Our morning routines should set us up for a wonderful day ahead. But with many of us leading busy lives that doesn’t always happen. A long to-do list for the day ahead and some backlog from the previous day makes it tempting to start plunging into tasks as soon as your feet hit the ground. We make the mistake of looking at our phone, listening to the news or checking our email before we really start the day. This is why we often feel drained before we leave the house or start our day’s work.
On Instagram, last week, I shared my new morning routine and asked, ‘What’s your morning routine like?’ When people started responding with their routines, I decided to turn this into a post. So here are a few morning routines of some lovely, creative friends.
It’s been a while now that I have been following a morning routine, or rather trying to follow one. I say ‘trying’ because though I follow it most days, there are days I slip and there are days when it can only get partially done. But I try at least to do as much as I can.
After a lot of changing things around from doing my Morning Pages first to now doing my physio first, I finally figured out the best routine for me. Somethings are now non negotiable. My meds have to be taken on an empty stomach so that is the very first thing I do. Since health is priority, my physio and hot water with honey and lemon come next. Then I make a cup of tea and breakfast and write my morning pages.
Feed the dog, feed myself, both our post breakfast meds and then my walk for half an hour in the house itself. I put on peppy Bollywood dance numbers and walk. Then I take my time enjoying a bath and get dressed. I find this is important if I want to be productive during the day. No lounging in my nightie. Once that is done I check my planner and see what else has to be done.
I find having a routine help me know what to do and I do things automatically. I am not stressing my half asleep mind with decisions early in the morning. And it also takes care of important things like my health goals and planning.
I am trying to fit my yoga into my mornings instead of the evenings, let’s see how that works out.
“Your morning routine generates a 10x return for good or for bad. Make it good.”― Todd Stocker, Becoming The Fulfilled Leader
The pandemic brought me closer to myself and I have started focusing on ME. My word of the year for 2021 is HEALTH. It includes my physical, mental, spiritual, and social health. I want to become more flexible, feel more positive, stay humble and grateful and also keep people around me happy. And as the saying goes “The morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” Therefore, I try to spend my morning in a productive and positive way.
In 2021, my resolution is to wake up before sunrise. Therefore, I try to wake up between 5.30-6 am (In Kolkata I was waking up between 4.30-5 am). After waking up, I drink a glass of water and a few soaked almonds. Then I change into my yoga clothes. I have been following this YouTube channel called ‘Yoga with Adrienne’ for almost a year now. She is an amazing yoga guru. I feel an amazing sense of peace when I do yoga with her. Yoga keeps me stay focused and positive throughout the day. Once I finish my yoga. I do go for a walk either on my terrace on below in our society’s jogging track. I try to enjoy nature during my morning walk. I try to look up to the sky, admire the beautiful flowers, and the trees. I listen to the chirping of birds and also look at the insects around. This is an extremely peaceful time for me.
After coming back from my walk, I make a cup of tea for myself. I sit with my tea and start my Buddhist chanting. Once I finish my chanting, I start my day. I have a habit of writing a to-do list. Usually, I write it before going to bed. In the morning I go through my to-do list and check what is to be done. I start making breakfast after this and thus my ‘working day’ begins. The morning is the best time for me when I connect to myself on a spiritual level. I really get cranky on the days when I wake up late.
I am a writer and I prefer to write in the afternoon after lunch. This is the time when I am halfway through my day and when I feel relaxed enough to do my writing.
Sammy, from Hyderabad, owns Social Dragonfly , an online platform to promote holistic lifestyle. She also runs a book club and a very active Facebook Group called Womenfolk of Hyderabad.
I usually get up by 7 am. The first thing I do, is to wake up my whole body mindfully by putting my feet on the ground and scanning upwards. Then after a bathroom break, I water my plants and spend some time with nature in my balcony. Make my bed and lay out my yoga mat. Usually I do a little yoga and breathing practice and alternate it with some dance and movement on some days. I briefly journal my thoughts after, either by drawing, painting or writing.
Once I start my day this way, I feel more connected with myself and grounded throughout the day. I feel a better flow of thoughts for my writing and churn creative pieces better once I work from this headspace. Also, all the reflective writing and Journalling has been very helpful during these trying times of the pandemic.
Maria Sarah Francis
Maria who lives and works in Ohio, USA, is a foodie, an avid traveller and someone who lives life to the fullest taking in a variety of experiences and clearly enjoying them. She’s also one of my favourite people!
My work schedule used to be quite hectic and stressful with long hours. I’ve tried meditation but somehow was unable to stay focused and always distracted.
After doing much research on various techniques I found box breathing which is a simple easy method to control your breathing which helps in relaxing your mind and body. I started with a short 5 minute rhythm and immediately felt a difference. I’ve gradually increased it to 15mins. Here’s a link that details the method and benefits- Box Breathing Techniques and Benefits.
During the pandemic last year I quickly noticed my day getting scrambled without any structure which previously used to start with getting dressed to go to work. I created a short morning checklist which included my basic morning routine and started checking it off….I quickly noticed it gave me a sense of routine and normalcy. After which I would be energized to go about my day.
With everything going on last year and on difficult days…just completing my morning routine sometimes felt like an accomplishment as if all was not lost that day.
Creating and following this routine has helped me add structure to my day, which eventually helped in staying calm, relaxed, focused and also healthy. Just a small change made a difference and I’m able to share the positive energy with my family and friends. Its also helped me think more creatively and I was able to think out of the box to stay connected. I also completed many fun activities that I usually would’ve shied away from.
When Corinne asked me to write a paragraph on my morning routine, I laughed out loud!
My ‘routine’ is a contradiction in terms. Routine is hard for me with the kind of brain I have. I was called a ‘scatterbrain’ as a child and I still am exactly that – but I no longer see it as a negative thing – it’s just me.
However, since my 93 year old mum came to live with us last year, I have to have some semblance of morning routine for her.
I wake up at 6 am, sometimes 5 in summer and sometimes I write my morning pages straight away before I do anything else.
And I swear by my Morning Pages even though I may not do them until 11 am or even 3 pm.
I know this goes completely against the Julia Cameron’s philosophy on Morning Pages, but it works well for me whenever I do them. They have become my therapist, my creative inspiration and my ‘go to’ place when I need to analyse difficult emotions.
Often, I get up at 6 or 7am, shower my mum and assist her with dressing, get her breakfast and make sure she is settled before turning to my own activities.
Often that will be making fresh green juice and then settling down to write my pages (in the garden on sunny days). Sometimes I write non-stop and could easily write 10 pages and other days, something on the first page will trigger a creative idea and my ‘scatterbrain’ has me up and into my art supplies before I know what I’m doing. But I don’t mind. I truly believe that whenever I write, I get in touch with my authentic self (as opposed to the adapted selves some of us became as children, to please others). And if my authentic self wants to create something through images rather than words, that’s ok with me.
So that’s my rather haphazard morning routine.
I would LOVE to know if anyone else deviates from the strict Morning Pages method the way I do. Much love to you from England.
How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time. A schedule is a mock-up of reason and order—willed, faked, and so brought into being; it is a peace and a haven set into the wreck of time; it is a lifeboat on which you find yourself, decades later, still living.”― Annie Dillard, The Writing Life
Read: How To Create Daily Routines In Your Life on The Blissful Mind
Share your morning routines
So there you have it. Morning routines differ. You must do what works for you. What helps you centre yourself before your day begins. I’d love to hear about your morning routines – do comment below. Thank you.