Our days are stressful. Packed to the brim with errands and tasks and whatnot. Every minute is planned and neatly scheduled in our calendars. Often we can’t control a lot of what happens with our time. Our jobs, kids, colleagues, and friends decide what when and where. The morning might be the sole time you have to yourself and when you’re in charge of your time. Making the most of this precious time is an understandable pursuit and a morning routine the perfect opportunity.
I am sure you’ve read a lot about morning routines by now. From Gwyneth Paltrow to Oprah Winfrey, you can find everybody’s routine online. I myself, love to read how other people set up their mornings, at what time they get up, and what they eat for breakfast. And while I find these articles inspiring, I also find the morning routines described often very unrealistic. Let’s be honest, most of us are happy if we have 10 minutes to ourselves before the world takes over. So if you don’t want to get up at 5 every morning in order to go through a 3-hour routine, read on and find out what a simplified morning routine could look like for you.
What’s a morning routine
First and foremost, a morning routine is something you do for yourself. A ritual you have which prepares you for the day ahead. An effective morning routine is one which puts you in a positive mindset.
What a morning routine is not, is tackling a list of things you want to make your habit because everybody else does it. Some people do meditation, others journal. This doesn’t mean you need to integrate all these things as well. A morning routine doesn’t have to take 3 hours. If you have only 5 minutes it’ll work. This isn’t a form of competition. And sure as hell, it’s not all or nothing.
Every tiny ritual which makes your day better is totally worth the time. Whatever this might be for you, do it. If it helps you to stay calm and focused during the day, make it a habit. If it energizes you and makes you smile, it’s worth a try, no?
How to create a really simple morning routine
My tip to create a simple but effective routine is, to not look too much at what others do. Sure, you can find inspiration when reading about others’ routines. But you have to look more into what you, yourself need in the morning. There are a couple of things to consider for a slow and simple morning:
Make some time for yourself
In the end, that’s what it’s all about. It’s important for our wellbeing. This time should be sacred because you won’t have a lot of time to yourself during the day. I use this time to journal but you could also use it to read or go on a run. It’s up to you and what you need.
Don’t overdo it
Stick to 1-2 habits you want to integrate into your new routine. After all, it’s not a competition. You don’t want to stress out because your morning is too packed. You can always add on more. Even one tiny thing you do for yourself can totally change your day.
Avoid your phone like the plague
As soon as you grab your phone in the morning you’re no longer in control. This means emails and messages demand your attention and a response. It also means that you start your morning with lots of input before you even had time to think about the day ahead. Being mindful about the content you consume is especially important at this time of the day. That’s why I created a rule for myself. Output before input. I always journal before I pick up my phone. Try it out and you’ll see how your mood changes.
Avoid decision fatigue
Another big one. Often, the reason why our mornings are hectic and we can’t find a couple of minutes for ourselves is because we have too many questions to answer. We’re just not prepared. What should I wear? Where’s my blue sweater? Who’ll take the kids to school? Answering all these questions doesn’t only take up a lot of time, it also takes up a lot of energy. The more questions you’ll answer the night before, the less you’ll feel stressed and rushed in the morning. This can be preparing your breakfast in advance, laying out your clothes or packing your bag. That’s the real feature of a slow and simple morning.
What my morning routine looks like
7:00 | wake-up
I am aiming for 7:00 but that’s no fixed rule. Most of the time it works. If I’ve been working late or out with friends I will get up a bit later. For the moment, I have the chance to create my own schedule, so I profit.
7:05 | lemon water + coffee
My lemon water every morning has become a non-negotiable for me. I’ve been doing this for years. Before it was hard for me to drink enough water during the day but ever since I started this habit (water first thing in the morning) it has become easier.
7:10 | journaling
With my coffee, I sit down and start to journal. This is something I started last year which has changed my life in many ways. It helps me to stay organized, focused, and most importantly, calm.
Related post: The benefits of journaling
7: 30 | breakfast
Then it’s time for breakfast which is either porridge or yogurt with nuts and fruits in some variation or other. Maybe a second cup of coffee.
8:00 | getting ready
I don’t like much fuss in the morning. A quick shower and a little bit of make-up will have to do.
8:30 | the day starts
Some morning routines to get inspired:
Do you have a slow morning routine? You should | Viktoria | The Lifestyle Files
My Morning Routine | Rachel Hollis | The Chic Site
A slow morning routine | Sophie | A Considered Life