and purposeful.
What are the keys aspects of your morning routine? Share in the comments!