For the longest time, I didn’t understand the benefits of having a routine. To me, having a routine sounded anything but exciting. As someone who craves the new and exciting, I was afraid falling into a routine would make me dull and feel trapped. Little did I know I was missing out on a world of untapped potential! Not only do routines reduce stress and anxiety, they offer us a little bit of predictability in a world that is anything but (more on the benefits of routines here). Below I’ll walk you through a how to create a morning routine that’s easy to follow!
Related Post: 50 Simple Things You Can do to Change Your Life
Important Things to Remember When Creating a Routine
Everyone’s Routine May Look Slightly Different
This is because we are all different. What excites you and gets you out of bed in the morning is likely very different than what gets someone else out of bed in the morning! Embrace your own uniqueness and make changes to your routine as you see fit!
Don’t Add Things You Genuinely Hate Just Because You Think You Should
Adding a task into your routine that does not excite you nor is beneficial to you may cause more harm than good – hate kale? Don’t add ‘drink kale smoothie after workout’ into your routine (no-brainer, right?). Remember there’s a difference between doing things we don’t love but are good for us (this may be exercising or drinking water) V.S. things we downright don’t like (ie. Kale). Keep in mind there are plenty of other things you could be doing to enhance your overall wellbeing – don’t sweat the small stuff and find an alternative that works for you!
Keep it Simple
Don’t overcrowd your routine – you can do anything, but not everything. Be realistic about the time you have on hand and be realistic with yourself – crowding in tasks that you genuinely don’t have time for is going to cause nothing but stress and overwhelm when you can’t complete them all. Make time for what’s absolutely crucial to your wellbeing and success, and then see where you can fit in additions- you may need to keep these in a rotation!
How to Create a Morning Routine That’s Easy to Follow
Below, I’m going to go through the steps of how you can create a simple morning routine that’s be easy to follow (even on days you’re dragging your feet!). Grab a pen and paper and get ready to create your morning routine!
Start With Choosing a Time to Wakeup
Ideally, the earlier you can wakeup the better, but understandably we all have different sleep patterns, careers and schedules! Ideally, whatever your schedule calls for, you want to wake up at the same time every day!
Some of the benefits of waking up every day include better mood, feeling more awake and less sleep inertia (the overwhelming feeling of wanting to go back to sleep the second you open your eyes!). For more benefits of waking up at the same time everyday, you can checkout this article!
Tips to help you get up at the same time every day: don’t hit snooze and putting your alarm across the room so that you have to force yourself to get out of bed!
What Cyn does: As a shift-worker, I have a lot of different types of morning and night routines depending on when I work! For mornings I don’t work, up at 0800. When I work, up at 0500. After a night shift I wake up anywhere from 1300 – 1700 (depending on whether I work a consecutive night or I’m coming off of nights and switching back).
Something That Wakes You Up/Gets the Blood Flowing
If you do something that’ll wake you up, you’ll be even less likely to get back into bed! At this part in your routine, choose something that wakes you right up. This could be splashing cold water on your face, drinking a glass of cold water, stretching etc. You can check out this list by Healthline that tells you 34 ways to wake you up!
What Cyn does: I personally get up and do something that gets me out of bed ASAP – I open the curtains to let light in (or turn on my Happy Light in the winter months to mimic the sun), stretch and take my medication. That way, I’ve set myself up for success and can get the day started!
Make Time For Something Indulgent/Do Something Good For You
We’re all different creatures – some of us can workout in the morning, others prefer to keep mornings slow and savoury. Whatever your preference is, allot a bit of time so that you can do something for yourself. This could look like a workout, reading a chapter of a book, having coffee and skimming through the morning paper. Whatever it is, make sure you put in a small chunk of time to do something you love and genuinely look forward to.
More Ideas: journal, practice gratitude, yoga or stretching, meditate, watching a show on TV/Netflix etc. Remember this is a little indulgent time for you. We need to make a habit of making time for ourselves and schedule it in or else it won’t happen!
What Cyn does: on days that I work, this is when I like to sneak in a quick workout. On days that I don’t work I like to make a nice coffee and catch up on some reading.
Make Time For Nourishment
While some people may not like to eat breakfast or simply don’t have the time to make a hearty one, eating in the morning is something that’s so important (especially for me when I’m off to work!). (If you are someone who adamantly doesn’t eat breakfast, simply skip over this step and head onto the next!)
Having a nutritious (and delicious!) start to your day can benefit you in SO many ways! Below I’ll list some tips for every kind of morning person:
For the one who doesn’t feel like cooking: have easy to grab breakfasts handy (this could be a granola bar, toast with nut butter, an instant oatmeal etc.). Another option is to meal-prep your breakfasts (a simple Pinterest search will give you ideas for weeks!). My personal favourites are any kind of breakfast square or scrambled eggs (with cheese and veggies).
For the one who does like to cook: allot yourself the amount of time you feel you need to get creative in the kitchen! This will vary depending on what you like to make! Remember, it doesn’t have to be complex – simply scrambling some eggs, toast and cutting up fruit is always a win!
What Cyn does: again, with two different morning schedules, I am both the person who likes something easy to grab and someone who likes to make breakfasts! Naturally, on mornings I work, I want a no-fuss option and will plan in advance. On days I stay home I like to get crafty in the kitchen and savour my breakfast!
Something Constructive that Will Set the Tone for your Day
This is the part where you need to sit down and intentionally do something that will structure your day. Whether this is setting an intention for the day or full out opening your planner and writing it down, the simple act of planning will give you the momentum you need to get started. If you’re interested in why you should plan your day, check out this article here!
What Cyn does: on days I work, I like to set an intention for the day and occasionally will give myself a small to do list of 1-3 tasks (there isn’t much time on either side of a 12 hour shift so I like to keep it light!). On days I don’t work first thing, I like to fully open my planner and plan 4 tasks I want to tackle that day. This time I spend planning sets the tone for the day, and I easily get more done than when I don’t sit and plan!
Get to Work
The next and final task on your morning to do list is putting in the work! Whether this is physically going to work, running an errand, heading off to an appointment or starting a chore, this is the first task of the day! I say this is the last task because by this point you may have reached the momentum to get started/your goal – getting to work or getting to tackle that first task of the day! Starting this task signifies the completion of your morning routine.
Things to Remember
Ultimately, you are the boss of your own life. If you’re like me, you may need to have different routines for different circumstances and that is OKAY! There is no right or wrong way to have a routine. A routine simply offers a sense of normalcy in our busy day-to-day lives.
You may find your routine needs tweaking, or you need to rearrange the order of things, or this formula doesn’t work for you at all! And that’s okay! Some of our best thinking/working out/self care takes place during other times of the day. Have fun with it, play around and see what works best for you!
I’d love to see what your morning routine looks like! Let me know in the comments below!