Let me start this off by saying that you do not have to be a morning person in order to benefit from a morning routine. Does the idea of getting up even earlier freak you out? Maybe we need to clarify the goal of a morning routine first: A routine increases your productivity, you start the day with the feeling that you did already something for yourself, it reduces your stress level and it will increase your satisfaction and your optimism on the long run. 

Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive and successful days – which inevitably create a happier, successful life.

Sounds goof, right? BUT… You still do not want to get up super early every morning? Let me tell you that it is not necessary to spend one hour on a helpful morning routine. You can start from as little as 10 minutes and either stick with it or lengthen the time. 
In order to be happy and successful with your morning routine it is crucial that you put together a sequence individually, that you stay realistic, that you remain on track (habits need time to build them up), that you fulfill your own needs.

For a wholistic approach try to integrate something from all following categories. If have only little time during the morning you can try to find activities that cover a couple of the categories. Be honest to yourself: How much time do you spend scrolling through social media in the morning? Would it be nice to use half of that time for anything supportive?

Ideas for your morning routine

  • BODY
    movement: workout, yoga, stretch, walk, use a foam roller
    hydration: drink (lemon) water right after getting up, have a cup of tea/ coffee/ turmeric latte
    light: sun light or a daylight alarm clock (no ad, just my personal favorites) help your body to get active
    (cold) shower, brush you teeth, facial
    clean the physical space
    use tools like cupping / gua sha / dry brushing
  • MIND
    set goals / make a schedule for the day
    read a book to feed you mind
    journal
    listen to a podcast
  • HEART
    spend time with your partner, family or your pet
    be grateful, start the day off with a gratitude Journal
    use affirmations
    use aroma therapy
    listen to your favorite playlist
  • SPIRIT
    meditation
    religious work
    spend time in nature

Three Different Morning Routines

  1. MINDFUL TASKS
    Waking up
    Glass of warm lemon water
    Shower, brush your teeth 
    Walk with you dog in nature / a park
    Have your coffee and some healthy(!) breakfast while listening to a podcast
    (switch on your phone not before finishing breakfast, no mails, no social media)

    –> it is not a „quick“ routine, but it includes the things you need to do anyways and the walk covers a couple of activities

  2. GENTLE WAKE-UP
    Waking up
    Wash you face / put a mask on
    Prepare yourself some tea
    Unroll your yoga mat
    Wash your face, use moisturizer 
    Yoga (can be 10 minutes or longer)
    Drink your tea 
    Switch on your diffuser with an essential oil…
    …Meditate (5 minutes or longer)
    (do not switch your phone on before finishing your routine)

    –> Number two could be done within 25 minutes or longer in case you extend the yoga/meditation practice 

  3. QUICK ROUTINE
    Get up
    Stretch your muscles for a couple of minutes 
    Cold shower (this way you are faster) / get dressed 
    Glass of water + turn on your favorite playlist
    Prepare yourself a coffee and some healthy(!) breakfast
    While having your breakfast make a schedule for the day
    Walk/take your bicycle to work

    –> number three does not take a lot of extra time but makes your morning a bit healthier (hydration, stretching) and more pleasant (favorite music, fresh air)

Common mistakes 

  • Finding excuses 
    Every new habit needs a bit of time. Especially at the beginning you need to be strict and practice daily. After 3-4 weeks it will be much easier to get up, to stick to your routine (especially because you already experienced the benefits).
  • Copy the routine of somebody else
    I can tell you right away: It will not work on the long term. If you dislike working out in the mornings, you will not stick to it, if you love your coffee more than anything else in the mornings, you should not replace it with a green tea. Try to find something that is not only acceptable but even enjoyable: face mask, meditation (did you ever try?), cuddles with you cat….
  • Distractions
    I know it is so normal these days to charge the mobile next to your bed and check your messages, mails and social media first thing in the morning. Honestly, it causes nearly everyone stress. Even if you read only messages from your friends and check the news you spend your energy thinking about everyone and everything except yourself. And it will be really hard to slow down these thoughts afterwards.
    Do yourself a favor and either switch your phone on airplane mode and leave it this way until you are done with your morning routine or get yourself a daylight alarm clock and charge your phone in the living room/kitchen (wherever). These alarm clocks do not only replace the mobile close to your bed but also help so so much with getting up (especially during winter time when it is dark outside). It was the best present I got over the last years!
  • Hustle & Bustle
    Please do yourself a favor and set your alarm clock at a realistic time for your morning routine. Do not expect to be able to get up exactly the same time when you are trying to get additional activities in. You want to start your day in a calm way/ with a mindful attitude. 
  • Not enough sleep
    Obviously you need to get to sleep a little earlier in case you plan to get up earlier. Enough sleep is so important for your health. No morning routine is able to turn down the long term consequences of your lack of sleep.
  • Start small
    In order to stick to your routine you should implement only a few additional activities to start off. Obviously you could still adjust your routine over time in case you are successful with it. 

I hope this article motivates you to try a morning routine and to find the right activities. In case you have questions I am more than happy to answer all your comments. 

Love
Jil-Sophie

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