What does your current morning routine look like? If you are like me its likely starts with a few snoozed alarms (read: 5), followed by rushing, yelling, slow moving children, and the perfect set-up for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day! Okay, so maybe the book reference was a bit much, but even if you can turn your day around. Wouldn’t you love to know a way to enjoy the calm refreshing morning routine that every laundry commercial mom seems to enjoy?
An invigorating morning routine has the ability to set the course of the day towards productivity, but how do you curate this sort of calm bliss with kids, pets, spouses, and poor sleep habits that seem to want to derail your best laid plans? Creating a productive morning routine that serves you is not rocket science. All you need are the right tools.
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What is the importance of a morning routine?
I can not stress enough the importance of a morning routine. Having a morning routine allows you uninterrupted time to fit in any of the self-care habits that may otherwise get rescheduled with the normal disruptions of the day. Having a self-care routine also allows you to set the tone for the day and to increase the chance of productivity and success.
Before I had my daughter, my mornings were snooze fests (literally). When I would wake, every part of my morning desires got pushed aside for the necessary hygiene and out the door rushed rhythm that defined my life. This left me making poor choices for lunch, craving coffee before my first patient left the treatment room and feeling defeated and lazy.
After the birth of my daughter, I have had to re-adjust my mindset. There are things that have to be done to get her ready for daycare. I have found that if I wake up early (I’ve only added 45 minutes to my day) I can add a few of the self-care activities that really help get me on the right track for the day into my routine.
Benefits of a Morning Routine
When many of us think of early morning routines and the benefits that creating one adds to having a great morning, productivity tends to be the common factor we consider. While this important benefit is key to why you should have a morning routine, it misses several scientifically backed reasons that are even more critical!
Through studying sleep cycles are waking patterns, researchers have found that morning routines also impact your mental and physical health in suprising ways!
Physical benefits of being a morning person – Waking up early and following a consistent morning routine can encourage you to eat a healthier diet. If you are someone interested in starting a healthy lifestyle, then this should be an exciting finding for you! In addition, waking earlier gives you more time to work out even if its only a 15-20 minute Stretching, HIIT or TABATA workout.
These morning workout routines help your body to set its metabolism, which helps you get on track with any fitness goals you may have. Additionally for those of us with weight loss goals, eating well and a warmed up metabolism can help you drop weight a bit quicker.
All of this leads to more energy! If you are someone who often feels fatigued then a daily routine of a light healthy breakfast and mild exercise routine can help your get into shape and improve how you feel throughout the day!
Mental benefits of an early morning routine – One of the simplest and most profound benefits of a morning routine to your mental health is that it increases your focus. Waking earlier and getting started with a healthy meal and calm habits makes sure that you have a good amount of time to wake up before you begin the “hard part” of your day. You have time to review plans for the day as well as prepare with time to spare.
This additional time for tasks also benefits the errands and tasks you have to complete. With more time to complete the tasks that you have you will feel less stressed and thus be more efficient. When you wake up early, following a proper nights rest, your system is prepared for the day and also ready to supply the hormones that increase happiness.
How do you create the best morning routine for success?
It is important to understand what self-care looks like for you when creating your self-care routine. For example. If you are someone who really enjoys a more vigorous workout routine, perhaps a run or bike ride in the morning would serve you better than a slow stretching routine. Even with this point, I recommend there be at least one activity of each component of self-care added to your routine.
Before diving into creating a morning routine for success you should first determine what is important to you. Figure out what one thing or things do you want to do daily that could make a big difference in your life, but you can’t seem to find time for. Take the time to ask yourself a few questions:
- What would you like to work on?
- What do you want to improve?
- What’s important to you?
- What does a great morning look like to you?
Each of these questions helps you focus in on what is important to you so that you can make a morning routine that increases your productivity. Knowing what you need to add to your productive morning routine will help you figure out the time you need for it!
Why is this so important? Because you can’t start to make any meaningful changes until you know what your goals are. You need to know your destination before you can start to pick a route and figure out how you’ll get there.
What should I include in a productive morning routine?
Determining what you should be doing in your morning routine is crucial to the success of this new habit. Perhaps you answered the questions above and you feel like there is no way you will have enough time to do everything, or perhaps you are having the opposite problem and feel that you can not figure out what to put on the list, I want you to understand this:
For those of you struggling to find things to go on your list, having a morning routine list of potential activities to add to your self-care plan is important to mapping out your perfect self-care morning routine. Some morning routine ideas that have been key to my schedule include the following items:
- Journaling in the morning is a relatively new concept. Most people consider journaling a night time reflection habit, however, there are a few key benefits to journaling first thing in the morning. Morning time journal time allows you to write down your intentions. You can use it to set your goals for the day, and writing your goals is an excellent way to stay on track. A few ways to use your journal in the morning are:
- Write down and then read affirmations for the day
- Hydrate! I cannot say enough about the importance of water in your self-care routine. Making sure you are adequately hydrating is essential to life, your body literally needs water to function. While there are lots of claims as to when you drink your water and what benefits there are, the bottom line is we need water, so why not get started early on our daily water intake? I generally like to drink a glass of water, then drink a cup of hot tea!
