HOW TO: create a morning routine

For the past few months, I’ve been so terrible at getting up and tackling the day.  I generally get a good sleep but I definitely have been staying up way too late and perhaps that’s made me a bit too sloth like in the mornings.  Not to mention I get the most amazing cuddles if I wait to be woken up by my real-life, walking and talking, three year old alarm.  However, she loves waking up to me moving about the house and I love getting my makeup done without little miss grabbing everything they can reach.

So I’ve made a vow to myself to get better at shifting my ass into gear in the mornings by establishing a good morning routine and here’s what I’ve found has been working most for me:

The day before:

Cut back on the caffeine – a good morning starts with the day before.  We all know excess caffeine wreaks havoc on your adrenal glands and disrupts sleep patterns making it impossible to wake up rested the next day.  I had somehow developed a 2-a-day coffee habit and I found it not only made me feel more tired during the day, but it made me more wired when I was trying to sleep. I haven’t cut it out completely but I’m very strict on having no more than one a day.

The night before:

Get as much done that you can before going to bed.  Pack your bags, sort out your lunch, get the kids things ready – anything that can be done to lighten your load in the morning.

Practice good sleep hygiene – you know the drill, shower before bed, wear something comfortable (or in my case, nothing but socks) to bed, get rid of technology from the bedroom (you will need to purchase an alarm clock if your phone was your alarm), keep the room clean, draught free and at a comfortable temperature.

If you’re the type of person who scrolls through social media before bed, falling asleep on your own will be a bit tricky at first and you will find that with the silence, your mind will wander but it can be nice to give yourself time to just process what has happened that day and think about tomorrow’s possibilities.

The morning of:

Work out a rough course of events for the morning.  As I now wake up earlier than Bella, my activities are more restricted.  No longer can I make myself a coffee first thing as the machine wakes her up, but it isn’t all bad.  When I wake up, I crank my bedroom heater, have a big stretch, chug some water while I do my makeup cross legged in front of my bedroom mirror.  This gives me the chance to wake up fully and indulge in a little quiet time before the madness begins.

Don’t be afraid to have different morning routines depending on your day but keep some things consistent where you can – I keep waking up ahead of Bella and spending a little quiet time alone a key part of my routine regardless of whether it’s the weekend, a work from home day or an office day.  Having a bit of silence to collect my thoughts and fully wake up rather than being having my head tapped by little hands asking to watch videos on my phone puts me in a better mood for the rest of the day.

Progress:

It’s important to ease yourself into a new morning routine rather than just jumping in and wanting to cram everything you think you should into your morning.  If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you struggle with mornings like I have been lately and it is all too tempting to put workouts, extended beauty routines, hair styling, house chores, cooked breakfasts etc. etc. into your morning routine.  However, it’s so important to resist the urge to do so.  Pick a wake up time and see what you can reasonably fit in.  Get the necessities done first and anything else is a bonus.

Be prepared to move your wake up time.  Early mornings will always be a struggle if you’re used to sleeping in so give yourself some time to adjust.  If, after a couple of weeks, your wake up time is still a struggle, try moving it forward 30 minutes and see if that makes a difference.  Before I was a mum, I used to wake up at 4:30am to gym ahead of work.  Four thirty is definitely an early start for anyone but it was so much easier than waking up at 5am because it was a better time in my sleep cycle to wake.

If you do want to get more out of your mornings, then slowly introduce more and more (noting, you may have to wake up earlier) as you see fit.  Mornings set the tone for the day so make it the best that you can.

Do you have a morning routine?  Do you have any tips you want to share?

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