Your perfect morning routine...
We've all seen those influencers on social media posting their productive morning routines that start at 5am. The ones that make us feel a bit useless for hitting snooze 12 times and running out the door eating our breakfast in the car. Not getting a load of washing done, doing yoga, journaling, or writing to-do lists. And the new year seems to have brought with it an abundance of posts on 'new and improved' morning routines for 2023. I get caught up in it, trying to replicate someone's 5am routine that I saw in YouTube, thinking I'll just try and set my alarm an hour earlier and force myself up in the morning, but in reality, the morning comes, and I hit snooze for an hour and get up at my usual time anyway.
The thing is, you're never going to have a morning routing of meditating and practicing yoga if these things don't fit you and your lifestyle. Really, I have no desire whatsoever to take up yoga, so why would I sacrifice my sleep for it? Different routines suit different people and their lives - Whether or not you have children, whether you work shifts or a 9-5, whether you sleep well or wake every hour, you need a morning routine to fit that.
With that in mind, here are some tips to create your own morning routine that suits you, whether you're someone who likes to get up 3 hours before work and meditate, or if you like to run out the door with a slice of toast. The overriding message is that your routine needs to be personal to you. There is no point in copying someone else's routine if you don't enjoy it or it doesn't work for you. You might not know what works for you yet, and you can do a bit of trial and error in finding that out. Here are a few questions you will want to consider when choosing what constitutes a 'good' morning routine.
1. What do you want to achieve?
What do you want to accomplish in the morning? What do you feel would make your life easier or less stressful if you just got it done in the morning? Do you just want time to have a coffee and some breakfast? What do you want? This is the basis for constructing a morning routine that feels right for you, and that you're more likely to stick to.
2. How do you want your morning to feel?
Do you want to feel energised? Productive? Relaxed? Depending on what your day looks like, and what you need in the morning to get you going, you'll need implement different things into your routine. If you want to feel energised, maybe you go for a walk, have a cold shower, or do a workout. If you want to feel productive, you could write a to-do list, get some chores done, and get washed and dressed. If you have a busy day ahead, maybe you just want to relax! Have a coffee, read a book, and watch some TV.
3. What is the purpose of your routine?
Why do you want to find a new routine? Chances are, if you're reading this, you're not happy with your current routine. Do you want to get more done? Do you want to have a more positive start to the day? Do you want to just take some more time for yourself? Make sure your new morning routine aligns with the purpose. If your goal is to have more 'me time', don't spend it getting bogged down with replying to texts and WhatsApps. If your goal is to be more productive and write to-do lists etc., don't spend your morning watching TV. It has to fit what you want, and serve a purpose for you, or why would you make time to do it?
4. What sets you up for a good day?
What gets you out of bed? What makes you want to get up in the morning? Is it getting stuck into your favourite book, or watching an episode of a TV series? Is it having a coffee and a bacon sandwich? Is it a nice hot shower? A walk? A cuddle with your dog? Do something you enjoy to make you want to get out of bed, rather than hit snooze again. And whatever it is, make sure you avoid negativity. We often see morning routines that encourage you to stay off your phone in the morning, but if you're someone who enjoys scrolling through social media as you wake up, try to avoid anything negative!
5. Be consistent, but flexible
Consistency is key when it comes to getting out of bed. I know it's tempting to run yourself into the ground all week while you're at work, and think 'I'll catch up with sleep at the weekend'. But it doesn't really work. Your internal circadian rhythms and sleep cycles don't work that way. Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day will not only get easier the more you do it, but it will train your body into this routine.
But who says your morning routine has to be the same every day? It's likely to be different on a work day than a non-work day. What if you don't fancy reading your book like you usually do today? What if you don't want to go for a morning walk because it's raining? Having the exact same routine every morning can get monotonous and boring, so allow yourself some flexibility. Set aspects of your routine that allow different activities such as 'Move my body' rather than 'Go for a walk', or '30 mins of self-care' rather than 'Journal every day', and 'Fuel my body' rather than 'Eat Cheerios'! Having this flexibility allows you to still do what you enjoy, without it getting too same-y.
Now you can build your perfect and personal morning routine, that suits you, and no one else! xx