Ahh, mornings. Over the years I’ve tried so much of the advice out there to create my ‘perfect’ morning routine, I’m not even going to attempt to include links here. Some advice is helpful, some is common sense and some are downright outrageous with regards to what you should include in a morning routine – wake up at 4.30/5am, write first thing, a half hour to an hour’s exercise, followed by 20 minutes of meditation, 15 minutes of journaling, do yoga, the list goes on. I read these articles and think, do these people have jobs to go to?! My time in the mornings between when I wake up and head out the door are precious. And I need each and every minute to count towards creating the best starts possible to my days.
I for one, have never really been a morning person. And after so many years of trying to wake up at a ridiculous hour when my body protests for the rest of the day, I could not give a crap about striving to be one anymore.
Screw being a morning person.
My morning routine
I have a fairly consistent work schedule these days, and I like that. I like to start my work days in the office between 8 and 8.30am, and I have about an hour’s commute in the car. Only in the last year have I been able to identify what I need to achieve a mindful start to the day. I need to move and stretch, write, have a cup of tea and a sit-down breakfast. I’m a real cranky biatch by 9am if I don’t have breakfast or a cup of tea.
Here’s what my morning routine looks like at the moment:-
5.45am: Alarm goes off. I either hit snooze or start scrolling through Instagram (I know, I’ve broken a ‘rule’ already).
5.55-6.03am: Up, contacts in, crop top on. Get the body moving and the mind calm with 7-10 minutes of yoga. Stretch. Music goes on in the living room, usually an upbeat playlist from Spotify.
6.15am: Shower and dress. Make the bed.
6.30am: Breakfast. Usually either Weet-bix or muesli with fruit, honey and yoghurt if muesli, milk if Weet-bix. I’ll either check Twitter or read blog posts on Bloglovin.
6.40am: Brush teeth. Do hair and make up.
6.50am: Tidy kitchen. Make my cup of tea for the drive. Pack gym bag (if not already) and lunch.
7.10-7.15am: Choose a podcast episode. On the road. Ideally, I need to leave by this time if I’m going to get an alright run of traffic.
Weekday morning preparations
I try to prep my lunches on a Sunday afternoon, so all I need to do is grab it out of the fridge in the mornings. I also plan my outfits for the week on Sundays. This reduces the time it takes to decide what to wear and get dressed. (Having a reduced work wardrobe has also helped.) If I’ve had a day out to another campus and taken my work laptop the previous day, I need to make sure I have everything for the office that day.
No ‘perfect’ routine
What I’ve come to accept is there is no perfect morning routine. And if there is, a perfect morning routine is not achievable each and every day. Life happens. You’re not going to be perfectly prepared day to day, week to week.
What we need is a more realistic look at our morning routines – decide what is important, what makes you feel good, awake and ready to tackle the day. Then, prioritise what we can make time for and what works for our minds and bodies.
Take in the advice with caution and with your priorities in mind. It is impossible and unadvisable in my opinion, to try to include all the ‘shoulds’ out there in your morning routine. The perfect morning routine is the one that is right for you.
Have you had struggles with mornings? What strategies have you put in place to create less stressful mornings?