There are a lot of morning routine articles on the internet these days, so it’s obviously a popular topic. I think we can all agree: We want to start the day off right and feel happy. I have to admit, I am morning routine Jedi, remaining remarkably consistent on this front. However, every time a read a list of morning routine suggestions, I start to cringe.
Wake up early, take a deep breath, stretch, meditate, journal 3 pages, brew artisanal coffee, exercise, then allow yourself to take care of your family (who is just now waking up at a reasonable hour), get them off to school, then work productively for 3 hours at your stand up desk, at which point you are allowed to check email and Facebook. In the real world, it would now be lunchtime, and I would be stressed and exhausted, and probably reaching for something sugary to eat.
The one thing I can tell you I don’t want in the morning is to get slammed in the face with someone else’s to do list for a proper morning. I want my morning to make ME happy. Which is why I suggest that it’s ok to take it down a notch, keep things simple, and focus on doing a few things you like.
How I Enjoy My Mornings:
Wake up without an alarm – Pretty doable if I get to bed a decent hour and make sure natural morning light can penetrate my bedroom fortress. If not, I have a backup alarm, but it’s set to happy nature sounds.
Put away the clean dishes (on a good day) – This practice is related to my compulsive need to eliminate food and cooking chaos through a perpetually clean sink. I don’t always feel like doing it, but I feel satisfied having it done. Perhaps I’ll blog about the joy of a clean sink one day, or recover from my compulsiveness.
Make a cup of tea – Warmth and joy. Even more joy than the sink.
Read a book (or a blog) – Reading is my thing. I’m not a social media gal, as I like to avoid FOMO.
Make a second cup of tea – This gives me permission to procrastinate exercise within reason. If I take too long, the tea gets cold and yucky, so I tend to get moving.
Exercise & Make a smoothie – Smoothie comes first if I’m low on energy, Exercise comes first if I’m feeling like Wonder Woman. Exercise can be a long run or a short yoga session. I don’t judge, I just do it.
Walk the dog – My mandatory outdoor time, weather excuses are not permitted.
Start the rest of my day – This is actually the first point in my day when I’m most likely to feel stress, because the rest of my day is less predictable and therefore requires more mental effort. Maybe I should title this part of the day ‘Acknowledge Stress’. Not become stressed, just acknowledge it and face the day.
I’m guessing no one else in the universe has a clean sink on their morning routine list besides me, and that’s ok. Mornings are uniquely adaptable to your taste. Morning routines are allowed to be easy. The point is to enjoy your mornings. All you need is a little routine to help you start off right, whatever right feels like for you.