A simple plea for you to give your morning routine a glow up

Let’s be real, there are very few good things going on right now in most peoples’ lives. Maybe last March there was some excitement, I think we all enjoyed more time with our families and slowing down the pace of life. But now it’s been almost a year that we’ve been in some form of quarantine, most of us are sick of staying inside and staring at our bedroom walls, or at our computers all day. I wish this article was going to be about some great cure for these problems, or about how to make quarantine fun and bearable, but the truth is I don’t think any article can do that. Instead I want to point out one thing that I think can help improve your daily quarantine experience a tiny bit, and add predictability into a time when nothing is predictable except for Doug Ford showing up every day and shutting more things down. I want to talk about your morning routine. 

Now the truth is, you likely already have a morning routine. For instance this week for me, my morning routine was to wake up to my alarm at seven thirty, shut off said alarm, scroll on my phone for thirty minutes, crawl out of bed, make a coffee and turn on my computer for my nine thirty class. It was a routine because it was something I was doing consistently, but it didn’t make me feel good, and it didn’t help me start my day off in a healthy and productive way. I expose myself here because I want to be honest: creating a morning routine that is going to make you feel great is hard and takes legitimate effort and sacrifice. But I firmly believe, because I’ve experienced this when I have had good morning routines, that if you implement healthy and happy practices into the start of your day, your day will be better, which in turn will make quarantine suck less, and life a little bit better.

So what does a great morning routine look like? The first key point is that your morning actually starts the night before. There’s a few things you can do before going to bed that will make the next morning so much easier. This can be as simple as going to bed a bit earlier so you’re not as tired the next morning, or setting out workout clothes to change into when you wake up. You can try tidying your room before bed so that you have a nice clean space to wake up in, or practice turning off your phone for a half hour before bed and reading a book before you go to sleep. My personal new favourite is to plug my phone in in another room or just out of reach so that I have to get up to shut off my alarm, and am less tempted to scroll on my phone in bed. Whether you do all of these or none of these, my best advice to you is to do a few simple things at night that your morning self will thank you for. 

Moving on to the next morning, there are lots of different things that can make up a great morning- you should pick some that feel right for you, and that you think will make you a happier and healthier version of yourself. Some of my favourite ideas include:

  • Go for a walk outside to wake yourself up and get some fresh air.
  • Do a workout! If you have access to home gym equipment, take advantage and hop on that treadmill/exercise machine. If not, you have options too, just get on youtube and search some fun workout videos to follow along to. There’s so much free content available, and starting the day off with moving your body will give you so much energy later on.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast like a smoothie, avocado toast, eggs, oatmeal or whatever you love. 
  • Take your time making a coffee or tea or drink that you enjoy. I love to make this the last thing I do before class so that I have something to drink during my class or when I start my homework
  • Drink a cup of water- hydration over everything. 
  • Take your time doing your skincare, or your makeup, or whatever process you enjoy as part of getting ready.
  • Sit in some sunlight. 
  • Read your bible and journal! I used to always do my devotions at night and I found it so hard to focus because I just wanted to go to sleep, and often would end up skipping them or rushing through them. When I do them in the morning I find I have more focus and it allows me to continue thinking about what I’ve read throughout the day. 
  • Meditate or pray or just sit in silence. There is so little silence in our lives, and taking a few minutes to be still and rest in your thoughts can be a really grounding way to begin your day. 
  • Watch an episode of your favourite show while you get ready for the day.
  • Tidy your workspace, make sure your computer charger is nearby and fill up your water bottle so that you’re ready to be productive and focused during online classes. 
  • Avoid looking at social media until later in the day, or set a limit to how long you are scrolling in the morning. It’s a hard one to give up (I’m right there with you) but I am always amazed at how good I feel when I don’t look at my phone until later in the morning. 

Obviously it would be really difficult to incorporate all of these into your schedule, but I think adding even one or two into your daily practices can give you a better start to your day. Covid fatigue is no joke, and there are a lot of things about life that really suck right now. We should all be treating ourselves tenderly, and with a lot of love. I hope that this is helpful in some small way, and that this winter is full of good mornings, days, afternoons, evenings, and nights for all of us.