A morning routine is probably one of the most overlooked yet effective ways to actively frame your mindset in a way that is positive, effective, and the most ‘you’ for the rest of the day.
Most of us have a simple morning routine that is run on automatic. We get up, shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, have breakfast, go to work.
We’re sleepy, we just need to do the basics to get our bodies ready and presentable to the world. We get out of the house and on with the day.
The problem with that is that we are not fully waking our bodies and mind up sufficiently. And this means we spend most of the morning slowly coming round to the world and being susceptible to external stressors.
We need to start the day feeling our full selves.
Ideally we want to present ourselves to the world feeling grounded, confident, and ready to cope with whatever comes our way.
This is why my morning routine is sacred.
To function to my fullest potential, and more importantly, to be in control of my mindset for that day, I need to create space for my mind and body.
What does my morning routine look like? A morning routine list
My morning routine tends to vary seasonally. I will sometimes introduce new elements to test out and see if they’re worth keeping. However, this is what my morning routine tends to include:
1. Drinking water
This is the first thing I do every morning. I drink a whole glass of water to start rehydrating after a night’s sleep.
2. Writing my morning pages
I have been doing morning pages for almost a year and it’s been life-changing. As somebody who has a busy brain this process really does help me get things out of it and onto paper.
Sometimes it acts as a form of therapy when I’m feeling stressed, upset, or overwhelmed. Sometimes it acts as a mental cheerleader, reminding me of all my potential. Other times it helps to reveal what I’m really thinking, what my true self really knows. And that is where the magical stuff happens. Most of all it clears my mind for the day so that I can focus on the work and people in need to.
Sometimes I’ll use a simple app on my phone to do a short guided meditation, other times I use background music or noise, but most often I’ll meditate in silence for anywhere between 2 and 10 minutes. It helps focus my mind, and concentrate on my breathing. It helps me feel more aware of my body, and ultimately I feel more grounded and myself.
4. 10 minutes stretching or yoga
As a bare minimum I will spend a few minutes stretching out my back and my limbs. I’m in my thirties so everything is starting to ache a little now when I wake up! If I have 10 minutes I’ll do a guided yoga video on YouTube to really stretch and focus on my body. It’s such an enlivening way to start the day and I always feel more alert when I’ve moved my body first thing in the morning.
5. Making coffee
There’s something quite mindful about making my coffee in the morning. We have a proper coffee machine so there’s a few elements to making my morning coffee and it feels like a really nice thing to do for myself each day.
6. Eating homemade granola
About twice a week I bake my own my homemade granola. I love being about to pick which seeds and nuts I put in my granola, and the act of making and eat my own granola is a satisfying way to start the day.
7. Write a list of 3 things I want to get done that day
I usually just jot this down in my evernote or notes app on my phone. Sometimes I write it out in my work diary or a post-it note. But I try to pick just 3 things I want to achieve that day. I feel like 3 is an achievable amount, even if you do manage much more. At the end of each day I want to feel good about myself and for me that means working little and often on my big goals.
I’m a morning shower person. The water helps wake me up, and I love feeling fresh and clean for the day ahead.
Apparently not everyone moisturises daily, according to Twitter. But I love to moisturise body and face every morning. Again, it just makes me feel ready for the day.
10. Something that smells good
I have a super sensitive sense of smell so I love to set myself up for the day with a scent that sets the scene. Mostly this is with a spritz of one of my favourite perfumes. Or I am lighting one of my candles at my desk.
11. Cuddles with my cats
And sometimes my husband! I want my days to start with love (and science shows cuddling is good for your health). I have a little routine with going downstairs in the morning and giving each of my cats a cuddle and some strokies before I give them their breakfast. I love how happy they are see to see my each morning. They really are big babies.
12. Fresh air
This summer I started taking at least 10 minutes out of my morning to just wander around my little garden. I would actively take note of each plant and how they were changing, I would note the weather, temperature, wind. I would actively work of breathing deeply. All these simple acts to feel present and grounded in the world.
Creating small routines throughout the day is surprisingly helpful for my overall wellbeing and mindset. Starting the day right truly does impact the entire day. It feels like a little morning ritual. Even if it gets stressful, I find the days I’ve done a good morning routine are the days I cope better with the stress.
Let me know what you include in your morning routine!