Morning routines are so important for our health and well-being. While some people are able to jump right out of bed and start being productive, most of us struggle to get going (I definitely fall into this camp). This is where a good morning routine can really help you start your day in the right way.
This last month I’ve been re-assessing and improving my own morning routine so I thought I would share with you what my morning routine now looks like along with tips on how you can revamp your own morning routine.
Why do you need a morning routine?
There are a lot of psychosocial and physical benefits to having a good morning routine.
Good morning routines are key to starting your day in the right way so that you’re more productive, feel in control, boost your energy levels and improve your mood.
My morning routine
1. Wake up and make the bed
Normally I wake up just before my alarm clock in the summer months, but in winter I find it a bit more of a challenge. My dog can normally be on hand to get me up through.
I make the bed as soon as I’m out of it. It helps resist crawling back in and instantly makes the room feel more put together and calmer. It only takes me 30 seconds to do as I don’t have any extra throws or pillows to contend with.
2. Take a shower
I find that a shower helps me wake up and feel refreshed. I’m also not one to want something to eat or drink right after I’ve woken up, so I find a shower is a great use of my time until my appetite resumes.
I used to sometimes skip breakfast but found I was then snacking lots before lunchtime. I now make time for breakfast. During the week this is normally granola and yoghurt. On the weekends we normally have eggs on toast or croissants as a treat.
4. Get dressed and ready for work
Probably an obvious one especially if I’m leaving the house! My clothes are well organised so it takes me seconds to pick out an outfit. My clothes are organised in my wardrobe by colour primarily. Then within the colour sections, they’re sorted by type with short-sleeved things first before progressing to longer sleeves or jumpers/cardigans at the end. I’ve done this for years (long before Marie Kondo came along) and once set up I find it’s so simple and easy to maintain. It saves me loads of time picking out things that match or finding a certain item.
5. Open the curtains and windows
Before I leave I open the curtains and also try to open the windows for about 10 minutes to allow fresh air into my home.
6. Walk to the office
I have a day job which is only half an hour walk from where I live. I like to walk to work as much as I can. It gives me fresh air, exercise and I feel more energised once I arrive, compared to driving. I’m not a massive fan of exercising and always putting it off, but I find by incorporating it into my daily routine I can easily get to 10,000 steps a day and get my heart pumping a little bit.
Sometimes when I walk, I like to listen to podcasts about photography, entrepreneurship and psychology (or whatever floats my boat that morning). There are so many great podcasts out there now, and this is a great way to incorporate them into my every day with little effort.
7. To do list
Once I arrive at work I make myself a green tea and then review my to-do list for the day and check my diary. I plan my work that day around my meetings. I try to plan it so I “eat the frog”, or tackle an urgent task. Eat the frog is a concept in which you do the most difficult task first. I first came across the concept during a training event at work. The concept is based on the book called “Eat that frog” by Brian Tracy if you want to read more.
Things to consider when planning your morning routine
Get enough sleep
I need my 8 hours of sleep. Without it I feel tired, can be a bit moody and don’t feel as productive or motivated. Now I know this, I make sure I get to bed at a reasonable time. Before I didn’t realise how long it would take us to get ready for bed. We would watch TV till about 10, but by the time we let the dog out, got the kitchen tidy, dishwasher on, brushed out teeth etc, we wouldn’t actually be ready to fall asleep until nearer 11 pm.
Now I know how long it really takes us to do the bedtime rituals and takes for me to switch off, I know start going to bed earlier to make sure I get enough sleep before my alarm goes off and I no longer need to set multiple alarms or hit the snooze button too many times before actually get out of bed.
Resisting screen time
I got in a bad habit of reaching for my phone first thing in the morning, and mindless scrolling through social media and emails. This was such a waste of my time and energy. I now try to avoid picking up my phone in the mornings and use an app called space to help me keep track of my phone habits to make sure I’m more mindful of my screen time.
Keep things clean and tidy
After reading Marie Kondo last year, I know to try to make sure my house is near and tidy before going to bed. I don’t do a massive cleaning spree before bed but some simple things that really help me feel calmer and not wake up to much clutter around. I have really found that a messy house really affects my mood so not seeing it in the morning helps me start clean.
Before going to bed, I quickly put things away in the living room, load the dishwasher and put it on overnight, wipe down the sink and put any clothes away in the bedroom. This really only takes me 5 minutes to do but makes the world of difference 🙂
How to build your own morning routine
We have to remember to review our morning routines and adapt them to suit our needs. What works for you one year, might not work for you the next.
- To first build a routine, pick your wake up time and your end time.
- Put in the things you need to do and the time it takes you, from there you know how much time you have for other good habits.
- Once you know how much time you have for other habits, pick 2-4 habits that you want to incorporate. If this at first seems overwhelming, why not just pick 1 habit and start to stack more habits to it after time. Good habits to consider could be:
- Making the bed
- Taking a cold shower
- Write a daily gratitude
- Take vitamins
- Do some stretches
I hope this helps you put together your own morning routine. If you have other suggestions I would love to hear them.