If you are looking for just ONE THING to improve your day (and your life), it’s creating a morning routine that works for you.
I’ve spent years honing my own morning routine; trying everything from morning meditation to oil pulling, reading, journaling, visualisation, gratitude techniques, starting work earlier (true!) and so on.
Here’s what I have come to learn after 15 years of refining my morning routine.
1. No one routine is perfect for everybody
Let me be clear. We are all at different stages of life with different values. I remember listening to the beautiful late Jess Ainscough talk about her old morning routine which included a hike up Mount Coolum, oil pulling, meditation, visualization, etc. By her own admission it was too full! I know I have gone through similar stages in life where I try to do what “everyone else” is doing in their morning routines, and it definitely doesn’t work!
I know for my friend Cyndi O’Meara, her morning routine includes going to the beach for a swim with friends and to her favourite cafe for a coffee. There, she journals, including what she is grateful for.
I know others who feel average is they don’t go for a walk and then meditate. Some people must do yoga in order to feel exceptional. Whatever works!
2. Your morning routine is about HAVING ME TIME rather than DOING anything in particular.
Your morning routine is about energising your mind, body and soul. So rather than thinking about what to do, think about what brings you joy. Is it reading a book in bed with a cup of tea or learning an online program? Is it going for a walk, to the gym or to yoga? Is it meditating for an hour?
3. If you live with others, your morning routine should be a win-win and not a win-lose (where it’s great for you but sucks for others)
If your morning routine gets in the way of your partner or housemate having their own morning routine, then this is not win-win.
In addition, if you are missing out on quality time with your children or partner as a result of your morning routine, then I’d recommend you find a way to shift your values around this.
Here’s my routine
6am: Rise & Shine
I have my phone on Flight Mode and the alarm rings at 5:45 and then at 6am if I am too comfy in bed. I have the sounds Slow Rise, Harp or Twinkle on my iPhone. Nothing too loud and annoying!!
My only priority in my me time is to exercise. It’s the one thing I require to kickstart my day effectively, and must last at least 30 minutes.
Lately that involves doing a Tapout workout which goes for approx 45 minutes. Other days I’ll go down to the beach and run 5 or 6 k down to the Brunswick Heads arm where I would often be greeted by my favourite sea bird, the beautiful pelican (I just love them!).
7am: Swap with Sarah and make breakfast
A huge reason for us selling our chiropractic centre and moving to Byron was to allow Sarah to be a stay-at-home Mum. Sarah is super-maternal and just loves playing with the kids, spending time in the kitchen and garden and everything else that comes with being a Mum!
What we found when we moved up though was that we didn’t really have a morning routine that included Sarah having some time to herself. She was so into being a full time Mum that her own time had been forgotten about!
So when that came to a head we ensured that I would finish exercise early enough that would allow Sarah to have her time. Sarah’s routine typically includes meditation down at the beach and some yoga.
Whilst all this is happening I have a shower and then head in to the kitchen to whip up scrambled eggs and sauteed veg (typically kale, zucchini and mushrooms but also prone to chopped cabbage, snowpeas and so on) with some rawness on the side (think cucumber, avocado, saurkraut, dehydrated olives and cherry tomatoes).
Most of the time Darby and Maya are playing peacefully together whilst brekky is being prepared. Breakfast is served around 7:45 and the three of us sit down together and chat away. Sarah arrives home at 8, has her shower and then has breakfast by herself whilst the kids hover around her asking for more!
I’ll do the dishes and make two servings of my world famous Chocolate Pudding Cup ( one for Sarah and the kids to share), before “farewelling” the family and walking 5 steps in to the office at approx 8:30 -- 8:45.
Question: What is your morning routine? What do you like to do when you wake up that energises and invigorates you for the day ahead? I’d love to see your answers on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Here’s a list of all podcasts from The Wellness Couch that discuss morning routines.
Tibetan Rites – This is a great movement routine I do when I wake up super early and am not about to jump into exercise. I usually do 7 reps per movement. I also do these at night right before I go to bed if I have been sitting a lot!