I spend a lot of time on Instagram, like a lot, and maybe that’s not the healthiest of habits, but it definitely keeps me up to speed on what’s trending. Lately, there has been plenty of emphasis and a huge spike in the growth of the hashtag #morningroutine, which brings me to the realization that I don’t have one!
Well, if you call waiting until the last possible minute to get out of bed, perusing every piece of clothing I own to ultimately conclude I have nothing to wear, chugging my frantically made coffee that is mostly cream, throwing a frozen burrito in a lunch sack, and running out the door a morning routine – then I guess mine’s on point, but that’s NOT the point.
The point is that someone somewhere has started a movement to underline the importance of starting our days on purpose. It makes perfect sense that if I start my day in a rush then I will spend the rest of the day frantically trying to catch up. Why do I do this to myself?! I’ll tell you why… I loooooove sleep and, like Drake said, I love my bed. I cherish every second that I get to be cozy and snuggle with my big furry dog, but what are those 10-20 extra minutes really worth?
Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month I want to be mindful about improving my own mental health while also using my voice to hopefully help others. I’m a big fan of the phrase, “even small steps are steps forward”, and I think it’s important to start small, lay a foundation, and grow from there. So this month I am going to choose a few small ways to improve the quality of my mornings, which I can only hope has a ripple effect on my entire day!
With anything, it’s important to know yourself before embarking on a change so that you don’t set yourself up for failure. If you know you will never ever wake up and get in a work out then don’t make that your goal (I’m totally talking about myself here). A solid morning routine should be something to look forward to otherwise you’ll never get out of bed!
Personally, I want the tone of my mornings to be calm and peaceful so that I don’t start my day like a bat out of hell. With this in mind, I’m going to choose new habits that lead to a more zen-like morning. Here are the small tweaks I’m going to attempt and I will report back on my progress!
- Prepare a to-do list for the next day before I even go to sleep for the night.So many mornings, especially weekend mornings, are wasted because I’m not sure what I need to accomplish for the day and so I don’t know where to start and therefore I just delay the start as long as possible. My hope is that this will release some anxiety and help me fall asleep while also leading to a much more productive day ahead!
- Wake up 30 minutes earlier than my normal wake up time.Oy vey, not looking forward to this one. BUT this will allow me to go through my “routine” without almost having a heart attack from the panic and chaos of perpetually running late. Full disclosure, this will be the hardest change to enforce. Wish me luck!
- Do not allow myself to go on social media before getting out of bed.This is where I fall down the rabbit hole and waste gobs of time that does nothing to promote my well being, in fact sometimes it just puts me in a mood! If I can stick to this new directive then I think it will help immensely with rule #2! Social media – you can wait, I have my morning to get to.
- Take a moment to be grateful.I have a read A LOT of articles and research that discuss the benefits of a gratitude mind-set. I’ve even heard it referred to as the new kale – lol. But I think it’s legit! How often do we step back and thank the powers that be for all the amazing things we have going for us? The answer is probably hardly ever. We spend way more time thinking about what we lack, which leads to a “poor me” complex that we carry with us throughout the day. I want to change this conversation with myself and try to notice how that affects my day-to-day outlook and attitude.
- Make my bed every day. I saw somewhere that if we start our day by making our bed it eliminates a little bit of anxiety because we’ve taken control of something and checked it off of our to-do list. I’m slightly cheating with this one because I’m already doing this most days JI don’t know if I’ve noticed a swing in anxiety levels, but it definitely makes me feel less chaotic when looking at my pretty and orderly bedroom. It also is SO much more inviting to get into a nicely made bed at the end of a hard day rather than a random pile of sheets and pillows.
And there you have it, just five small tweaks I’m going to embrace to institute my new #morningroutine. I have high hopes that #4 may evolve into a little bit of journaling, or dare I say “mantra”, but let’s not get too crazy!
I hope you’ll join me on this journey and let me know how you get on! Remember, you want to love your new morning routine, not dread it, and so be sure to incorporate habits that are appealing to you. With anything, edit and pivot as much as you need to until you find what fits.
Mental health matters, so let’s make it a priority this month!