How staring your mornings right can make all the difference in the world!
Rise & Shine!
Morning routines or rituals are something you may have heard about before. My morning routine has actually helped me feel calmer at the start of my day.
This is important because I am NOT a morning person!
In fact, I love to sleep in and usually sleep an extra 30 minutes to an hour before I have to leave the house. When the shelter in place first took effect, my sleep and wake-up time was highly impacted. I tried different things, and you can read more about that experience here.
Now that it has been a year since the 1st shelter in place order, I have shifted some things in my schedule to help me prepare for any unexpected changes that may come my way. I recently started to take up a morning routine, which has helped me get my day started and have some time to myself every morning. Never in my life did I think I would be the kind of person who would intentionally set a morning routine, but I am happy to report that it has helped me ground myself. Having a routine has been extremely helpful for me during these uncertain times, especially since it is a great way to avoid just jumping into work straight out of bed. Before my morning routine, I often felt scattered and overwhelmed.
My Morning Routine
A morning routine is something you do right after waking up every single day. This can look different for everyone and consists of simple things such as drinking water, meditating, praying, stretching, etc. Your morning routine is based on your personal preference, needs, availability, and benefit. For example, I wake up at 7:00AM every day to make sure I have at least 2 free hours before starting work. During these two hours, I get up, drink warm lemon water, and write in my journal. After finishing my morning journaling, I will meditate, drink fresh water, make coffee, shower, eat breakfast, and get started with my day. I do it all in this order, every single day. Repeating the same thing every day has helped me with pacing my day, especially when I know what the workday may bring. It has also allowed me to be more present in my day.
What is the Point of Having a Morning Routine?
During times of high stress and uncertainty, we can feel like we are all over the place. It is easy to get caught up in the world’s stress and chaos, and a morning routine introduces mindfulness to our day. A morning routine can help us feel more at ease. It can help us feel like we have a sense of control over the start of our day, even if we don’t know what to expect throughout our day. A consistent routine can help us feel calmer because a morning routine brings predictability and calm. Even if it’s just for a few minutes, you can have some grounding and control over your day. I have personally noticed the wonders having a morning routine has done for my nervous system.
How to Get Started in a Morning Routine
Your morning routine should be unique to you. You get to decide how much time you want to spend on yourself every morning. If, after reading this, you choose to start a morning routine, here are some things to consider:
- What do you enjoy?
- Do you enjoy music?– play some music, dance or sing in the morning.
- Do you enjoy quiet mornings?-Do a quick stretch in bed before getting up, meditate or take 3 deep breaths before getting out of bed.
- How do you want to feel (energized, happy, excited, etc.)? Consider how you may want to feel and think of activities that might help you feel that way (ex. Exercise, using positive affirmations, deep breathing, etc.).
- Do you want to feel relaxed? Take 5 deep breaths. Remember to follow what your body needs.
Other ideas you can try for your morning routine include:
stretching, drinking water, listening to music, dancing, journaling, meditation, working out, making coffee, getting fresh air, tending to your plants, and the list goes on.
A key thing to remember is that your routine activity can range in time, and it can be a quick 5 minutes if that is all you have time for. Also, don’t be afraid to explore and experiment. It can take time to find the perfect routine, but once you do, the benefits will be immense!
Zeyda is a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor who specializes in children and youth mental health. She helps youth and families make meaning of their experiences and supports caregivers in better understanding their children. Zeyda also created her wellness blog to make her knowledge as a therapist accessible. Her work is inspired by being 1st generation Mexicana raised in Los Angeles and by her ancestor who made all of these career opportunities possible.