What if you could do EVERYTHING you wanted to… every single morning? What if you had an amazing morning routine? That’s the question I asked myself one Sunday.
I had just finished writing in my journal. I love writing. And I casually thought, “Oh, I’ll do this again tomorrow for sure.” Then it hit me. I wasn’t going to be able to write in my journal tomorrow. Or the next day. I had work. Suddenly, I was suddenly very sad.
Then I thought, “Why not? Why CAN’T I write in my journal tomorrow? Or do anything else I want?”
The answer came quickly: Because my mornings “belonged” to work. Duh. My mornings were not my own. They belonged to my job. Along with my energy. My time. My thoughts. And my dreams.
As soon as I realized I had this mindset, I decided to change it. So I did. For the next week, I woke up earlier and gave myself writing time. It was lovely! But not only that, it was game-changing.
The Morning Routine Snowball Effect
Now that I was setting aside time for myself, I started doing a bit more each day to make my mornings enjoyable. I started making myself a nice cup of tea. Then I added breakfast. After a while, I slapped a 10-min meditation session in there.
Before I knew it, I had created a morning routine!
I’m delighted to present you my “Extra AF Morning Routine.” Because it really is extra.
Then, I happily show you my method so you can make one of your own.
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My Morning Routine Checklist
I have a checklist with each of these items on my phone. I use an app called AwesomeNOTE. I’d say I do about 80% of these every day, roughly in this order. Okay, let’s wake up! 🙂
1.Remove self from bed
Yes, I literally have this on my checklist. It can be the hardest part! Plus, it gets me to look at the rest of my list.
2. Put on pants (2 mins)
Or a robe or whatever. Some mornings it is so cold, I want to stay in bed FOREVER to keep warm. So I’ll put on sweatpants, a robe, and/or a huge comfy sweater immediately to keep that cozy feeling!
Nature calls. Or at least it probably should sometimes. (It would be weird to put a time here… so I’m just gonna… leave this blank…)
4. Brush teeth, scrape tongue, & splash water on face (5 mins)
Yum, pepperminty freshness! I’m beginning to feel human.
5. Make lemon tea or lime tea (5 mins)
Boil some water. Cut a lemon (or lime!) in half. Squeeze juice into a mug, and pour hot water on top. Check button on the list! Apparently, this is super healthy for your innards.
6. Open curtains (while water boils)
Heaven let your light shine down!
7. Meditate (10 mins)
I meditate 10 mins in the morning. Sometimes I use an app. Sometimes just a timer. It feels seriously amazing and is linked to a ridiculous amount of benefits. It reminds me that I’m alive and my energy is MINE.
→ Mystified about how to begin a meditation routine? Try the Consciousness Challenge!
8. Light stretch (2 mins)
After sitting still for 10 mins, you’ll want to stretch. Move whatever feels good! Yawn.
9. Breathe fresh air (1 min)
I open up the front door and take a few deep breaths! Sometimes I scare a bird or two… heh.
10. Journal & sip tea (30 mins)
Now it is time for my favorite activity of the day! I sit down with my journal and pens. I write as long as I want to. Usually, my tea is the perfect temperature right now, so I sip it. Sometimes I write only a few sentences, sometimes I write a few pages, and other times I stare out the window. If I don’t use the full time, that’s fine. But I still block it off and respect my precious journal time!
11. Quick little workout (30 mins)
I’ll spend no more than 30 mins donning workout clothes, stretching, then doing a quick workout. I’ll go for a 1 mile run or do a couple Blogilates workout videos. Or do yoga from an app (or simply from memory). This is such a nice thing to do for yourself! Your sense of accomplishment will be sky high! Also, it is a hack of “highly successful people.”
12. Recover and de-sweat (10 mins)
Stretch and prevent yourself from smelling weird all day 🙂
13. Put on actual clothes (10 mins)
I allow myself to enjoy the process of getting dressed, but sometimes I enjoy it too much. So I squash this part after my workout and before food! This prevents me from trying on 1 million outfits, then going with the first one anyway.
