Let’s talk about morning routines. I’m going to share my morning routine story; why you might benefit from one of your own; what to include in it; and how to start a morning routine.
What’s my morning routine story?
My morning routine sets the tone for my day and assures I get a few important health promoting activities in before other priorities take over. Years ago, I added one activity to my morning routine that is now a serious habit. It’s making my bed. When I was growing up, making my bed was optional and I took the NO option. And, I couldn’t understand why people thought it was important. Then, for reasons that I can’t remember now, I decided in my 40s that I wanted to be a “bed maker.” So, that’s what I started to do. And at first I had to just do it whether I wanted to or not. Even though - it takes less than 2 minutes, it felt really hard to do every day.
So what started out as a chore for me became a habit by repetition and by getting pleasure out of the result. And that’s how habits are formed. Now, even if I try to leave the bed undone - the pull of the habit is too strong.
The pleasure for me is that it makes my bedroom look tidy; assures that my husband and I start the battle for the blanket on a level playing field, and I also like the feeling of getting into a neat bed at night.
About 2 years ago when I moved and started driving more, I added the 5 AM Miracle with Jeff Sanders podcast to my rotation. He gets up at 5 AM daily to start his day on his terms. I tried 5 AM and that was too early for me. Before the pandemic, I got up at 6 AM and now that’s shifted to 7 AM sometimes 8 AM.
But what I did get from Jeff Sanders was the importance of early hydration and a morning routine.
Pre-pandemic my morning routine included - drinking 24 ounces of water before leaving the house at 8:15, making coffee and breakfast for me and my family, and doing some kind of breathing exercise or meditation.
If you have healthy activities that you want to do for yourself, adding them to your morning routine can make them easier to stick to. And you can’t get water from an empty well. A morning routine is like filling up your well so you can give to your job, your family, and others.
Once the pandemic hit - I was knocked off my routine and started doing the dishes first thing in the morning which stalled out my breathing exercises and had me jumping on the chore mill first thing without attending to my needs first. This had me feeling drained and often not doing my breathing exercises all day.
Your first 15-45 minutes upon waking are precious and it is maybe useful to consider what you are doing the first thing. And what would fill your well?
Somethings that you may want to include in your morning routine are:
Making your bed
Eating a nutritious breakfast
Taking something away…
Like reaching for your phone before doing health-care
Like doing chores before health-care
Reading the news before doing health-care
How to Start a Morning Routine?
Pick one thing you want to do for your morning routine. When implementing the one thing make sure to start small. Get some consistent follow-through under your belt before you increase the activity.
“Take small steps every day and one day you will get there.”
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