A morning routine can help make your mornings less stressful. It’s also a good time to practice self-care and start your day off right.
I’m not a naturally organized person and I often struggle with sticking to a routine. The problem with this is I have a lot I need to do and want to do so I need routine and organization to get it all done.
I’m always trying new things to find the best routines for different times in my life. Generally, I find that a good morning and night routine helps the most.
While I do include self-care in my nighttime routine, I find it extremely important to include self-care in my morning routine. I’m not a morning person and having a more gentle morning helps. It’s also good to start your day off on the right foot and pour into yourself before you give to others throughout the day.
Chronic stress can have some really bad side effects. It can cause mental health problems as well as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Even short term stress can affect our bodies and mental health. Common symptoms include pain, headaches, fatigue, stomach problems, sleep problems, anxiety, lack of motivation, anger, depression, overeating, the list goes on.
For me, chronic stress has had a real impact on my health. It has contributed to increasing my Fibromyalgia symptoms, it triggered an autoimmune illness and several other issues. I also have heart issues which are worse during times of stress. Nothing like a health crisis to remind you that you need to take care of yourself.
While eliminating all stress from our lives is not possible, we can do things to help us manage our stress better. Since it’s easy to forget about ourselves after a long busy day adds self-care to your morning routine can make sure it happens.
Here are some things I do for morning self-care.
Create a Self-Care Morning Routine
Prepare the Night Before
I learned in Make Over Your Morning that a good nighttime routine can be key to a good morning. My best mornings are when I have picked up the house and laid out my clothes the night before. I hate waking up to a messy house, it’s a reminder first thing that I have a busy day ahead. Having clothes ready is just one less thing to do in the morning. I don’t usually eat breakfast but when I do it’s not anything that needs prep, but that’s helpful for breakfast eaters.
Scents can have a big impact on your mood. While many find citrus to be a good scent choice for productivity and happiness, studies have shown that the biggest thing is that it’s a scent you like. Scents can trigger memories and people are more productive when they are smelling something they think smells good and has positive memories. Try different scents and find one that you like. Use a candle or an essential oil diffuser to make your space smell nice and boost your mood. I really like the blend Cheer Me Up Buttercup. It’s a citrus scent and very pleasant.
Let’s be honest, I often fail at this one but when I follow through it makes a difference. Waking up and scrolling through your phone is a big time suck and seeing emails that need to be replied to and negative news on Facebook is not likely going to make your morning very relaxed and happy.
I enjoy connecting with people but it can be a time suck. Cutting back is usually a good thing. I have deleted the Facebook app on my phone and try to limit the other social media apps as well.
Have a Hot Drink
I have started my morning with a cup of hot tea since I was a kid. While caffeine can be useful most hot drinks have different benefits for our moods. Whatever your morning drink of choice having a nice hot drink in the morning can be a nice addition to your routine.
To make this part of your routine something you savor use a cute mug and use good ingredients. There is no point in wasting calories and your time on something you don’t enjoy. It doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve found very good, affordable teas at Trader Joe’s. You can also stock up on pricey teas and coffee when they are on sale, or buy in bulk on Amazon.
Make Time for Mindfulness
Reading something inspiring can help start your day off right. There are many great options out there, I really enjoy Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy.
Journaling is also a good way to add mindfulness to your morning. You can use a bullet journal, a small notebook, or what I’ve been using is Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration. Find what works best for you.
You can even take a few moments to color in an adult coloring book or knit. Mediation can also be useful. I mediation in the afternoon to have a moment of mindfulness in the middle of my day but the morning is also a great time. The Headspace app is a good place to start with mediation and each practice is only ten minutes.
Exercising in the morning can have many benefits. Morning exercisers are more likely to stick with exercise, it’s been shown to improve sleep, and some studies have shown it helps boost your metabolism.
You can do your full exercise routine or if like me morning exercise isn’t best, do a short yoga routine, take a short walk around the neighborhood, or simply stretch. It’s good for your mood and if you don’t get any other exercise done of the day you know that you at least did something.
Get Ready for the Day
It’s been shown that getting ready in the morning, even if you work from home or are a full-time homemaker, boosts mood and productivity. This is something I find to be very true.
It’s also nice to if you need to run an errand or the UPS man shows up. Haven’t we all had to hide from someone at the door because we are still in our PJs in the middle of the day?
Plan for the Day
Taking a few minutes to go over my planner and write out a to-do list, if I didn’t the night before, helps me have a handle on what my priorities are for the day. Don’t forget to be mindful of the amount of time you have, don’t over plan yourself or you are going to be stress.
Getting the right morning routine can take some time but don’t give up and don’t forget to make self-care a part of it. If you want more help developing a morning routine check out the course Make Over Your Mornings. It’s my all-time favorite course and I often review it to help freshen up my routine.
I’d love to hear how you include self-care in your morning routine, share in the comments below.