Not all of us need to be morning people to have a healthy morning routine. I have found that when I take care of myself, my day tends to go a lot smoother. Morning routines are excellent ways to ensure that self-care is taken first before the rush of the day starts and attention is turned in a million directions. Like they say, “An empty cup cannot fill another”. Rushing to the office without breakfast, coffee, or a moment to pause and enjoy the sunset may seem like an ideal way to get the day going and over with fast, but if you are like me you will burn out by 2pm. While I am no longer rushing to my office, I now stay home with my daughter and work from home. The same principles still apply: if I want to have energy to run around all day and get my writing done, I must tend to myself a few minutes every morning.
All it really takes is 20-30 minutes. I find that my mind is much more free to go about my day once I do the following three things. Now, I am not perfect and there are certainly mornings that I have NO time to do anything but brush my teeth and throw on my shoes and rush my toddler out the door. Sometimes I have a deadline I must meet and am in my robe at 5am with no coffee or breakfast. Overall, the consistency of a morning routine enhances my life and keeps me from burnout.
- Eat breakfast
We’ve probably all had this instilled into our minds from our mothers, but there is truth to be said here. Breakfast is so important to maintain proper blood sugar levels, get nutrients to the brain to get working, and start our metabolisms. Choosing a simple and quick breakfast with a good balance of protein and carbs will keep me fuller, longer, and able to keep my attention on things other than my grumbling stomach. With breakfast comes another very important rule of thumb: if you enjoy coffee or tea, take 5 minutes out of your day to enjoy a cup at home. It actually saves more time than driving through Starbucks as well as puts more cash in your wallet, and then take a few minutes to do #2 on my list.
2. Take a moment to yourself
How many of us actually take a moment every morning to devote to ourselves? Probably a very small number of adults. It is so important for me to “fill my cup first”. I have found that reading in the morning, especially something that makes my soul happy, helps me to start my day with a smile and gratitude rather than rushing around like a mad woman. This is important when I have an inbox filled with requests and a hungry toddler pulling at my clothes. Even just 5 minutes of reading or journaling helps me process my priorities and be thankful for my day, and puts me in a better mindset to get going. This is one of my favorite morning routines because it is all about me and also good for me!
3. Make a list.
Once the belly and mind are set, it is time to get going. Making a list is the best way for me to start my day. It helps me put down on paper what I need to get done, what I hope to get done, and what I would like to get done. If I don’t make a list I usually end up not prioritizing my time right. I love to buy cute little notepads to keep around the house for all my lists. I love lists- they help me to stay on task and look back and see if I had a productive day or not.