I have been working on my morning routine for at least the last three years. Why? Because I loathe having a routine, and I am absolutely not a morning person.
Sure, we do the same, basic tasks every morning–wash our face, brush our teeth, get dressed, etc. This is, at the most basic level, a morning routine. So, I figured it would be easy to create a morning routine for myself; however, I wanted to choose activities that would actually make an impact on my day. For most of us, our day starts bright and early, so it is important to spend those first couple of hours after you wake to set the tone for a quality day.
To keep my morning routine simple, I have chosen three activities that I need to practice in order to start my day the right way.
1. Make my bed
I am sure you have heard that completing this simple task can have a positive affect on your day. Our parents made sure we made our beds daily as children, but I wonder did they know how beneficial this task truly is. Naval Admiral William McRaven gave a speech at The University of Texas at Austin back in 2014 where he explained that making your bed sets the tone for your day. Accomplishing the first task of the day allows you to enter into a space of productivity and makes it easier to accomplish other tasks throughout the day. When I make my bed in the morning it gives me confidence that I can tackle whatever else comes at me during the day, and it also gives me a peace of mind from my OCD. If my bed is made my room feels that much more clean and organized. This starts my day off calmly, and I feel grounded in the space where I spend much of my time. This small act, which only takes a minimal amount of time, is critical in my commitment to taking care of myself.
2. Meditate + Pray
Before I even place my feet on the carpet, I thank God for waking me up and blessing me with a new day. I ask Him to cover me, my loved ones and others, as we travel to and from different destinations and interact with different people. I talk to Him about my worries and the challenges I might encounter that day. I also read a devotional to ensure I am getting some time to interact with His Word. I really try to be intentional about spending time with God at the beginning of each day, because I know it is important to both Him and me. If I give my day to Him, I know He will be there with me every step of the way.
Meditating is always great after a good prayer! I discuss the benefits of meditation in a previous post, and you can read it here: Self Care ’17. Honestly, I am still working on being consistent with this part of my practice, so I aim for at least five minutes in the morning before I leave my apartment. As someone who experiences anxiety, this really helps me feel grounded as well, and gives me a sense of calmness before my day fully begins.
This is a new morning activity for me that has been challenging to implement. I have been reading this workbook called The Artist’s Way, and it talks about developing a “morning pages” practice. It suggests that you spend a little time every morning and write three pages of whatever comes to mind. This is supposed to free up space in your mind for all of the important things you have to spend mental energy on, and it is supposed to help spark creativity. It is hard to be consistent with this practice when I wake up late or do not have a lot of time to get ready, but I am dedicated to making the commitment to myself. As a creative and someone who expresses herself through writing, I know it can be beneficial for me daily and long term.
I also talk about the benefits of journaling in general in the post linked above.
What do you need to do in the morning to start your day? A quick, hot shower, a face mask or a facial massage, or listening to a podcast are a few suggestions that you may want to try. Hitting the gym, doing yoga, or talking to a loved one are great activities, too. Like I always say, do what works best for you! Ask yourself what you need and implement activities that will help you put your best foot forward.