My morning routine has evolved. Just like most things, it’s changed to match the season I’m in. Very few things in life are permanent, and that’s a good thing.
You want to lean into the season you’re in, not fight against it.
Here’s what my current morning routine looks like, and what will most likely change to match the school/work-load schedule:
Our son has been going to sleep around midnight-12:30am, and my husband leaves for work at 6:30 am.
I get up at 6:30, use the restroom, then proceed to open up all the windows. We don’t have an A/C unit, so letting in as much fresh air first thing in the morning is a must.
I fill two water bottles, one is for my BCAAs, and one is just plain water, grab my mat, lightweights, and do a Barre blend workout.
To be quite honest, it took a while for me to hop on the Barre bandwagon. I wasn’t sure what the hype was about until I tried it! I have the beach body app for it, and Barre blend kicks my butt (in a good way) every time!
Post-workout, I have a protein shake and sit down to write. It depends on what’s going on in my heart.
I give myself that gift of a burst of creativity. Some days, I write something that becomes a blog post, a lesson for the AML Sisterhood, or it’s just for me and my journal.
Writing helps me to get my thoughts from my head onto paper, so it’s not taking up so much of my mental energy and space.
We tend to underestimate how much of our energy goes into holding onto a mental note, a lingering thought, or a stressful situation.
I choose to pour my heart out into my writing, to it a home that isn’t inside my head.
Writing out my thoughts helps me to be more present with my kids and not live in my head.
I usually write for about half an hour and then spend some time meditating.
I use the CALM app for this, and it’s helped to get me started with this practice. My mind tends to drift, or I’ll get bored— so if you’re anything like me, try using the CALM app. I’ve also heard great things like Headspace.
Whatever you do, don’t get side-tracked by hopping onto YouTube or Google to search for a guided meditation when you’re first getting started. You’ll quickly get lost in YouTube land or google. *ahem,* not that I know from personal experience or anything. 😉
After meditating, I’ll read a devotional and my scripture for the day. I’m currently re-reading Priscilla Shirer’s 90 Days with the God Who Speaks.
Then I enter into prayer. I love having a connection to God— and knowing that I am loved, and worthy. My worth isn’t tied to anything I do or to anyone, but to who He says I am. Having this time with my Father, who reminds me that I am a daughter of the King most high helps to ground me and serves as my daily anchor. This holds true for you, as well, friends!
You are so loved by the God of the universe— who pours out all of His blessings onto you. There is no ask that is too big or too small or a problem that feels too insignificant or impossible, bring it to Jesus in prayer.
If you find yourself distracted or unsure of what to say during prayer time, I love Val Marie’s Prayer Journal. It serves as a visual reminder for situations I can bring to the Lord in prayer. If I’m unsure who to pray for or what situations to pray for, looking at my prayer journal jolts my memory, and I’m able to be more strategic with my prayers.
Then, I grab my planner, look over my day, and that’s when I start my day.
I open the doors to the kids’ bedroom, to signal that it’s time to get up. Make them breakfast then hop in the shower.
I used to try to sneak in a shower before breakfast and just didn’t like smelling like food all day.
During the summer months, my kids like to sleep in…. It’s been a hot summer, so getting them to bed any earlier just doesn’t work— no matter how many fans we have in our house. We decided against having a window A/C since we live near a train station.
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
if you’re thinking, this morning routine is total BS— “belief system* as Tony Robbins likes to say (in his book Awaken the Giant Within)… because that’s all, it is.
You CAN have a morning routine, but it won’t look the same every single day.
You’re not a robot, and your child’s sleep schedule may fluctuate from day-to-day.
We tend to get so caught up in our belief systems— what we believe constitutes as a “perfect morning routine,” and if it can’t be perfect, we think it’s a waste of time and we don’t bother trying.
You CAN have a morning routine that works for you.
You have to make it work for you, your situation, and your circumstances.
Here are some modified versions of my morning routine:
If you only have 30 mins:
Do pilates or any type of exercise for 10-15 minutes.
It’s so important to move our bodies’ friends.
