My Morning Routine

I have been experimenting with morning routines for a little over a year and a half now. Prior to that, I always woke up very early and immediately went to the gym or work. This meant I started my day in a rush AKA high stress mode. And I wondered why I was exhausted by 11am. I have always been intrigued by those that started their mornings with a specific routine. I’ve read a number of books on the topic such as Miracle Morning and The Morning Routine Blueprint. They are helpful and great for giving you ideas, but ultimately you have to find what works for you.

I look at morning routines the same way that I look at nutrition and lifestyle:

Your morning routine will be unique to your current circumstances and mental & physical needs. It will likely change over time based on what your goals are, what’s happening in your life, and your stress levels.

 

Why Prioritize a Morning Routine

There are a number of different reasons why I think it’s important to prioritize some form of a morning routine (even if it’s super short), but below are the main ones I want to highlight.

  • Starts your day on a positive note. 

Rather than rolling out of bed and rushing to get to wherever you need to go, having a routine allows you to have a positive start to everyday no matter what it throws at you.

  • Begins your day by filling your cup rather than draining it. 

Many of us do so many things for others throughout the day. We work really hard at work and at home and are often left feeling drained by the end of the day. Starting off your day with a routine that you enjoy allows you to fill your cup and avoid burning out as easily.

  • Creates a grateful mindset. 

Nothing is more powerful for reducing stress and creating happiness than gratitude. I always recommend including some sort of gratitude practice in your morning routine for this very reason.

  • Strengthens your discipline muscle. 

Many people say that discipline and will power depreciate throughout the day. I tend to disagree. I think the more good decisions you make throughout the day, the stronger your will power will be. If you do your morning routine, go to work, eat well, and make it to the gym and home in time to spend time with your family you will feel really good and likely continue to make decisions that will favor this. If you start your day in a rush, late for work, too tired to workout, and making poor food choices you will likely continue to make poor choices. Discipline is like a muscle and becomes stronger the more it is used.

  • Gives you something to look forward to getting out of bed for. 

Your morning routine shouldn’t feel like a chore. It should make you excited to get up and get going in the morning, which makes it much easier to get out of bed and less likely that you will hit the snooze button.

 

My Personal Morning Routine

My morning routine is pretty similar day to day for the most part, but I don’t use any rigid rules that may keep me from completing the routine if I have less time. Instead, I do the best I can with what time I have that day. No matter how short I may cut my morning routine, I always feel better after starting my day doing something for my well-being. I also do what I’m craving. Some mornings that means less meditation and more journaling, while others it might mean yoga. I recommend experimenting with different practices, mixing them up, and using them as tools. You don’t have to do the same thing everyday. Do what feels right for you!

 

My Morning Practices

Below are the main tools I use to get my day started off right. I will also turn to these tools throughout the day as needed.

 

Sage Smudge Stick

To set the tone for my morning, I start by burning a sage smudge stick. Sage helps to clear out energy and allows me to start with a clean slate each day. I also enjoy aromatherapy and I find that I relax into my routine as soon as I smell the burning sage. It gets me in the right headspace. To begin smudging open any doors and windows in the room you are in and light the sage until it begins to smoke. Walk around the room clockwise. I also sage my cards (see description below) and journal before I begin my routine.

 

 

Inspiring Messages Cards Deck

Before I begin journaling or my meditation I always shuffle this inspiring The Universe Has Your Back card deck by Gabrielle Bernstein (I recommend ALL of her books). I pick one card and write down the message in my journal. If the card’s message is short I will repeat it over and over as my mantra during my meditation. If it’s longer then I write a shorter mantra from that message or I create my own. Whatever feels right. Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect. I started using this card deck about 3 months ago and it has really brought a lot of light and a deeper spiritual practice to my morning routine.

 

After I finish my morning routine I pick a card for my private support group and post the card in there with a message for the day. You can join that group here.

 

 

Journaling & Gratitude Practice

After I choose my card I typically journal for as long as feels right. This tends to be about 10 minutes most days, but some days can be closer to 20. It really depends on how I’m feeling and how much time I have. I journal about whatever is on my mind, but I always end my journal entry with at least 5 things I am grateful for. Sometimes I journal before I meditate if I’m really feeling it. Other times I sage, pick a card and a mantra, then meditate for about 10 minutes then journal.

If you’re new to meditation I highly recommend journaling after you meditate. I often come to powerful realizations after meditation and it feels good to reflect on them before my day gets busy and the meditation fades.

 

Meditation

Meditation has become increasingly popular and for good reason. It has been shown in multiple studies to reduce perceived stress and improve overall mental health (1,2). I have been trying to make meditation part of my daily routine for two years, which sounds crazy, but I truly believe it takes time to develop this habit. I don’t know anyone that has been able to start meditating one way and keep meditating that same exact way every single day. When I first started meditating I used the HeadSpace app. They have a 10 day free trial and I liked having some instruction and guidance when I first began meditating since it felt very foreign to me.

As I continued on my meditation journey, I found that I actually liked meditating to music more. The guidance sometimes made thoughts creep up in my head too much. I found the Spotify playlist called Ego Eradicator and now pick 1-2 songs to meditate to every morning. I also found that I really like having a mantra to repeat in my head over and over. I feel like this helps the meditation “stick” as I go about my day. Like I previously mentioned, I either use the inspirational card I choose as my mantra or I make up a short one that is easy to repeat.

 

Movement

This is the last, but critical piece to my morning routine. When I say movement I don’t mean a CrossFit class or Soul Cycle. Movement usually means yoga or some type of stretching or yoga-like moves. I tend to put this at the beginning of my meditation. Once I have my mantra I sit still, start taking deep breaths and repeat the mantra in my head. Once my mind quiets, I begin doing light stretches and any movement that feels good. Some days this is a ton of downward dogs, upward dogs, etc and some days this is just cat-cows. No matter what, I feel better when I move a little or at least stretch to get my blood flowing.

 

That’s it! That wraps up my morning routine. This typically takes me 20-40 minutes depending on how much time I have. During the week I tend to keep it to 20-30 minutes and on the weekends I indulge and will typically take 40-60 minutes. Weekend morning routines are my absolute favorite!

 

I would like to note that I go based on how I feel, which is why it’s important to try different things and experiment. Just like with food, you have to find what works for you. I also want to add that nothing is perfect here. Typically while I’m doing my morning routine my dogs are running around or looking for pets. I just go with the flow and try to focus on the routine. Often I will let them sit in my lap or pet them as I’m meditating. It doesn’t have to be perfect. One thing I will not compromise on though is my phone. I keep it on do not disturb until I’m 100% done with my morning routine. I also do not check my texts, emails, or social media until after my morning routine. I find when I start my day by checking all of that I immediately go into reaction mode, rather than nourishing my mind and body.

 

What’s your morning routine? I would love to hear what has worked for you. Don’t forget to join my private support group if you haven’t already. I do weekly classes on topics like this blog as well as functional nutrition, non toxic home tips, how to detox naturally, etc. Click here to join.

 

 

 

 

FTC Disclosure: I may earn a small commission if you purchase any products through links in this post.

 

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