As a Life Coach and Primary School Teacher, overwhelm and I have become quite acquainted in the past. Juggling two fulfilling albeit demanding careers can leave you wishing for more hours in the day, or at least a pause button so that you can take that much-needed nap! One thing that I’ve done that has radically changed the way I show up in both areas of my life, has been to cultivate a morning routine. “So you want me to add another check box onto my list of things to do?!” I hear you ask.
I know it may seem counterintuitive, but honoring myself with some me-time each morning allows me to feel more energized, more present and more joyful as I step out into my day.
Here are five tips that will help you to create a morning routine that you can’t wait to wake up for:
The amount of time is up to you
So often we hear about big CEO’s and successful self-help gurus who have exceedingly elaborate practices that they implement each morning that can carry on for hours on end! For those of us who don’t (yet) have this luxury, it’s important to consider what will work for your situation. Maybe rising half an hour earlier is doable and will be enough for you to feel more nourished. Maybe a 10-minute meditation before you shower will ignite your fire and replenish your energy. Whatever works for you is perfect! Set a gentle alarm as a reminder and you’re on your way!
Movement and mindfulness are key
In the beginning, my clients often find it difficult to decide what their morning routine will consist of. It’s important to consider this ahead of time so that you don’t find yourself scrolling Instagram or getting lost in your inbox instead. We want to be doing activities that are going to light us up and bring us back to the present moment. With that in mind, I always suggest a combination of movement and mindfulness. This might look like doing some yoga and then a guided meditation (Download the free Authenticity Meditation over on my website to get started!) It might look like going for a walk around your local park and then sitting on a bench and noticing what you can see, hear and smell. It might simply be some gentle stretching and feeling into your emotions in your journal. Always remember the two M’s to get you started!
Set an intention
Many people believe that life is happening TO them. They walk around wondering how they will cope with what they are experiencing, but never stop to consider that their choices have led them to where they are. One of my favorite things to do in the morning is to set an intention for my day. This helps me to consciously choose how I want to feel, and guides me to look for those experiences that embody my intention. For example, you might set an intention to feel more open, more generous or more present. Any intention is perfect and will help you to feel more in control throughout the day. A quick and easy exercise, perfect for time poor people!
Don’t be so serious! Have fun with it
They say that what you do in the morning sets the tone for your entire day. If that’s the case, let’s start our days off with a bang! There’s no need to be Serious Sally when you wake up- there’s plenty of time for that later. Have fun with this time you’ve gifted yourself. Let it be light and silly. Sometimes I’ll put on some epic tunes (The 90’s and 2000’s bangers playlist on Spotify is my ultimate fave- you’re welcome) and dance around my living room. Other times I’ll crank my yoga sequence up to ‘advanced’ on the Down Dog app (again- you’re welcome) just to see what happens. It’s not pretty. Let yourself get creative and see what fun and playful activities you can come up with.
As somebody whose life is very full, it can be seriously tempting to drop your routine after a couple of days. You might feel as if you need the extra sleep or that it’s simply not worth your time. I encourage you to continue with it for a month. Chances are you’ve been doing the same mad scramble every morning for years and have become used to this way of being. As with any habit, it takes time to stick. Be consistent in showing up each morning and you will reap the benefits. Oh, and make sure you celebrate yourself for doing so!
I’m going to take a wild guess and say that your busy schedule is already very structured and systematic. If this is the case and the word ‘routine’ feels just as structured to you, call it your morning ‘ritual’ instead. This will help it to feel more nourishing and less rigid. So grab out your phone, decide on a time that works for you and set that reminder! I promise you that you won’t regret it.
If you are looking for some more inspiration to living your best life at work and at home, click below to read one of our go to articles for success and happiness in the morning & always!