In Volume 3 of the Feel Good Project, I'm sharing about my morning routine. I'm a believer that creating a morning routine is an opportunity to set the tone for your day. It doesn't have to include anything particular and it doesn't have to take a long time. A morning routine can help start the day with intention instead of frenzy.
I've experimented with my morning routine over time and out of necessity, because I was finding that the morning would get away from me, which would create a ton of unecessary anxiety. I'm sharing a lot of detail here, but please know that I came to this routine over years of compromise and practice. Just two years ago my mornings felt extremely rushed and stressful and I had no real routine to speak of.
Now, I wake up at 6AM on Monday through Friday, already in workout appropriate clothing. I brush my teeth and make coffee (black, one sugar and collagen) and meet my clients either on Zoom or in person for 630AM every week day. When the workout ends at 7AM, I meditate. Some days I do a longer guided meditation, up to 20 minutes, and other days I do a very short 5-minutes. When I feel like I have a lot to do, I choose a walking meditation to listen to while doing other things around the house. Something is better than nothing, and done is better than perfect! As a part of my practice I like to think about a few points of gratitude. I find that any meditation and gratitude practice brings me back into the present and gets me feeling calm and focused for my day.
I finish my meditation by 720 and head to the kitchen. I take my time to make breakfast for the family and organize whatever needs to be ready for the morning: water bottles, lunchboxes (made the night before). The kids usually come down around 8ish or I go upstairs to wrangle them and then get myself ready.
I walk the kids to school every morning. I could drive or let them walk without me, but I appreciate this as an important part of my routine: fresh air and non-exercise movement are a must for me. I find that people tend to underestimate the positive impact of their non-exercise movement for weight maintenance and stress management. I often start seeing clients by 9 or 915AM, but before I start the day I write a post-it note with 3 to-do's for the day, which helps me to use my time in a more focused way throughout the day.
If you've been wanting to experiment with a morning routine, start by choosing just one action that sounds doable for you: drink a glass of water, enjoy a tea or coffee and some quiet, do a body scan, take some full, diaphragmatic breaths before you get out of bed, listen to a short guided meditation, write 3 points of gratitude, read a passage from a book that you love, do some stretching or a short workout. You can't get this wrong, simply commit to one thing and start. I always tell my clients to reach for the lowest, hanging fruit. We choose one thing that's easy, so that we feel successful at it day after day. Then we can feel excited to add the next thing when we're ready.
As always, your routine doesn't have to be the same as mine. Find habits and rituals that work well for you. If you want to chat morning routines, you can comment below. Looking forward to sharing another Feel Good Project profile from a community member in March.