If you read my recent blog post, “Creating Nightly Routines and Why It Is Important,” about how to implement an effective nightly routine, you may have been wondering what the morning routine you set yourself up for looks likes. As a therapist, I see many clients who struggle with starting their day off on “the right side of the bed” due to many stressors. If you had a productive evening routine the night prior, below is a simple guide on how to keep the momentum of keeping your day with as little stress has possible.
As a therapist, I am also not naive to think there could be potential barriers to this process, because life has a way of making things sometimes complicated at times, but hopefully this simple guide of 8 morning routines can create at least a less stressful day, which if doing all 8 items, could take approximately 1 hour.
- STOP! Don’t look at your phone the second you wake up. Maybe you have to look at it for a brief second to turn off your beeping alarm, but after that, put it aside. Take a minute to just take a deep breath. If you have windows in your bedroom, take a minute to just look outside into nature. It can be a therapeutic way to start your morning.
- Gratitude. Before leaving your room, take a minute to start your day off by saying one thing your grateful for that day. Can’t think of something? Maybe start by simply being thankful for having a new day for a fresh start on your day/week/month/year, whatever it may be. Doing this exercise starts your day off with optimism.
- Self-Compassion. Give yourself at least one thing you admire about yourself. It can be extra helpful to focus on a quality, such as one of your personality quality like your sense of humor. Doing this exercise starts your day off being kind to yourself.
- Move! Starting your day with some form of exercise, whether it is running, walking around the block, a fitness studio class, or even some light yoga, whatever you have time for and whatever you truly enjoy. Exercise creates endorphins, which create happiness.
- Shower Time! Now that you have possibly worked up a sweat from your exercise, jumping in the shower can be very therapeutic. Allowing yourself to do it mindfully, can also be very beneficial. This means paying attention to your five senses, such as what does the shower look like, smell like, feel like, and hear like (I don’t recommend taste in this setting!).
- Meditate. Doing some deep breathing exercises, even if that means for one minute, it can allow your mind and body to connect at the start of your day, which ideally will stay connected throughout the rest of your day.
- Eat! It is true that breakfast is really the most important meal of the day. It allows for better concentration, which can make for a more productive day. Perhaps you already prepared your breakfast from night before too, which could save you some time and give you more time to eat mindfully!
- Agenda. Looking at your calendar/to do list at the beginning of the day, doing this can help you set an intention of what you hope to accomplish, including both personally and professionally. Perhaps you already created this list last night, and maybe even added some items this morning.
If you are able to give yourself at least one hour before leaving for work, you are able to do say to yourself, I have done at least 8 things for myself today and 8 things that also allow for positivity and personal growth. This also allows for you to start your day off giving yourself time for yourself that you truly deserve.
If you are currently struggling with anxious mornings and implementing a morning routine, it may be a good idea to connect with one of our skilled counselors at Symmetry Counseling today. You can contact them at 312-578-9990 to set up an appointment.