Guest Post by Social Media Expert, Kim Cullen of Designed to Network
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Do You Have a Morning Routine?
Morning routines are all the rage today. From big celebrities like Oprah to more average people like myself, morning routines are getting a lot of ink. Everyone is touting a morning routine as the be-all, end-all. I won’t take it that far, but it is so helpful in getting your day off to the best possible start.
What is a morning routine anyway?
Simply put, a morning routine is a set of things you do every single morning. However, today we are speaking of the things you do in order to put yourself in the best possible headspace to have a good day.
“Kim, I already do so much in the mornings,” you might say to me. I get it. I’m a mum, a wife, and business owner. It’s hard to get in any extra time for ourselves. However, if you want to level up your life (and your business), you’ll make small sacrifices along the way.
For example, I get up at least an hour before my daughter, Olivia, does. Although she sometimes fools me and is up earlier than I expect! I use this hour to get in as much of my morning routine as possible.
My morning routine
My routine is quite simple, in my opinion. It does vary a bit, depending on which exercise routine and meditation I choose for that day. Here’s a quick look at what I do on the days when Olivia sleeps long enough for me to get it all in!
- Meditate (5 to 30 minutes)
- Exercise (20 to 45 minutes)
- Have my water
- Grab my first cup of coffee
- Start breakfast
- Set up my computer for the day
- Get Olivia up and get her ready for school
- Return home to start my day
Of course, things look a little different on school holidays or when she wakes up earlier than I had intended! But it’s so helpful to get my mind and body going with meditation and exercise right away. And having my laptop ready to go when I get back means I can’t procrastinate once I get back from taking Olivia to school.
You’ll also note that nowhere in my morning routine is there any social media! Even though I am a social media manager, I find staying off them until it’s time to get to work is a big help for my mental health.
Everyone is different, but social media can be hard on one’s health, especially if you start comparing yourself to everyone’s highlight reel that is social media.
You may want to consider making a no social media until after something rule. In my house, I have a no social media until after breakfast or after Olvia is at school rule, depending on the time of year.
But Kim, I don’t know what to do for a morning routine
That’s okay. Neither did I, at first. Keep in mind that it is okay to try lots of things and decide they don’t work for you. Everyone’s routine will be different. And yours is likely to change over time. Here are a few things you can do to find your best morning routine.
- Take a look at where you would like to improve your day. Do you need more energy? Try exercise in your morning routine. Do you need more mental clarity? Try yoga or meditation.
- Look at things you’ve wanted to try and add those to your list of things you can try for your routine.
- Think of things you may have heard friends, family, stars talking about doing. Add those to your maybe list, too.
- Keep a notebook or a note app handy for times when you may hear of other things you want to try as part of your morning routine.
- Now pick ONE. Yes, just one. Try it out for 3 weeks. If you still like it keep it! If not, toss it and try something new. You don’t have to wait the full 3 weeks to toss it, but do give it a chance.
- Continue trying one thing at a time for about 3 weeks until you find a routine that feels good and that you will keep doing!
Not so hard as you thought, is it? Just remember to give each item several days before you toss it. You may want to keep even those items on a maybe list for when you decide to try to shake it up. Just because it doesn’t work for you now doesn’t mean it won’t later.
Need some suggestions for your morning routine? Here’s a few things you can try:
- Yoga– This can be a great way to loosen those muscles up and get the heart moving for the day.
- Journaling– A great way to get it all out of your head so you can concentrate better throughout the day. Great for brainstorming if you have a project that is getting tough as well.
- Exercise– just like yoga, only a bit more intense perhaps.
- Tai chi– A great combo of movement and mindfulness.
- Mediation– Put yourself in the right mindspace for the day ahead.
- Affirmations– Use these to not only put yourself in a good mindspace but to raise your energy to attract your next level.
- Drawing– creativity is the perfect way to stimulate thinking outside the box which is perfect for problem solving!
- Writing– just like drawing! Let your creativity sing!
- Painting– One more creative way to enjoy your morning
- Reading– For fun or learning, it’s a good way to start or end your day.
- Review Your Goals for the day (pick your top 3)– Looking over your goals for the day puts them front and center. Be sure to pick your 3 must do’s to move forward so you get those done and can rest if they are all that gets done.
- Do a learning activity– Learning keeps our minds young. Try to learn a little every day.
- Practice Gratitude– Being grateful brings its own rewards. You can do this as a separate activity or as part of your journaling.
- Listen to a podcast– To learn or for fun, podcasts are a good way to multitask. Listen while you exercise, clean, or commute!
- Do A crossword puzzle (or a word search)- Another way to keep our minds working.
- Make your bed– It’s surprising how good it feels to have one thing DONE right away. Try it!
- Open the curtains/blinds and let the natural light in– Natural light signals to our brains that it’s time to get going. It can also help relieve some symptoms of depression, and more. Try letting more natural light in wherever you are.
- Listen to music– Music can be a good way to relax or to stimulate yourself. Match the music to what you need to do right now!
- Do a hobby– Hobbies a wonderful for spending time with ourselves. Creative hobbies are also good for stretching the mind.
- Spend time with your pet– Pets help us relax. They bring joy and laughter. Spending a little extra time playing with them could only be a positive thing.
- Spend some time reviewing your vision board – This can be a helpful reminder of your goals and give you a boost in the right direction.
Some additional reminders
Keep in mind your routine does not have to be complicated. If journaling for 10 minutes works for you, then there is your morning routine! If you do yoga, meditate, and listen to music, that’s okay too.
Every morning routine is as unique as the person who it goes with. Don’t make the mistake of comparing yours to anyone else’s. Yours will be perfect for you just as it is. If it starts feeling off, take some time to find out why. Then you can change it up as needed.
Also, as you get started, remember your building a habit. Building a new habit takes time. If you don’t get it done one day, that’s okay! But jump back to it the next day.
Even people who’ve been doing morning routines forever and a day have days that it’s just not possible to get it in. You don’t have to be perfect at it! Noone is.
If you want more structure in finding your routine
For those who want or need more structure in finding your morning routine, I suggest reading The Miracle Morning from Hal Elrod.
There’s an edition especially for writers as well. In it he talks about SAVERS or a combo of six rituals that make up a morning routine: silence (meditation, prayer, etc.), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing (writing, journaling, etc.).
The book is very inspirational, especially as you learn of Hal’s story. You may need to tweak his system, but many people swear by it.
Now we’ve looked at morning routines
You’ve seen my routine. You’ve got some ideas to get you started on your journey to finding your own routine. You’ve even got a book recommendation if you want to dive a little deeper into finding a morning routine.
So, tell me– are you going to start a morning routine? Perhaps you already have one? I’d love to know!
Kim Cullen is a social media expert during the day and a normal tired mum at night! She has a proven record of helping brands build a strong presence on Facebook and Instagram. Driven by passion, she takes pride in providing the best customer care for her mumpreneur clients.