14. Make breakfast (5 mins)
Usually, I have pre-made breakfast ready to go. Like homemade granola, granola bars, banana bread, or some overnight oatmeal. Sometimes I’ll make a smoothie. Why do I make breakfast easy? Because I get so hungry I can’t think. Also, I’m expecting this breakfast to give me at least 6 hours of hearty energy, so I go for nutrients.
15. Eat breakfast (10 mins)
I challenge you to do nothing but EAT during breakfast. Try it. Don’t look at anything on your phone, don’t read, and don’t listen to a podcast. Instead look at your food. Taste it. Smell it. Enjoy it. Be grateful for it. Go slow. It feels lovely. Don’t you love food? Surprisingly this doesn’t take very long at all but feels like forever (in a delicious food way).
17. Pick up around the house, water plants, make the bed (10 mins)
I take a little time to put away my breakfast, clear daily clutter, water a few plants, then make the bed. It feels good to spruce up my space. I’ll pick up only: trash, recycling, shoes, clothes. Very adulting. Don’t get carried away tho (no scrubbing okay?).
18. Hair and face (10 mins)
I give myself the chance to enjoy fixing my hair and attending to my precious face. Sometimes I’ll get into my makeup. Some days I decide to simply shine my innate beauty (its pretty bright). Here are my Daily Hacks for Happy Winter Skin!
19. Pack bag (5 mins)
Along with important items like keys, wallet, phone, laptop, I take time to pack a water bottle. Maybe a snack. I make sure I have tissues, deodorant, gloves, etc. Any little things I might want or that the season might call for. Very classy.
20. End of routine!
Now that I’ve enjoyed my morning thoroughly, my work has permission to begin!
→ → ABSOLUTELY NOT ALLOWED during morning routine (trust me):
Social media. Checking email. Returning texts. Let the world think you’re sleeping. Shh…
Benefits of a Leisurely Morning
Now let’s see how long that took altogether: 145 mins! Oh my! Adding some restroom time and that’s about… 2 1/2 hours.
Before you freak out, allow me to dissect the time and few reasons why it is worth it: ENJOYMENT & EXTRA ENERGY
- You will actually WANT to get up and do your favorite things, so there’s no need to account for hitting snooze.
- You won’t have to experience stress first thing in the morning
- You’ll be STICKING IT TO THE MAN who says “Your morning energy is MINE wahaha” (I think)
- I use this routine to manage depression and anxiety symptoms.
- You will be FULL OF ENERGY and have a super effective day.
- I did say this was “Extra AF”
PROVING YOUR TIME IS YOURS
- You must do many of these things anyway! Like put on clothes, brush your teeth, and pack your bag. Why not track them?
- Lots of workplaces are flexible with time. So see about beginning your workday a bit later.
- If you’re a student, maybe you can plan your schedule with this in mind 🙂
- Entrepreneurs – I bet you have some control over your availability.
- You can easily cut out the workout and/or cleaning to save time
So why is it “worth it?” Because you are worth it. And you’ll be worth more today if you energize first thing!
How To Make Your Own Morning Routine
- Find your anchor. For me, it is writing in my journal. Not only is it the thing that drives me to look forward to morning times, but it is the central, core component of the morning routine.
- Sit down and write out a list to answer the question: “What would I love to do every morning, which brings me joy?”
- Write out a second list to answer the question: “What do I really NEED to do every morning?”
- Combine the lists and adjust for reasonability (Maybe you can’t go to a cafe in Paris every morning, but I bet you can mimic the ambiance of that experience by making yourself a homemade latte, then sipping it in your dining room while playing cafe music. Why not?).
- Estimate times for each item, then calculate total time.
- Set your alarm accordingly!
- Try this for 5 days in a row (for reasons to NOT TRY IT ONCE THEN GIVE UP, you might enjoy my post How to Set the Bar Low).
- After day 5 assess and adjust (I adjust all of the time)!
In closing, I know this is crazy. I know this routine is huge and extravagant. But you know what? It is amazing. And life-changing. And really not that weird (if you want to conquer life on the regs). 🙂
So I encourage you to make a morning routine. Try it.
Dr. Erienne Weine
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