The Benefits of a Morning Routine and How to Start One
I’m of the belief that how you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day.
We’ve all had those days when we wake up late, rush around getting dressed, packing lunches, perhaps getting the kids out the door for school. Everyone is frantic and rushed and that feeling of discombobulation carries throughout the day.
On the other hand, when we are able to start our mornings on our own terms, we tend to move through our day in a better headspace. We might have more patience or feel better prepared to tackle the day ahead. While a missed alarm is inevitable, having a solid morning routine is a great way to set yourself up for a successful day ahead.
My morning routine goes like this:
I wake up around 6:30 to a pup that’s ready to play. I make my bed, brush my teeth, wash my face, and pop in my contacts. I always program my coffee machine the night before, so I pour a fresh cup of coffee, then settle down to journal and spend a few minutes in prayer. This takes about forty-five minutes, which usually leaves me with a few minutes to write while watching Today.
Not every morning starts off so peacefully, but I try to prioritize my time in the morning as a way to get ready for a busy day ahead.
Maybe you already have a great morning routine in place, but if you don’t, or you’re looking to change things up, here are some ideas to create a morning routine that will allow you a few minutes to center yourself and prepare for the day ahead.
Prep the night before.
Every evening, I pack my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the next day and make sure they’re easy to grab in the morning. I program my coffee machine so it’s brewing when I wake up, and pack my gym bag for training the next day. By doing this, I have more time in the mornings. Who doesn’t want more time in the mornings?
Think about tasks you do each morning and decide what can be done the night before. Maybe it's packing the kids’ lunches or laying out tomorrow’s clothes, but those few minutes the night before will prove to make a big difference the next morning.
Make your bed.
“If you want to make a difference in the world, start by making your bed.” That was Admiral William H. McRaven’s advice to graduates during his commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. The speech has since gone viral. His point is that making your bed is about doing the little things right. It sets the tone for your day and gives you a sense of
accomplishment. Even if you get nothing else done that day, you made your bed.
I’ve always made my bed in the mornings, even when in a hurry. Whenever I come home and see my bed tidy, I do feel that sense of accomplishment. To start your day off feeling like you’ve already checked something off your to-do list, make your bed.
Find something that brings you joy.
For me, the cup of coffee while I journal is imperative to my day. Journaling in the early morning hours helps me release any anxiety I may have woken up with. An old roommate of mine liked to take her coffee and a book and sit on our balcony in the mornings, no matter the weather. Another friend goes to spin class at 5am and still another can’t start her day off without pulling a tarot card and a few minutes of meditation.
Think of something that brings you joy and add that to your morning routine. I’m a big believer in even five minutes of self-care first thing. Whether that’s an exercise class or a five minutes to
enjoy your favorite morning talk show before the rest of the family wakes up, find a way to incorporate it into your mornings.
Morning routines will vary from person to person, but once you settle into one, you’ll find your day tends to start smoother, right down to your attitude and how you approach the day’s to-do list.