It can be so easy to be bogged down with morning routine advice from scrolling through social media, listening to podcasts or watching youtube. Meditating, going for a walk, exercising or listing to an inspiration podcast- all of them sound great! And in an ideal world, I would add these all to my morning routine. The problem is by the time I’ve done all of these things not to mention the faffing around which comes in between doing these things (finding a clean workout fit or finding the perfect meditation music) it would already be noon!
Now and then I come across a productivity magician who claims to wake up at 5 am go for a run, meditate, read 100 pages, journal and make a healthy breakfast all before 9 am. With that, either comes a feeling of inadequacy or a burst of motivation to try and do the same. I too can be a productivity magician- why not- Right!? So I start waking up earlier, exercising, journaling, meditating etc. only problem is this never lasts more than a week. Realistically having a rigid morning routine that includes 4+ things just isn’t sustainable.
As humans we’re always changing, our needs want’s habits and overall mood. What I’ve learned in trying to become a productivity magician is that less is more, when I allow myself to do less in the mornings I generally have a better day. This means I have 3 maximum things in my morning routine which are interchangeable. If I feel like reading rather than doing a HIT workout ill allow myself to do so.
Below are some morning routine ideas and how I’ve made them work for me.
The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the word exercise is usually a sweaty gym or going for a long run. If you’re anything like me you don’t particularly enjoy either of these things and the thought of doing them first thing in the morning makes you want to stay in bed.
For a long time, I was forcing myself to go for runs and go to the gym constantly cancelling and reinstating my membership. After being forced to find new ways to exercise throughout the lockdown in 2020 I started practising yoga in my living room and purchased a pair of roller skates.
Initially, I didn’t see either of those things as exercise I thought of them both as fun however I started noticing they were having the same effects as a cardio workout and stretching would. I began trading the morning workout for a skate around the park and as I found it so much more enjoyable getting out of bed to exercise became more exciting than a dreaded thought. My point is to spend some time finding what type of exercise you enjoy and what makes you want to get up in the mornings!
This is one of my favourite things to do when I feel overwhelmed or anxious. There’s tons of advice out there on how to meditate and for ages, I would think I was doing it wrong which often became discouraging. Eventually, I realised there isn’t one way to meditate. Meditation could be going for a walk alone or sitting in silence focusing on your breath for a few minutes or listening to a guided meditation. I found what works for me is to go with what I’m in the mood for that morning, so instead of sticking to one type of meditation, I switch it up depending on my mood.
I call this intake as this could be anything, from reading a book, watching something or listening to something. The good thing about these things is that you can do them alongside other things, such as listening to a podcast while going for a walk or watching something while making breakfast or have a lay-in while reading a book.
Journalling can be a great way to clear your mind in the morning, it’s a great way to express your feelings which can be therapeutic. There are also tons of journalling prompts that can be found online if you are struggling with getting started journaling. I find in the morning I’m more honest with myself and I usually have a clearer head, so it’s a perfect time for me to journal. I tend to just write about how I’m feeling and what’s going on in my life at that moment.
Practising gratitude is also a great way to start your morning and is a form of journaling. Gratitude journaling really helps with perspective especially if you are in a not so good mood. It can be a great way of shifting your mindset from a negative one to a positive one.
These are my four favourite things to do in the mornings. I used to try and do all of these things every morning and was really hard on myself if I failed at doing them all which happened often. I slowly learned to be easier on myself and that doing 1-3 of these things in the morning depending on how I feel is realistic and more than enough.