- Prayer and Meditation is the best way to get your day off on the right foot. Prayer allows you to set an intention to give the day to God. Morning prayer gives you the opportunity to invite God into the rhythms of your day!
- Exercise is the next item on the list of (should do) activities. Again, for me, exercising first thing in the morning guarantees that I do it! I have no excuses keeping me glued to the couch or cuddling my little girl.
- Pilates/Stretching is great to get your body loosened up before the day gets going
- Cycling/running is great for those who want to get the heart pumping
- Hygiene should be self-explanatory, but total transparency moment, the first 2 weeks after having my baby girl was rough on the hygiene in general!
- Oral care because I am a dentist and after going a whole night with your mouth shut and your salivary flow close to zero, your mouth is a cesspool of infection
- Showering can be done at night too especially if your workouts are pretty lowkey
- Make-up for the mamas who love a fabulous look. For those of us who are a little more low maintenance, YAY you just gained some more time to devote into another form of self-care.
- Breakfast can be a controversial part of self-care. For those who follow the intermittent fasting form of eating, breakfast may not be on your list of things to do, (again YAY! You get more time for other activities). For others not eating in the morning does NOT set you up for a good day. The important part of this is to make sure that you are prepared for your first meal of the day.
Additional Morning Routine Checklist Ideas
- Brush teeth
- Wash face
- Essential Oil Shower
- Take a walk or run
- Drink a cup of tea
- Drink a cup of coffee
- Guided Breathing
- Light a candle
- Practice progressive relaxation
- Read your bible
- Listen to music
- Prayer Journal
- Pick up a book, or listen to an audible
- Prepare a healthy breakfast
- Take a workout class
- Practice gratitude
- Morning Skincare routine
- Get creative and color
- Write your goals for the day
- Complete a guided meditation
- Sit down to eat breakfast
- Spend time in nature
- Recite affirmations
- Plan your day
You can get a printable copy of this list as well as all the tools needed to learn how to start a morning routine in our Cultivating calm mornings bundle! Its a totally free resource for subscribers!
How long should my morning routine be?
There is no magic number for how long a successful morning routine should be. I have seen some that are a couple hours long, or span the entire morning, where others may be much shorter. The important thing to remember is that you should have an idea of what you need and then make a morning routine that allows those things to fit into what time you can offer.
Here’s what my morning routine looks like (I have to be at work at 730 AM):
4:45 am – Wake up and turn on Abide app (brush my teeth, drink water, and dress for workout, make smoothie)
5:00 am – 15-20-minute HIIT or Tabata style workout
5:20 am – Prayer Journal based on Abide scripture
5:40 am – Shower and get dressed
6:15 am – Start getting baby ready
6:40 am – Pack up car and leave by 7:00 am
As you can see, I have limited time, and in order to have a more drawn out routine I would have to wake up at an even more ungodly hour, which could affect the productivity of the routine! I’ve done my best to maximize my time by choosing activities that are most important to me and my morning routine. I also choose time frames that serve my purpose best.
Tips for sticking to a morning routine
As with anything new that we add to our schedule, preparation is king! The biggest part of a self-care routine is preparation. This is especially important for working moms who already have limited time to themselves. Here are a few tips for starting a morning routine for success.
Prepare clothes night before. This goes for yourself and the children. I also recommend getting any workout gear together as well! You want to prepare for success by minimizing as many hinderances as possible.
Prepare lunches at night. Meal prepping is a hot topic. Whether you meal prep on the weekends for the week or package leftovers the night before, making sure that you have lunch (and breakfast) mentally prepared and ready to go minimizes the roadblocks many moms face when trying to maintain a morning routine.
Go to sleep early. Lack of sleep is the number one reason morning routines do not work. Failing to prepare for an earlier or on time wake up, by not accounting for the hours and setting a bedtime will cause you to miss your morning routine. Figure out when you want to wake up and then count back 6-8 hours from that. Set a bedtime timer and stick to it.
Limit Screen time before bed. While we are talking about sleep habits, I should mention that the blue light that is emitted from your cell phone and computer can negatively impact your ability to fall asleep. It is recommended that you turn off screens at least an hour before going to bed. Extra points if you can leave your phone in a separate room while you sleep.
Create an evening routine that promotes rest and relaxation. Letting the sleepy times roll, if you turn your phone off an hour before you go to bed, you have now opened space to also create the perfect nighttime routine.
Set the tone for success with a self-care morning routine
I know hours are limited, but a productive morning routine does not have to be a long drawn out experience. Whether you have a few extra minutes to do a breathing exercise or 2-3 hours of silence to read a chapter of a book, creating the perfect morning routine for success involves understanding your needs and what is important to you.
A good self-care routine honors your needs and fulfills them! Do you have a morning routine that you love? I would LOVE to know what you do to create calm mornings in the comments below!