One of my accomplishments I'm most proud of this year has been nailing down a morning routine.
For years, my morning routine has looked mostly like this:
Wake up to iPhone alarm. Reach for iPhone. Turn off alarm. Open Twitter. Scroll, scroll, scroll…
I spent my days like this, up until one morning when I couldn’t take it anymore. Beginning my day by following up on all the notifications and news and messages I missed overnight, I spent my mornings catching up.
I’d spend my time and productive morning energy catching up on the tasks the world would throw at me instead of putting my best energy into the projects I wanted to be working on. It left me feeling stressed, anxious, and defeated before I even got out of bed.
Over the last two years, I’ve been intentionally working on finding a morning routine that works for me. The practices themselves have ebbed & flowed alongside my life but the discipline of waking & starting the day on purpose has been & will always be steady.
Here’s what my mornings have been looking like the past few months:
- Wake up to an old-school alarm.
- Put on workout clothes.
- Do a yoga practice.
- Drink a glass of water while I journal. (Journaling consists of writing 10 things I’m grateful for, writing a prayer, and then “morning pages”.)
- Make some breakfast! Lately I’ve been on an eggs & toast kick. Branden & I eat it together before he heads off to work. Some mornings though, it’s just oatmeal or a protein bar. But there’s always coffee. :)
Here’s the key to make all this magic happen: the phone is OFF AND AWAY.
I mean, I don’t turn it OFF but I do have to put it on silent & out of sight. My friend Christine told me how she keeps her phone on airplane mode from bedtime until she’s ready to leave for work. I’ve done this for over a year now & it’s been my number one game changer. If you only want to commit to one new practice in the morning, I’d say take on this challenge.
Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve tried a lot of things to work into my routine. I anticipate I’ll need to add & subtract some practices, even over the next few months. We all have different needs at different points in our life, so I encourage you to continue to try out & play with what works best for you.
Here’s a list of practices I’ve done myself, as well as some suggestions from my Instagram pals:
- Prep the night before. Before I go to bed, I make it a priority to prepare for the morning. I turn my phone on airplane mode & leave it in the living room, I layout my clothes, and then I review my planner and make my to-do list.
- Read something good! The Bible, a chapter from a memoir, a magazine article, etc. — would just suggest staying off the internet for your reading until you’re prepared to get to work.
- Meditate. I’ve used the Headspace App in the past & really enjoyed it. But again – I wouldn’t suggest this if you’re still working on the self-discipline of avoiding notifications.
- Stretching. Whether yoga (I’m a loyal fan to Yoga With Adriene) or a simple flexibility practice, start your day off by warming up your muscles and breathing love into your body.
- Workout! In months past, I’ve made it a priority to get a good, sweaty workout. Right now I'm committed to a 31 Day Yoga Journey. After this month, I'm planning on flip-flopping between yoga & workout -- whatever I feel like my body is needing.
- Make the most of your commute. If you have an early rise & need those extra zzz’s, why not be intentional about the time you spend on your commute? If you’re able, try riding with a buddy (my friend Colleen rides the train to work with her dad every morning & says it puts love into her day). If you must or you prefer riding solo, turn on something positive or fun to listen to! Here’s a shameless plug to the podcast I co-host as well as my husband’s podcast.
- Nourish Your Body. Before chugging down that delicious cup of coffee, get hydrated with a glass of water or two. Some of my friends have mentioned they drink hot water with lemon & honey, as it can do wonders for your internal systems. Also, consider making yourself a nutritious breakfast (but don’t overdue it! Just some eggs or a green smoothie will do). I’ve found that on the days I do this, it’s a lot easier for me to make better eating choices during the day.
- Dry Brushing. In the name of self-care, consider adding a new step to your shower routine: dry brushing. By brushing your skin towards your heart before you jump in the shower, it will improve your circulation & brush off dead skin cells. You’ll come out of the shower with smoother skin - just make to moisturize!
If you have an addition to make to this list, I'd love to hear it! Either shoot me a tweet or leave it in the comments below.
Wishing you a peace-filled start to your mornings in 2017.