Adopting this morning routine has changed my life. It’s crazy how a few simple things can change your entire day, and more importantly, your entire mindset.
I have a habit of compulsive behavior. I have always had a hard time “sitting still”. I like to be consumed in something that takes me away from my thoughts. Whether it’s working out, cooking, working, walking my dog, anything but sitting still. While there is nothing wrong with any of those (in fact, they’re all very healthy outlets!) my goal was to make them as mindless as possible so that I was too busy, too tired, too pre-occupied, to sit with my thoughts.
I was always trying to escape or avoid the feeling of something – family stressors, work stressors, thoughts of the future or re-living past events. I am the Queen of internalizing. Where did that leave me? Surprise! Tired, anxious, overwhelmed.. the list goes on!
When I was forced to sit with my thoughts (thank you, quarantine) something crazy happened… I started healing. What a concept, right?
This morning routine has quite literally changed my life. My way of thinking has completely shifted. I am living my life with more gratitude, more intention, more mindfulness. I feel a newfound sense of inspiration. Instead of burying my emotions… shocker, I am dealing with them. And guess what? I feel so. much. better. I feel like I can breathe. I can think clearly. I feel like a weight of such heavy burden has been lifted off of my shoulders. All of this from a simple morning routine? Yes.
The Morning Routine that Changed my Life
- Wake up at 6 am. I set my alarm for 6 a.m. whether I have to be up early or not. We are currently quarantined so there is quite literally no where to be, but yes I am still setting my alarm for 6 am (I also go to bed no later than 10:30). I have always been a morning person, but waking up early gives you the entire morning to set yourself up for success and have a good day.
- Move your Alarm. When you set your alarm the night before, place it AWAY from your bed. Do not set it somewhere within reach from your bed. Place your alarm somewhere where you are required to get up out of your bed to walk and turn it off. This will prevent you from snoozing your alarm, being tempted to fall back asleep, or scrolling on your phone.
- DO NOT LOOK AT YOUR PHONE. This is crucial! If you use your phone as an alarm, once you turn your alarm off, put your phone away! This is probably the most important tip I can give you. Before you give your attention to anyone else, it’s important to check in with yourself and start your day with a clear mindset. When you check your text messages, your email, or start scrolling on social media, you’re giving outside sources your priority and attention. Chances are your mood will be altered by a text you received or an email you read. Give yourself the 10-20 minutes you deserve of uninterrupted time before you begin your day.
- Drink a glass of water. After sleeping all night, your body is thirsty. Before I have my coffee, I like to start the day with a big glass of water before I reach for my coffee (I try to drink 24-32oz to get my body hydrated!)
- Prepare coffee PT 1. Maybe you’re a matcha drinker, maybe you don’t do caffeine. Well I do. I’ve tried to give up coffee and I will never again. I have it religiously every morning and look forward to it every single day! I make it the same way everyday in my Bodum French Press, and I love it. Since I make my coffee in a French Press, it takes time to prepare. While I am half asleep, this is how I prepare it:
- Turn on diffuser. This is obviously optional, but for me it sets my mood and gives my apartment a zen, relaxing vibe. After I prepare my coffee, I turn on my diffuser. My favorite essential oil is Lavender! It is the essential oil I use most mornings. If you’re feeling something more invigorating or uplifting, try a citrus essential oil!
- Make your to-do list for the day. While my coffee is doing its thing, I make my to-do list for the day. I am a huge list girl. I love writing things down, making detailed lists, and crossing everything off as I accomplish it. I use a Passion Planner, specifically, the Daily Passion Planner. I love this one because it has specific time blocks for each task, and it has an entire section dedicated to notes/thoughts.
- I use this “free section” to write: my daily workout, the way I want to feel that day (productive, inspired, mindful), and anything extra like things I need to buy or note-to-self reminders.
- Morning Coffee PT 2. By now, my coffee is usually ready to prepare. I make it the same way every morning. This is the recipe I use if you want to try it!
- Morning Coffee Recipe:
- In a small saucepan combine brewed coffee with a mix of both Oat Milk and Almond Milk. I don’t really measure, I just pour a good splash of both into the sauce pan. I like my coffee to be hot, which is why I add it back to the stove to reheat it.
- Once its about to come to a slight boil, remove from heat and pour into Vitamix
- Journey to the Heart – Now that I’m happy with my coffee, I open a random page from Journey to the Heart and read the passage. It’s crazy that somehow its always a message that resonates with me, that I needed to hear. I got this book when I did my yoga teacher training, and even years later I am still turning to it. Reading a passage from this book helps get me in a more mindful headspace.
- Meditate – Once I’ve read a passage from Journey to the Heart, I head to my outdoor patio (I live in San Diego so have nice weather year round, bless) with my coffee (I literally bring my blender and a mug outside with me) my journal, my 5 minute journal, and I will now grab my phone so I can use the Headspace app. I still do not look at my email, texts, or social media. Once I’m comfortable (find wherever that quiet, comfortable place is for you) I turn on the Headspace app. Depending on how much time I have (if I have to go to work or if I am working from home) I will do a 5-10 minute meditation, or if I am pressed for time I will do the 3 minute breathing exercise.
- Journal – After my meditation, my mind usually has a ton of thoughts. I open my journal and quite literally “mind dump” all of my thoughts onto the paper. Good, bad, indifferent, I write it down. When I write, my goal is to write whatever I am feeling or whatever comes up without judgement. I don’t re-read anything that I write, I don’t really even give it a second thought. I just get it out. This has helped me so much. It’s like venting to someone that is only there to listen while you release whatever is on your mind.
- 5 Minute Gratitude Journal/Intention Setting – Once I’ve finished journaling and getting all my thoughts off my mind, I write in my 5 minute journal. I love the 5 minute journal because it’s set up in a way that helps me practice gratitude while setting my intentions for the day. This helps me start the day with a positive mindset, thinking about all the things I am grateful for while mentally preparing for everything I want to accomplish.
- Daily Walk – If I have time (which I try to make daily) I then take a walk with Oliver. I am lucky enough to live steps away from the beach (if you follow me on Instagram you already know this from my incessant beach videos), so this is therapeutic in itself. Recently I have been going on a walk without my headphones so that I am more mindful. Now that I have prioritized myself, my thoughts, and have a clear headspace, I will NOW look at my texts, my emails or check social media.
This may seem like a lot, but I promise this entire morning routine really just takes 15-20 minutes a day! Practicing this routine daily has been extremely healing and therapeutic for me. It has helped me prioritize, set goals, deal with emotions instead of burying them, and live more mindfully all in a safe, non-judgmental space. This is the only time that is ALL mine, before the day gets away from me and other things or people need my attention. By showing up for myself, I am able to better show up for others and become the best version of myself.
I hope this was helpful! If you have tips for a morning routine leave it in the comments below!