Are you a morning person? Personally I am not. It is not for a lack of trying, I just struggle waking up early. That being said, there is something I really enjoy about the mornings. I enjoy the quiet and stillness. I enjoy having extra time to get things done. And after some fine tuning, I have been able to plan out a relaxing morning routine that makes me look forward to my mornings a lot more. Here are my 8 easy steps for a Better Morning.
Mornings get a bad rap. I get it! The only reason I ever want to be getting up before 7:00 am is for an early flight to somewhere warm where a skinny margarita is waiting. But I am a strong believer in how your start your morning sets the tone of your day. Truthfully this is a newer endeavor for me and already after a few months in to a specific routine, I notice a difference in my days. 8 steps may seem like a lot, but if you do all or even some of these easy changes, you will have a better morning.
Please keep in mind, this is my optimal morning routine. There are definitely days where I cannot do every single step, or I may shorten the steps to do them all. The point is, you’ve got to find what works for you. Maybe adding just one or two of these will help you have a much better morning.
Step One: Wake Up, duh
During the school year, I wake up at 6:30. My stepdaughter has to be to school by 7:45 so this is enough time for me to get up and around. Truthfully this is much earlier than my body likes to naturally wake up. On the weekend or in the summer I like to wake up anywhere from 8:30-9:30. Ideally, I get 7-8 hours of sleep. I can function on six, but it’s not cute.
Historically I am much more night owl than early bird, but there is something nice about having the extra daylight to get things done.
Step Two: Gratitude
After a couple minutes of snuggling whatever animal is on our bed or my husband if he hasn’t gotten up yet, I grab my phone. But not for the reason you think! I start my day with gratitude. (If you want to know about some of my favorite mobile travel apps, click here.)
A huge driving factor for me wanting to better by mornings was my phone usage. Just like most people, I find myself being on my phone too much. And I can’t find a worse way to start off a morning than with checking emails (helllllooo anxiety) or seeing images on instagram of pretty girls in Greece. (Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t you forget it)
I figured – I can’t fully change how much my phone is apart of my daily life – but, I can change how I use it. I went out and found a handful of apps that became the foundation of my 8 easy steps for a better morning.
**Transeau Life Tip** I made a folder on the front page of my phone Called ‘Use Daily.’ That way I am reminded to use applications that are good for me every morning**
I use an app called 5 Minute Journal. First thing it has me do is list three things I am grateful for. I then list three things I am going to do to make the day a good day. The final step is a positive affirmation about yourself. There is a second section that is meant for the end of the day, so I fill that out before bed.
To me, gratitude is crucial to having a happy life. It is easy to practice gratitude when things are going great, but more difficult to do when faced with hardship. Which is why practicing gratitude every single day is such an important skill to have in your tool belt. And don’t just take my word for it, this is being studied by doctors all of the time. Check out this article to get an idea on what they are finding about daily gratitude.
Step Three: Meditation
In recent times I have gotten pretty into podcasts. I will admit I was late to that party, and boy have I been missing out. (Maybe a post about podcasts I like would be cool? lemme know) Something I have noticed from listening to interviews with successful people of all kinds, every single one of them starts their day with meditation.
Meditation is something I’ve never really done or understood. Which is why I have loved using the app Headspace for meditation. It’s awesome that the meditations are guided, about specific topics and you can adjust the time to work for you.
I am loving this step of my morning routine. I feel like it helps me set my intentions for the day and is teaching me to be more present. Some days are easier than others, and other mornings I struggle to make it through ten minutes. But once again, that’s why it’s called a practice.
So many habits and routines are like muscles and take time to become strong, and practice to keep it that way.
Step Four: Perspective
After I meditate, I have an app on my phone called Jesus Calling. This is the digital version of the daily devotional book Jesus Calling. I like having a daily devotional because it helps put things into perspective for me and is a nice way to start my day.
If you’re not a religious person, you could replace this with a daily affirmation app / book or something similar. The point is to help remind you what is truly important today.
Step Five: Skincare
Now so far this may sound like a lot, but it’s only been 15 minutes. Once I finish these things I do my morning skincare. (Post coming on this soon) I usually don’t put makeup on in the mornings unless I absolutely must. But if I do I keep it simple.
(Notice I have still not checked my email or social media!)
Step Six: Hydrate
Next up for a better morning is a warm glass of lemon water. There are many benefits to having lemon water first thing once you’re up. (There is a great blog post about this by Wellness Mama here) On nice mornings when I have time – I love having my lemon water outside on a short walk with Brain & Scout. There are massive benefits to exposing yourself to some natural vitamin d in the mornings – and movement is great as well.
Step Seven: Most Valuable Meal of the Day
After my lemon water or a walk if I’m lucky – I start breakfast. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and a step I never skip. Typically I have a scramble with spinach, onions and chicken sausage, with a side of sweet potato hash. (That are amazing) To save time I prep my veggies for scrambles ahead of time so it’s quick to throw together. If I am more pressed for time or not as hungry, I’ll have a bowl of gluten free oatmeal.
Step Eight: Caffeine or Die
This is one of the most crucial of the 8 steps of my morning routine: COFFEE. I always have a nice coffee after breakfast with two scoops of Vital Proteins Collagen. If you don’t have collagen everyday, what are you doing?? Great for your joints, bones, skin and hair. That’s a no brainer for me. Click this link to get the one I use. (It dissolves in both hot and cold liquids which is convenient.)
Also, I always froth my non-dairy milk. The best frothing one I have found are Nutpods. Definitely give it a try. Dairy & sugar free too!
Once I’ve got this in my hand I am fully ready to tackle the day.
This may seem like a lot of steps – but for me it is vital to starting my morning routine off on the right foot. Of course there are days that I compress this depending upon what I have going on- but the majority of this routine can be done in under half an hour. And trust me, adding some of these 8 easy steps truly will help you have a better morning.
I air much more on the side of waking up 30 minutes earlier to have this routine than the extra sleep and skipping it all. I do fine that when on longer more intense trips, I tend to get off of my routine. And boy do I feel it when I do! But it’s all about trying your best everyday. Taking time for yourself is how your stay sane to help take care of everyone else!
Lastly, if you can go the first one to two hours of your day without checking email or social media, whatever that looks like for you, you will start your mornings off better!
Tell me, what is a part of your morning routing that you cannot miss? Let me know in a comment – I love knowing people’s routines and am always looking for ways to modify or make mine more efficient.