Since Covid-19 came into our lives, our normal rhythm of living and working has changed and we have had to make adjustments such as working more from home.
This faces us with challenges such as maintaining the balance between home and work. As human beings, we thrive on structure and regularity, which is currently under pressure. Self-care is more important than ever and having a good morning routine for yourself is certainly part of it.
Why Having A Morning Routine Is Good For You
A morning routine ensures that you consciously start your day with what you find important.
You don’t get carried away by life (and the alarm clock), you don’t run after the facts, but you choose to take control yourself and start the day with rituals that make you a more enjoyable person.
Besides these rituals you can ask yourself questions during your morning routine: how am I going to fill in this day? How can I make this day beautiful? Which do I want to do anyway, which makes me feel satisfied and brings me closer to my purpose in life?
It makes you feel like you’re more in control of your day. You know where you’re going, what you want from this day. On top of that, routines give you grip, structure and direction, which is very welcome in uncertain times like these.
What Is The Best Morning Routine?
Because this is often very personal, there is no such thing as the perfect morning routine. However, you can take some guidelines into account when thinking out your routine.
– Start with small steps. For example, get up early instead of pressing that snooze button for a long time. And no, this doesn’t necessarily have to be at 5:00 at night! You can start with getting up a quarter of an hour earlier. This will give you the peace and quiet to do things a bit slower, so you have less stress and the morning starts a bit more relaxed.
Try to keep a fixed rhythm: get up at the same hour every day, including weekends and holidays.
– Stop hitting the snooze button. Make sure you have to get out of bed to switch off your alarm clock. If you have the discipline to stay at least twenty seconds out of your bed, you are awake and there is nothing worse about it. After a few weeks you jump out of bed laughing.
That small difference of a few more minutes of lying down and snoozing or immediately getting out makes your day. Because in those few minutes your monkey mind is going to produce a lot of negative thoughts in a short period and you will start your day with a lot less sense and energy.
– Leave your smartphone alone. Most people check their phones as soon as they get up. My next tip would be: leave your phone on the airplane mode until you have ‘finished’ your morning routine or at least the first hour of the day. Don’t start the day from a reaction by letting yourself be swallowed up by mail, social media or news. It’s up to you to decide what to nourish your mind with.
– Make room for the things you find important. How would you like to start your day and what gives you energy for the rest of the day? What activities would you like to include in your morning routine?
If you want some inspiration, I can recommend Hal Elrod’s book ‘Miracle Morning’. He came up with the term S.A.V.E.R.S, which stands for Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. Even with 10 or 15 minutes you can apply this. So no more excuses for not having time in the morning!
– Do something you like. Reading a magazine or newspaper, doing a few yoga exercises, writing in your diary or just having a cup of tea on the couch. By immediately doing something that makes you happy, you set the tone for the rest of the day. Don’t you have a lot of time? Then look for it in something small. Play your favorite song, give your pet extra attention or listen to a podcast. Even the smallest things can really make a difference.
– A good morning routine kicks off in the evening. In order to really benefit from your morning routine, you may have to adjust to your evening routine. Go to bed around the same time every evening so you have enough hours of sleep (as an adult you’ll need between 7-9 hours sleep per night!). It can be useful to get your (sports) clothes ready if exercise is part of your morning routine.
It is well-known that blue light influences our biological clock, and can therefore disturb sleep. The blue light of TV, computer or tablet screens suppresses the production of melatonin. This sleep hormone regulates our biorhythm or the wake-sleep rhythm. It’s recommended to stop watching TV/computer at least 30 minutes before you go to bed. You can also use a custom light filter. Most smart phones have this on them by default, but you can also use apps such as f.lux which I use on my laptop.
My Personal Morning Routine
I like to share with you what my morning routine looks like right now.
I usually go to bed between 10.15 and 10.45 pm. If I’m not really tired I prefer to read a book for a couple of minutes. I also like to end my day with listening to a Yoga Nidra meditation while lying in bed. It guides me to sleep and helps me to sleep well during the night.
For a long time I’ve used my smart phone as an alarm clock to wake up. But I quit because it doesn’t work for me. It’s too much of a distraction, as I was a frequent snoozer and often started scrolling through Facebook or my mailbox in the morning. Now, I use my Philips Wake Up Light. It wakes me up at 07.00 am with a soft light, adapted to natural outdoor light, while I hear the sounds of whistling birds.
I get up and open the curtains to let nature and day light in (we have a wonderful view on our backyard!). First thing I do is drink a large glass of water to hydrate.
Then I listen to a guided meditation with a mantra or intention for about 15 minutes, on one of my favorite meditation apps. Optional: writing in my diary and expressing gratitude.
Next, I play a podcast on my Podbean app and do some stretching / Yin yoga exercises for about 10 minutes. Currently, I’m a big fan of 7 Good Minutes – Daily Self-Improvement by Clyde Lee Dennis.
I take a shower and use one of my favorite products by Rituals foaming shower gel. Usually I start with a pleasant, warm temperature and finish with slightly colder water to rinse off. This makes me feel more energetic.
Often I get creative ideas or inspiration during my shower moment. I put them into my Trello app.
I clean my teeth with an Oral B electric toothbrush and do my skin care routine (clean, tonic, moisturize) with Clinique products. My bathroom ritual is about 15-20 minutes.
And finally, I go downstairs and make myself a nice tea in the kitchen. I’ll have some muesli with semi-skimmed milk or Skyr yoghurt for breakfast.
I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now, since I rearranged my morning routine. It’s quite nice and I do feel a difference in terms of my energy level and overall happiness.
Ready to create your own epic morning routine?
It would be nice if I could help you on your way. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know through the comment section. Have a great start of your day! 😉
With love ❤,