Welcome back to Self Care Sundays! This series runs every single Sunday, and each week we share new ways to infuse a little extra self care into your life. Whether you’re a student, busy mum or full-time entrepreneur, there’s sure to be something for you. You can have a read through all of our live instalments here. Happy Sunday!
I know it seems like everyone is talking about morning routines at the moment – either sharing their own or talking about how you should have one. Personally, I’ll never be an early bird. Mornings have always been a bit of a struggle for me and if you read last week’s Self Care Sunday post, you’ll know they’re where I tend to fall into a trap of boredom, demotivation and tiredness. That being said, people aren’t wrong in saying that a morning routine is one of the best things that can set you up for success. In fact, ask almost any successful person and they’ll likely tell you they have some kind of routine or ritual they follow in the morning.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – just a couple of activities that feel good and right to you that set you up for the best kind of day. Trust me, you’ll know when you’ve found what works when you’re smiling in the face of that obnoxious, angry customer or hurtling down a snow-covered road after only passing your test a month prior (hint: that was me during our snow storms recently).
My favourite kind of morning looks something like this: Wake up, big glass of water, stretch, journal, meditate, tap. Tapping is new to my mornings, and don’t ask me to explain how it works (there are people far more qualified for that), but I’ve found it really has helped me shift my focus as I start a new day. The other stuff is fairly simple, meditating clears my head, stretching clears my body, and journalling gets all the gunk out onto a page so that I don’t have to worry about it for the next 12 hours. I usually also list my gratitude, even if all I can think of is a good brew and my dog not waking me up by licking my ears that morning.
Having a good morning routine sets you up for a good day. Think about it: how often do you wake up, go straight to your phone, fall out of bed 20 minutes late because you were watching puppies on Instagram, feel stiff as a board for sleeping on a crooked neck and go into your day feeling groggy and grumpy? Compare that to waking up feeling productive. You’ve made your bed and feel like you truly have your shit together. You get a decent breakfast instead of inhaling a coffee and little else, and feel energetic and ready to get going. Whether breakfast and bed making is your thing, or burning incense and having a full-on ritual, a good start means you’ll carry that on into the day.
Building your morning routine:
So how do you become someone who actually gets out of bed when they need to? I’m still far from the early bird, but here are some tips that helped me:
- Try to actually get up when your alarm goes off. Trust me, I know the pull of the duvet dragging you back into bed, but more often than not those extra 15 minutes make you feel worse rather than better. When I’m in a good habit of getting up the first time, I’m usually much more able to gauge when I’m actually tired and make better bedtime decisions than when I sleep in and spend the day feeling rubbish, take a nap, and then have a late night because I can’t sleep.
- Start small. If the only thing you do for the first couple of weeks is get up and make your bed then so be it. It’s about building habits, not switching your whole life up overnight. And we all know that when you wake up feeling like you have tonnes to do before you’ve even got started, you’re more likely to turn to the snooze button. Pick one thing and build on it weekly.
- Switch it up often. You might not be a yogi or seasoned meditator, but there are other things that you can do in a morning that set you up the right way, so if something isn’t sitting with you, don’t feel bad about ditching it and trying something new.
- Hydrate before you caffeinate. I learned this one from Shona Vertue (an actual goddess), and she’s right. Sometimes the morning coffee is seemingly all that gets you through the day, but most of us wake up dehydrated and caffeine isn’t helping. A big glass of water in the morning gets the old system grinding into action, hydrates you, wakes you up and sets away your digestive system. If you’re like me and water in a morning feels gross, add lemon or berries to give it a bit of something-something. I actually really enjoy lemon, maple and ACV in my water though it’s definitely an acquired taste.
- Commit to it. This seems obvious but things won’t always change overnight, and you have to commit to building better habits if you want them to actually work. Tick your morning routine off in your diary or habit tracker each day and soak up the satisfaction.
Some ideas to build your morning routine:
- Read 10 pages of a book
- Stretch for as long as you need
- Journal on your day
- Drink 1L of water
- Make your bed
- Have a nutritious breakfast (meal prep if you need)
- Try EFT, or tapping
- Try gratitude journalling
- Do a quick at-home workout
- Plan your day & prioritise your to-do list
- Pack your bag and prep your food for the day
- Tidy your room/kitchen/desk/living room
- Try affirmations
- Spend some time bullet journalling
- Listen to a podcast or TED talk – and pay attention!
- Take a mindful shower
- Use some energising essential oils
- Try “wonder woman posing”
- Dance It Out – channel your inner Meridith Grey and Cristina Yang and dance it out.
- Do something creative
- Go for a walk
- Read an inspiring article
Try a few of them and see how you get on!
What does your morning routine look like? Tell me all about it!
Did you catch last week’s Self Care Sunday? We discussed what self-care actually is (and isn’t) and how I take better care of myself.