We all deserve to embrace a calming morning routine.
I’ll be honest here. Mornings are really hard. It can’t just be me who feels like that.
This time of the year, my mental health definitely takes a hit. It’s cold, it’s dark when I drive to work every morning and it’s dark again when I come home. I spend most of my time fighting the urge to hibernate and spend the entire day in bed.
Mornings for me involve staying in my nice warm bed until the last possible minute. Then I run around frantically, trying to get dressed and gather everything I need for the day ahead.
I’m sure I’m not alone in this. It’s just not a great way to start the day. Every day I promise myself tomorrow will be calmer. I’ll get out of bed earlier, hit that snooze button five (or even one) fewer times.
A calm morning, where I can casually sip my coffee, get everything done and still have time to spare, has become a bit of a fantasy for me.
If you too dream of mornings being a calm and relaxing time for you to gather your thoughts and prepare for the day, this list is exactly what you’ve been looking for. I’ve put a lot of thought into this. What I’ve figured out is the difference between my normal morning routine and a calmer one is simply being more intentional in the things I do and the thoughts I have first thing in the morning.
Why is a calm morning routine important?
1| It sets the mood for the rest of your day. Why invite stress into your life even a second before you absolutely have to? We all have things that stress us out, but simply getting out of bed and preparing to take on the day should not be one of them.
2| It’s a sneaky time to squeeze in some self care. Working in human services, I know how important self care is. That doesn’t mean I’ve always made it a priority, but I appreciate its importance. For a long time, I thought self care was something I did after work, when I could already feel the burnout setting in.
It doesn’t need to be that way. Making some time to be good to yourself, and giving yourself adequate time to get ready in the mornings, is absolutely self care. Why try to minimize my stress when I can stop it before it starts?
3| We all have busy evenings. There’s a lot going on for everyone right now. For many people, evenings have become an extension of their workday or a time to do other jobs and side hustles. By making yourself the priority in the morning, you’re reinforcing that your worth and happiness are not dependent on your productivity.
4| Self care and mental wellness are ongoing efforts. A calm morning routine gives you space to take care of yourself, to put yourself first before the stress of the rest of the day gets the better of you. Practicing self care first thing (possibly when we’re too tired to even make excuses) means we’ll benefit from it all day. It eliminates the temptation to skip a day or tell ourselves we don’t deserve it.
5 things you can do for a more relaxing morning routine
It doesn’t matter how busy the rest of your day is, making time to take care of yourself in the morning will make the rest of your day so much better.
1| Stay away from your phone for at least 20 – 30 minutes
No matter where you look on the internet or social media, there is always something to make you feel bad about yourself. Whether it’s seeing news that highlights the dire state of the world or comparing the life we live to the life people share on Instagram.
Grabbing our phone is absolutely a habit. It’s the first thing many of us do in the morning. Some of us, myself included, probably look for our phone before we even we open our eyes. But staying away and giving ourselves a chance to wake up before we’re bombarded with work emails and “proof” that everyone is doing better than us can be a great way to add some clarity and perspective to your day.
Take care of yourself for a bit before thinking about the rest of the world. It can wait.
2| Drink Water First
I know the struggle of stumbling your way to the coffee machine to get the coveted dose of much needed caffeine before doing anything else.
What if you tried having a couple sips of water first?
Surely I’m not the only person who has a hard time drinking enough water throughout the day. If I could count all the coffee I drink toward my water intake, I would be the most hydrated person ever. But unfortunately, coffee doesn’t count.
We know there are so many amazing reasons to drink water from clearer skin to increased energy and decreased anxiety. This isn’t the place to get into all that. Look it up if you want to.
Moral of the story, drink your water. You might drink it on the way to your coffee, but drink the water.
3| Practice gratitude
I was recently watching this Brene Brown video the other day, and she talked a bit about how gratitude is one of the biggest protective factors against some of the biggest mental health challenges we face.
Gratitude has a tremendous impact on depression, addiction, anxiety. Happy people exhibit less psychopathology, and that makes sense. Practicing gratitude forces us to look for the positives and not get so bogged down by all the less than perfect things in our world and our lives.
Taking a few minutes every morning to recognize and acknowledge the things that have been going well can have a profound impact on the rest of your day and, more broadly, your life.
4| Take care of your skin
We all know how important skincare is. It’s one of those things we do because we know there will be consequences if we neglect it.
My morning skincare routine isn’t great. It’s hectic and rushed and there’s usually nothing calming about it. But on the days when I get up and out of bed when my first alarm rings, everything seems to go better. Mornings can actually be a relaxing and enjoyable part of the day.
Let’s be honest here. Everything is just easier after you’ve done something nice for yourself.
5| Listen to a podcast or audio book
This has been life changing for me. I have about a 30 minute commute in the morning. That’s a lot of time when you think about it. Listening to something that can help me live the life I most want or become the bet version of myself is a great idea.
I’ll be honest, this felt a little weird at first. I used to listen to music when I drove, which was also a great way to start the day, but not very productive. While it was something I enjoyed it, I never felt great about how I used that time.
Listening to podcasts and audio books has been a great way to reclaim the hours I lose sitting in my car every day.
Mornings should be the most relaxing time of the day. Even the busiest people deserve to start their day off with a calm morning routine.
It’s an amazing opportunity to take care of ourselves before the stress and tension of the rest of the world start invading our thoughts.
What do you do to make your mornings as calm as they can be?
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