Mornings are my favorite part of the day! They always have that vibe of a start of the summer vacation in middle school. So many possibilities, so many opportunities, so much freedom, especially when you wake up early enough.
On most days, my alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. I’ve been working from home at my day job for more than a year, so I’ve been saving a lot of time on committing and getting ready in the mornings. I do have a rule that I only work from my designated office area and I have never worn PJs at my desk. But I still give myself the freedom to stay comfortable. Some days I do put a little bit more effort in how I look by doing my make-up and wearing real jeans, but only if I feel it’d make a difference in how I feel.
I’m not going to lie that I wish I woke up earlier than that. I’m slowly training myself to not hit snooze when it goes off before my normal time, but it’s a process. I’ve noticed that it works best when I hype myself up the night before. My friend (and podcast co-host!) Aman Kaur gave me a tip that it really makes a huge difference in how you choose to view your wake-up time. I try to stay away from thinking about how many hours of sleep I’m about to get and that there’s a chance I won’t feel well-rested. Even when I head to bed later than my bedtime, but I tell myself “I’m going to wake up so refreshed tomorrow, I’m excited!” it really does work for some weird reason!
No matter my wake-up time, I always make sure I fit some me-time into my morning before I have to start my day. While the timing and the amount of minutes I spend doing one of these activities may vary, I stay consistent when it comes to what I do each morning.
I’m lucky to say that most mornings I get spoiled by drinking my coffee in bed. We don’t let our dog sleep with us in bed, but the 10 lbs thing always goes unnoticed when she sneaks up onto a king bed in the middle of the night, and there’s no way to resist her cuddles when you wake up next to the warm fur ball. It really makes it hard to get out of bed, but it’s also a joyful moment in my day so I just give in and appreciate it.
I usually get out of bed as I’m half-way through the cup. I never check the news or my e-mail first thing in the morning. These days, we rarely get anything to ourselves, so having a dedicated timeframe when you don’t allow outside influences into your mind is important.
Once I’m through my physical routine of getting dressed and completing the steps of my skincare routine, I meditate. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the Headspace app for guided meditations. I like the mini-lessons they give you at the beginning of each practice and I found many interesting insights. Normally I work on completing a themed course (they have everything from managing anxiety to maintaining creativity to elevating self-esteem and everything in between), but sometimes I just use their timer when I feel like I just want to let my mind guide me instead. I usually set it for 10-15 minutes.
I never expect to get anything out of each practice, and I found that this is really the way to get results. Honestly, this is the way to get anything in life! Set an intention, let go and allow. Consistent meditation has helped me disassociate myself from outside situations and maintain a place of inner confidence. I now often find myself thinking throughout the day “right now, this might be a stressful situation, but at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with who I am.”
After my meditation, I grab my Five Minute Journal. For some weird reason (I call it weird because it’s so simple!) it has been life-changing. If you’re not familiar with it, the journal gives you quick bullet writing prompts each morning and each evening. Morning prompts include “3 things I’m grateful for”, “how can I make today great?” and “daily affirmation – I am…” Evening prompts include “3 amazing things that happened today” and “how could I have made today better?” You totally don’t have to have the journal to practice this daily, but I find that having that structure laid out on paper just makes it easy to stick to and build a habit.
I’ve been using the journal for three months now and have noticed that the more I do it, the more often I pause during the day to appreciate what’s around me. I know I’ll have to fill out my evening prompt, so I purposefully look for good things throughout the day.
I also choose to do my journaling after my meditation because sometimes, when you let your brain free, it comes up with things you wouldn’t even think of!
After that, I let myself get entertained. Sometimes I watch YouTube. Sometimes I listen to a podcast or an audio book. Sometimes I just turn on music while I make quick breakfast. My only rule – it has to be uplifting. While this may seem like it’s too much information pouring into my brain, it actually is something that’s inspiring.
That’s pretty much it! I do want to add some sort of exercise into my routine like a quick yoga session or a walk (once it gets a little warmer) but I’m allowing myself to take it one step at a time.