I genuinely can’t believe that I, of all people, am writing a blog post on the importance of mastering a morning routine. Until very recently I’d never had a morning routine in my entire life. I spent my teens sleeping in until 12pm and earlier this year I couldn’t get my ass out of bed at all. I was stuck in a horrible cycle of feeling lazy, guilty and unproductive. I’ve slowly formed an enjoyable, easy morning routine and I can’t even begin to describe how much better I feel, both physically and mentally. A morning ritual sets the tone for the whole day and is truly one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. So stick at it! 🙂
When I used to work full time I’d set my alarm for 7am, 7:05am, 7:10am and finally roll out of bed at 7:20am. Jump in the shower, tie my wet hair up, run for the bus and sleep all the way to work. After arriving late (most days), I’d regain conciousness whilst eating breakfast at my desk and trying to remember the log in password for my computer. I longed for the day that I’d be self employed, and I pictured myself waking up at 9am (the dream), doing a spot of yoga before beginning my wonderfully productive day as a free lance makeup artist, choosing my own hours, being super organised and living the dream. Little did I know that 9am would become 11am, or that I’d mope around in my pyjamas all day spending half the time with my head in the fridge, scroll through Instagram, Facebook, and finally get dressed, drag myself to an appointment or two, then come home and get straight back in to my pyjamas. Procrastination was my middle name, with no one to tell me to get off my ass and make an effort – I became a total bum.
Don’t get me wrong, there were the odd days where I’d set my alarm for 6am, go for a morning run, come home to meditate and spend the rest of the day being super productive, prancing around on cloud 9. But I could never quite make it stick. Three days in and I was already back to square one, wondering where it all went wrong.
And here was the problem…Not only was my proposed morning routine quite unrealistic and strict, It was a considerable change to what I’d previously been doing for years. In a similar fashion to embarking upon a brand new diet, I decided that I wanted to wake up and run 5km every morning, no matter what the weather. I also vowed that I would meditate for half an hour, make a super healthy breakfast, and top of that – walk to work. This would mean me waking up 2 hours earlier than I usually would, and it was horrendous. How are you meant to successfully form a habit by doing something that you don’t truly enjoy? Where was the PLEASURE in my morning routine? I was dragging my ass out of bed to torture myself before work, and even though I had a little more energy, it definitely didn’t put me in the best mood, and by the end of the day I was pooped. This time around I decided to approach my new morning ritual with a little more self love, a little less self discipline and some far more realistic goals.
So here’s what I do now (And it feels fabulous)…
- I know my ‘WHY?‘… Why do I want to have a morning ritual? Because I want to be productive, successful, happy and calm. I focus on those four reasons and they get me out of bed in the morning. Yours may be totally different, it may be that you want to be healthier, live longer, have less anxiety, be more organised, get to work earlier, spend more time with your kids etc. Whatever the reason, knowing your ‘why?’ will give you a meaningful reason for getting out of bed that little bit earlier.
- I keep my phone on plane mode all night, and don’t turn it on until I’ve completed steps 3, 4 & 5. Checking texts, emails, Instagram pics, Facebook comments etc. first thing in the morning gets your mind racing before the day has even begun. Being bombarded by tragic news articles at 7am is not going to set you up for a good day, and honestly…neither is getting distracted by meme’s.
- I set an alarm that gives me an hour or two to play with before I begin work. You can change this according to your personal circumstances – if you already wake up at 5am for work then even a 10 or 20 minute morning ritual will do.
- I open my laptop (Without checking anything) and put on a morning guided meditation and listen to it whilst still lying in bed, half asleep. This is an amazing time to meditate because your subconscious mind will absorb a tonne of suggestions and positive affirmations. I’ve listed my favourite ones at the end of this blog post so have a listen to a few and see if you can find one that you like. Some are about 10 minutes long, some are 20. If you are new to meditation and find it difficult, you can try doing deep breathing exercises for a few minutes instead. After a few days of practising, you’ll probably be ready to move on to a short meditation.
- I usually finish meditating with a great big smile on my face, this is the perfect time to set an intention or to state something that you are grateful for. For example, I’ll either say ‘Thank you God for giving me this beautiful life and the chance to experience a new day.” or “Today I will love myself unconditionally.”
- Depending on how I feel, I will either choose to exercise or not. It doesn’t matter – some days I’m raring to go and others I genuinely couldn’t think of anything worse. You might just want to do a short yoga session or some stretching on your less energetic days, or you may want to do a one hour full body workout at home or get to the gym for a class before work. Listen to your body – do what feels right. She knows. I love doing a 30 min hiit session at home, It makes me feel so good and is just the right amount of exercise to get my endorphins flowing. And since I’m in Bali right now, I’m lucky enough to be able to jump in the pool straight afterwards 😛
- Depending on how I feel, I will eat breakfast – or if i’m not feeling hungry, I won’t. And depending on how I feel, I’ll choose something nutritious and healthy, or a chocolate croissant if I very well please. Again, let’s remember that you are here to enjoy your life, and pleasure should be a priority. Don’t force yourself to eat spinach and eggs at 8am if you don’t really want to. And don’t deny yourself a cinnamon swirl if it’s all you can think about.
- I make a checklist of things to do for the day, in order of importance. This is one I’m still working on, as I’m terrible at doing things in the right order and always end up doing the easy, less important stuff first. I thoroughly enjoy making lists but I absolute hate sticking to them! Haha!Please remember, you don’t have to do everything at once. You can gradually change your habits, adding new ones when you feel willing and ready. Too much at once and you’ll end up giving up all together 🙂
I’ve listed a few of my favourite morning meditations down below from YouTube, there are literally thousands so you’ll be able to find one you love!
Good luck, love you all x