The goal is to aim for consistency, not perfection. Consistency over occasionally, any day. But telling yourself that you’ll move your body for at least 10 minutes a day, you’re less likely to find reasons for why you can’t find 10 minutes to move your body. 10 minutes is doable for ANYONE (with very few exceptions).
Meditate & pray or just sit with your morning cup of coffee and soak in this precious quiet time.
And that’s it.
Have only 15 minutes?
Stretch your body, meditate/pray/have some quiet time.
Don’t beat yourself up for not waking up earlier— channeling your inner mean girl— the one that tells you you’re no good at this or not disciplined enough, will NOT motivate you to do better next time.
When you operate from a place of guilt and shame, you can’t make any significant changes in your life.
You’re giving so much of your energy to these lies that live inside your head.
Instead, tell yourself it’s okay. You didn’t get much rest last night from ______, and you’re going to give yourself grace today so that you can get up earlier tomorrow.
So, why has my morning routine changed?
Well, life. And kids. And pandemic. With the kids home all the time, there was very little room for taking care of myself. Self-care isn’t fluffy, bath bombs, and facials— this is taking time for yourself so you can show up fully awake and energized for your kids and yourself.
All of the other little pesky tasks, like running the laundry, loading/unloading dishes, can wait.
In my previous morning routine, I’ve included running a load of laundry and unloading the dishwasher, but I’ve since delegated unloading the dishwasher to my girls and will usually run a load of laundry during break time from a work-related task and have a reminder set to remind me to transfer laundry from the washing machine to the dryer. (Thanks, Alexa!)
In her book “Happier Now” Nataly Kogan shares the importance of having daily anchors in your life. They are simple daily practices that will help you feel grounded, peaceful, and centered even when you’re going through small or big storms in your life.
How you start your day is going to determine how you show up for the rest of the day.
If you’re feeling frazzled— the rest of your day will feel frazzled and out of control.
Write out what you’d like to do.
If you only have 10 minutes, what do you have to do to feel GOOD? If you have 15 minutes? 30 minutes? And gasp— a whole hour?! What would you do with that time?
How will you pour into your cup? How will you care for your mind, body, spirit?
Keep it simple. Write out one or activities that you can realistically commit to doing every day. Can you commit to doing pilates for ten minutes? Or meditating for 5 minutes?
What are some obstacles you may face?
Acknowledging some potential pitfalls is critical here. Frequently, we forget this step, and then “we’re caught off guard.” Planning for potential setbacks and acknowledging that we’ll be met with obstacles along the way helps us to mentally prepare for obstacles along the way. (Brendon Burchard shared this concept in his book High-Performance Habits.)
Putting into words or on paper that may stop you from having a morning routine will help you to come up with creative solutions to your problems.
Some potential pitfalls could be:
-my son not sleeping through the night
-my son waking up in the middle of the night
-staying up too late to watch a show
-had a hard time falling asleep
-hitting the snooze button
These aren’t excuses. They’re potential situations that may cause you to stumble as you work towards building a solid morning routine.
Remember, a morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated. It can easily be 10-15 minutes.
Make it work for you. And you can build up from there.
Just make sure you’re not setting yourself up to fail by:
1) being on your phone the night before.
If you’re scrolling on your phone the night before, it will make it harder to fall asleep, keep your mind racing, and cause you to stay up later than when your child falls asleep.
2) being on your phone in the morning.
Be intentional about your morning time— don’t cheat yourself. If you give the best of your energy to being on your phone, it will leave little room for exercise, prayer, meditation, writing, reading, or anything else that can fill your cup. Instead, set your alarm on a google dock or an Alexa. Charge your phone on the other side of your room or outside of your bedroom.
I have my phone set to DND from 9 pm-8:45 am. Calls will come through, but not text messages or any other notifications and alerts. Everything else can, and HAS to wait.
You matter. Your health matters. Your quiet time matters.
Your morning routine is about you, being intentional with the first hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes of your day. Whatever time you have before the kids wake up, have to be dedicated to caring for your mind, your body, and your spirit. Scrolling social media or checking emails or the news isn’t going to accomplish that.
You’re committed to caring for yourself so that you can show up better for your family and to those around you.