I love my morning routine. It genuinely makes me happy and ready for whatever the day throws at me. Being that I am a mom, that is really saying something! Of course that does not mean that I am impermeable to bad days or moods. Though if I get the chance to make it through my morning ritual, I feel far more accomplished. It’s also a major dose of self-care, which needs no explanation.
Given that I work from home, I feel like my morning routine helps me to separate my time from work time. It’s also very helpful in making me feel productive right off the bat, which is a small win worth celebrating!
These are things that have helped me be more productive and get excited to get out of bed. You can pick and choose things to add, or try them all out! The order of completion each thing is up to you. Though, I generally like to save the brain-involved tasks towards the end of my morning routine so that I have plenty of time to fully wake up, enjoy the moment, and mull over things before REALLY starting my day.
We don’t get nearly enough daily movement with our sedentary lifestyles. A good dose of dynamic movement helps to make up for that. If you prefer exercising after work, then by all means do so! Though, I prefer to exercise in the morning to wake my brain and body up. This is a great way to energize without coffee! It’s great to do it first thing in the morning so you don’t have it hanging over your head the rest of the day like a chore. It’s also convenient to be able to shower after to get ready for the rest of the day.
If you’re into reading, the morning is a great time to get a quick reading session in. Do this INSTEAD OF mindlessly scrolling social media or being bombarded with negative news articles. When you immediately turn to technology upon waking, you are investing your attention in others. By picking up a book, you are investing in yourself.❤️
This is similar to reading, in that it is a time to invest in yourself and put your thoughts on paper. I personally like doing devotionals instead of the traditional journaling, because it is more structured. This is the one that I’m currently working through or a gratitude journal is also a GREAT way to start the day.
Meditation is not a woo-woo time waster. So many studies have been done that prove that this action makes people happier! Meditation is not about learning how to turn off your thoughts. Actually, it is about learning how to distance yourself enough so that you can notice and acknowledge the thought without getting caught up in it. This is a powerful tool that you can also use to refocus yourself. This is particularly helpful when your attention span starts to wane or are feeling overwhelmed or scatterbrained. It’s also an excellent means of resolving stress by learning to be quiet and patient for a small amount of time. Five minutes is really all you need to reap the benefits.
I’m talking about simple, daily tasks. These might include making the bed, wiping down counters, tidying up the living room or your desk, etc. Accomplishing these little things first thing in the morning is an small win. It’s also a step in the direction towards a productive day (when you FEEL productive, you ARE productive!). Take it a step further by completing a daily cleaning task! Check out Clean Mama for suggestions on recurring daily tasks to get your whole house clean in just a week! Getting this done first thing is just one less chore hanging over your head all day!
So many people are dehydrated. You shouldn’t rely on thirst to tell you when to drink. The thirst mechanism is a last ditch effort to get some water in your parched body! Try to drink AT LEAST half of your body weight (or more!) in ounces per day. If you are far from this quota, start small. Try 33 ounces/1 liter – this is the water bottle that I use that is 1 liter – and add another 10 ounces (roughly ⅓ liter) each week. You should definitely try to have some water before you have your morning coffee or caffeinated drink. Caffeine is a diuretic and will make you pee, dehydrating you.
Breakfast is probably the most skipped meal and truly IS the most important meal! The body is best able to digest a large meal first thing in the morning. From morning-on, it has the whole day ahead to process and burn that fuel. In the morning, you don’t have any fuel in the tanks as an energy source. So the body will resort to pumping adrenaline into your bloodstream to keep it going. That means that you are already stressing your body out! Have something small to eat before that cup of coffee, because coffee will depress your hunger cues. This will further reinforce the stress cascade.
Recently, I’ve been starving when I wake up (hello breastfeeding). I’ll make something quick, because my stomach is screaming and I can’t think straight. Instead of opting for something quick and unhealthy: I’ll make a protein drink or have a protein bar (peanut butter based or meat based). The snack helps me get out of the uncomfortably starved feeling for just long enough to make a real breakfast.
This is something that I like to do with a cup of coffee/tea and as a transition into work mode. This has by far been my favorite tool towards less stress and more productivity! Basically, a brain dump is a major to-do list. You simply write down everything that comes to mind. Write down things that you need to accomplish, schedule, purchase, plan for, remember, and so on. By writing these things down, you don’t need to struggle with trying to constantly reminding yourself to do them. This means more brain power devoted toward actually doing the things, not trying to remember to do the things.
Let’s get real: In order to stay away from overwhelm, first realize that you will never accomplish everything on this list in a day. To-do lists are never ending, especially as a parent. Secondly, pick only THREE things from the list that are must-dos by the end of the day. This makes the list more feasible and sets you up to actually be able to accomplish your must-dos. This will help your keep up your self confidence. If you constantly make lists that never get completed, you’ll doubt your ability to ever get out of overwhelm-land. This is why it’s so important to make sure that your daily list is doable.