If you follow me on instagram YOU ALREADY KNOW about the changes I've made to my mornings over the past few months because I talk about it all the time. Sorry (but not really)!!!
My old morning routine
As a quick recap: because of all the changes brought on by the pandemic, routine was more of a forgotten memory than anything. Especially during the months of the deep Q, time and days simply didn't follow patterns and so neither did I. I started sleeping later and staying in bed longer than was necessary (nor good for me) reading news articles and scrolling through social media. I slowly got back into a better routine in Sept 2020, as returning to work demanded be to have a schedule (thank goodness). Since then I've stepped it up.
Life is back to being busy for me and I love busy... in fact I thrive busy. But TOO often I found myself working from my computer until 11 pm -- still needing to take a shower and wind down and read my book -- in general, trying to fit way too many activities into my evenings than was humanly possible. Mornings would always come too quick and I'd allow myself to stay in bed until 8, and then scurry to get ready for my work day by 8:30. Then one glorious morning I had to take Jonah to the airport at 6 am, and I realized that I was snoozing through some hours of the day that I really enjoy. It felt like I was getting bonus hours of the day! So I vowed to clean up my routine. And I did!! And I love it. Details below =)
My new ~and improved~ morning routine
Ok I have a few non-negotiables and SOLID boundaries with myself in order to make this all work. First of all, A PRODUCTIVE DAY STARTS THE NIGHT BEFORE!!!
- no phone in bed -- honestly still working on this one. I DON'T TOUCH my phone in the morning, which is huge for me, but still trying to eliminate it completely at night. I'm just always tempted to check a few more things before closing my eyes... the curse of our generation.
- an actual bed time. I really want my bed time to be 10:30 but it is more consistently 11. Still working towards 10:30, but in the mean time 11 is a hard stop for reading, working, scrolling, etc.
- winding down. I always read before bed, but now I build that time in rather than add it on. I aim to read for 20-30 min which helps me wind down before sleeping! I also shower before bed, which I find relaxing! (also people who wake up and shower are psycho (prove me wrong (Jonah))).
As far as my MORNINGS go, I also have non-negotiables.
- again, no phone in bed. Killing this habit made a huge difference in my days! I also try not to scroll before 10 am, even if I sneak on to post on my stories.
- waking up at the same time every day. Turns out I'm a 6:30 kinda gal. Since I wake up at this time regularly, it doesn't feel early anymore. It was hard at first, but now that I know how much I enjoy the hours of 6:30-8 (pre work bliss) it motivates me to get out of bed.
- one act of self-care: I almost always choose to read a book, but sometimes it is an early morning walk or doing a face mask, etc. 20-30 minutes of doing something just because I want to. I feel like I'm living on stolen time and it makes this time feel really nice and special.
- one chore or act of productivity. Hear me out. My "chore" is usually tag-teaming the dishwasher with Jonah and talking about the day ahead. Otherwise I'll do a quick lap with my Dyson, tidy up the kitchen/living room, start a load of laundry, and sometimes I'll run to the store for groceries. Doing a chore first thing is a GAME CHANGER for me -- starting my day with a tidy space and something productive under my belt helps me keep that momentum throughout the day. When I spend 10-15 minutes tidying in the morning, I'm way more likely to clean up as the day goes on + clean up after each meal, etc.
- with whatever time I have left, I'll go for a walk or start my work day early. Sometimes I make Jonah breakfast, or prep lunch/dinner, or just sit down at my computer to work right away at 7 (I see this as an act of self-love on a busy day). Every morning is different, but having boundaries on how I WANT to use that time helps me direct my energy to the tasks that I want to get done (reading and vacuuming obvs).
I feel like there is a cultural phenomenon around "slow mornings" but I personally feel like slow mornings feel the same as an under-control-morning -- basically, if you want to take time to wake up and get going, you can GIVE yourself that time. Even though I like to hit the ground running (vacuuming), my mornings are deliciously slow because I only have to be where I want to be. I make my mornings MY TIME because I'm on the clock for 8 freaking hours of my day -- no wonder at the end of the day I'm confused why I didn't get anything else done.
MY ADVICE THAT LITERALL NOBODY ASKED FOR:
Prioritize, and let your actions make your priorities clear.
Focus + intention. Block time off for your priorities and pleasure. Wish you had more time to read or workout? Wake up 30 min earlier and GIVE yourself that time.
Consistency. Your choices make up actions, your actions become habits, your habits become your routines, and your routines amount to be YOUR LIFE. Be consistently working towards what you want your life to BE. It doesn't just happen to you.
Objects in motion stay in motion!!! Whether you start your day with movement, meditation, chores, work, children, books ETC -- move towards it and you'll keep moving towards it.
That's a wrap on that. Comment below what your morning routine is, I'm obsessed with the differences in how people start their days -- seriously, very interesting.