Over the past few months, I've really strived to create a consistent morning routine. I used to be one of those people who was always in a rush going from getting dress (and my family ready) to bouncing out the door with coffee in hand and no makeup on. Yes, anyone else apply lipstick at red lights? Anyways, finally enough was enough! I found during that time all of the rushing was creating a state of panic.
The solution for me was to get a real morning routine down! Rising just 30 minutes earlier allowed me time to get my mind in a good space and reflect. I think so often we spend too much time filling our days with doing things, that there is little time to feed the soul. Now, I rise earlier - take time to see the sun come up (most days at least) and my daughter even gets up to have breakfast on the patio with me. We enjoy reading, she colors and we take time together to reflect on our current state of being. After all, what's the point in having a job or a busy life if you don't take the time to sit back and enjoy it?
If you have to leave your house to drop off kiddos or get to work, I suggest getting up an extra 30 minutes early. I personally do not enjoy exercising the first thing in the morning, but many do - build that into your routine. The key is to do it consistently, just one day at a time. One day turns into one week then into a month and so on. Before you know it, you've created a routine one day at a time.
Let's talk a little about how to get a morning routine down:
- Get Enough Sleep - I could probably ramble on and on about the benefits of sleep, but starting a good day means 7-8 hours of rest. Your body needs it for cell repair and regrowth. In many cultures (to include the French whom I admire lifestyle wise. Who wouldn't want to take a 2 hour lunch and have the ability to walk everywhere?), it's important to go to bed at a consistent time. The body loves routines for sleeping, eating and nourishing. Yes, switch up the content of the routine occasionally, but your body will respond better if it has consistent sleep patterns. If you need to leave for work by 7am - get up at 5:30am. That means you need to settle into bed between 9:00-9:30pm the night before to get adequate sleep and truly let your body relax. I could write an entire post on sleep habits (mostly out of personally experience), but get a minimum of 7 hours. No excuses.
- Complete Time Consuming Things the Night Before - I like to pre-plan my outfit and have my daily work to dos done before I leave the office. That way, I am ready to get up and get dressed and when I get into work all I have to do is drink a cup of coffee and get to it! Making a list only takes a few minutes, but doing this the night before means I can get more accomplished the following day.
- Take Time to Reflect - I've found my mind is the freshest in the mornings. I also really like to start the day by seeing the sunrise. My daughter has even been part of this habit. If you follow me on Snapchat @heelclicksblog you will find many sunrises and morning rituals posted. I also take an extra 15 minutes to reflect and journal. Sometimes I read a few words of wisdom and write about a topic, other times it's just free form. Either way I am able to focus what kind of mind state I'll be in before I get too busy.
- Be grateful - Finally, the most important part of my morning routine is to remember why I am lucky to be alive. It may sound corny, but reflection on that morning sunrise reminds me there is so much more out in the world besides just me. Being grateful for the friends, family, activities and my work allows me to put myself in a positive mindset. Positive thoughts breed positive outcome. There's an entire book called The Secret that speaks to the laws of attraction. Basically, "perception is reality." If you perceive a positive state of being, you attract a positive state of being.
- A Cup of Coffee or Tea - I am a coffee addict, but I've found that switching to green tea for that first cup and reserving coffee for only hours that I am at my office helps keep me hydrated without losing the enjoyment of getting a few sips of a warm beverage in. I usually have 1-2 cups for the antioxidant benefits, but you could experiment with hot chocolate or have coffee too. I sip a cup slowly while I watch the sunrise.
Yes, I still oversleep from time to time and miss my morning sunrise, but having the consistency of an extra thirty minutes makes all the difference in the world!
I'd love to hear more about how you start your day? Any tips or tidbits you would like to share? Anything to make your life easier in the mornings? I'm always looking for ways to improve.