Morning routines are always a talking point and they are something I truly believe in. As someone who became so dependent on them, I wanted to write about restructuring your routine if you feel like something isn’t working, if you find yourself losing motivation from it or if you find yourself feeling like you’ll never have the perfect one. So that’s what today’s post is all about.
Last Summer, I wrote about my morning routine (I’ll link it here) and it consisted of waking up at 4am, meditating, getting ready and heading to the gym all before getting ready to start the work day. I absolutely loved this routine but one of my main problems with it was that I wasn’t going to bed any earlier for quite a while. I should have been aiming for around 9pm but often, I wasn’t going to sleep until around 11pm or even midnight. Keep that up over a few months and I started to feel tired all the time and even though I physically felt stronger, I was mentally and emotionally exhausted. I haven’t done this morning routine in quite a while and since I have been unemployed and on the job search, I found it hard to get myself in a routine during this time off.
I believe routines are so important and they really help build the foundation of your day. I know that something that I realised when I did experience my time off during the Summer was how much I depended on a routine in the morning so when I didn’t have one, I found it very difficult to find my purpose for that day unless I had an appointment booked that day. That took some getting used to and over time; once I managed my feelings and realised that they were perfectly valid, it was only then I was able to trial getting back into that mindset again.
Over the last few months, I have trailed going to the gym early in the morning again and I have also looked at going out for early morning runs. Meditation was something I was very focused on last year but this year, it simply slipped so again, this is something I have trailed out too. I tried out different forms of journaling, listening to informational audio, switching around my “getting ready” routine and changing when I try and organise the day ahead. All these take practice and it’s all about finding out what works for you.
Everyone has their own little bubble on YouTube; some like looking at cats being adorable (I tend to do that on Instagram, to be fair) others like to watch video podcasts but for me, one of my top watches online are routines, morning and evening ones. I love watching these routine videos because while I know it is slightly exaggerated, I would say most of them are true to life, and I find it’s really good to pick up one step of someone’s morning and add it to your own. This can also be where we fall down however; they say “comparison is the thief of joy” and it can be, if you let it. You have to look at who you are watching and see if it fits your life too. For example: if you’re watching a twenty something who is a full time content creator who doesn’t have to get up until 7am while you’re a working Mum or Dad and 7am would be far too late for you, you can guarantee that one routine won’t work for the both of you. That doesn’t mean that their routine is silly or that it’s unrealistic, it just means that it works for them and that’s what helps them through their day, but that should be no reflection on you and how you choose to wake up.
That’s where you get to be creative. You have to look at your situation at the minute and what comes into play. I’ll use myself as an example; I’m in my late twenties with no children, exercise and meditation is important to me, I can’t skip breakfast and I love listening to either podcasts or audiobooks. So ideally for me, my morning routine would consist of either a run or a gym session most days of the working week, I would add a meditation in at some point each morning, I would prioritise breakfast and I would make sure I listen to something informational either as I get ready for work or in my exercise setting, whatever that may be. Now, it is very similar to my previous routine but I know that in order for it to work this time around, my bedtime routine needs to work towards going to bed earlier.
I also know what doesn’t work for me: I’m not one for journaling, I have tried it in the past but I don’t think it’s for me at the minute, so I wouldn’t add that to my personal routine. As much as I love blogging, I know that my brain isn’t awake enough in the morning to start writing a blog post, so I wouldn’t put that pressure on myself. I also don’t like baths so adding a bath into my daily routine (no matter how relaxing it looks) would be unrealistic because it’s not a priority to me. It sounds really simple but as much as your routine is to set you up for the day, you want it to include activities that are going to lift you up. There’s always this debate and one of the topics that it normally revolves around is exercise; some people say they wake up and exercise even though they don’t want to. Now thankfully, I don’t have this problem because I do genuinely love the gym but I simply don’t see the point in scheduling in something you don’t like every day because “you have to”.
I came across a few articles that I found quite interesting that talked about different morning routine methods: Life Hack have a great one focusing on thirty changes you can make a difference to your motivation, Develop Good Habits have thirty-four habits that even gives you the estimated time of how much each one would take, Medium have an article which explores when one person took on a number of different routines to see which one worked out best and for a shorter read, Success have an article on what entrepreneurs mornings look like. This is what I mean when I talk about getting creative, whether you see one thing in these lists or five things, you can work out if you want to slot them into your own routine and how you are able to do so.
Morning routines are so personal and I don’t believe that not everyone needs one. I do believe that we all need one because mentally, I think we all need to have something that sets us up for the day because it’s all about those foundations. If I wake up later than I should do, it almost always sets me off on a bad foot and while you shouldn’t let a bad morning put you off from the rest of your day, it’s something that I still struggle with. We put so much emphasis on how other people are living but as long as you look at what YOU’RE doing to improve YOUR day, then that’s really all you can control.
I would love to know your thoughts on morning routines, if you have one and if it’s beneficial for you, whether that’s on Twitter, Instagram or the comments below. Thank you so much for reading today’s post, I hope it resonated with you in some way.