Morning is my favorite time of day, but specifically, the early morning. I love to sneak out of bed without waking Dan, brew a fresh pot of coffee, and pull back the shades in the family room to watch the sun rise. When the house is quiet, when my body isn’t fully awake yet, when my brain is just starting to fire up, everything feels a little more magical and the day ahead feels a little more filled with possibility. Each moment of stillness, when I’m not responsible to be or do anything specific, is a tiny tingle of joy.
I remember as a kid I would wake up with the sun, well before my parents. After shaking and poking them awake and asking for breakfast very early on one too many Saturdays, my mom told me that I was “responsible enough” to pour my own cereal and milk and to do what I pleased (because I usually was pleased to sit on the couch and read an American Girl book) before the rest of the family woke up. I now see that she was desperate for a little more shut-eye, but at the time, I felt so grown up with the house all to myself.
My morning routine has changed over the years, and I’ve traded the cereal for coffee and the American Girl book for . . . well, other books: my Bible, a memoir, an I-just-can’t-put-it-down novel. I’ve added some blogging into the mix and set my alarm earlier to accommodate. I’ve added some stretching now that I wake up sore and stiff because my body thinks it is 63 years old.
There are a thousand things you could do each morning, and many of them are good things, but that doesn’t mean they are the best things for you. That also doesn’t mean the best things for you to do in the morning are the best things for another person to do. So instead of listing specific things you could or should or shouldn’t do in the mornings, I’m sharing three categories of things you may want to consider doing to help you feel centered and ready to take on your day.3 ways to design a #healthy and energizing #morning routine. Click To Tweet
1. Do something good for your body. I love working out in the mornings, but to be honest, I rarely want to wake up early enough to actually do it. That said, it’s amazing how much better I feel when I take just five minutes to stretch right when I get out of bed. It helps me shake off that last night of sleep, breathe life into my sore back, and let the blood start flowing more quickly through my muscles. Consider working out, stretching, walking your dog, or preparing a healthy breakfast (that you actually sit down for!).
2. Do something good for your soul. In the Christian community, people often say that the best way to start your day is with a quiet time of reading the Bible and praying. Now, I totally believe that a quiet time of connecting with God can be done at any time of day, but I am much more likely to skip this if I save it for later in the day. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, then I don’t do it. I also think doing something good for your soul, whatever your spiritual practices may be, is the best possible way to frame and center your day. You may want to read a chapter or two in your Bible, engage with a devotional, write in a journal, meditate, or just sit outside and listen to the birds and your breathing.
3. Do something good for your emotional and mental health. In other words, do something that you just love to do, because it will make you feel filled up and ready to start your day. Even if you don’t get another chance during that day to do something that you love until you fall into bed, or if you don’t get a chance at all (which I really hope isn’t the case), at least you had a chance to do it for a few minutes in the morning. This might be reading a book, writing a few paragraphs, sketching or lettering a new design, watching your favorite comedian on YouTube, or hand-brewing some coffee if that’s your thing.
The rest is entirely up to you! Mix and match these ideas, change them up, add to this list or skip things that aren’t a priority. The point of a morning routine is to help you feel ready to take on your day (just in case you don’t roll out of bed at your shining best), not to give you a checklist of things to do as soon as your day starts. Be gracious with yourself, and truly, always prioritize sleep above anything in your morning routine.
I hope these tips give you a framework to start from as you think about crafting a morning routine that energizes you.
Also, just a little caveat that this is clearly written from the perspective of someone who does not have little children, whom I’m certain change everything, including the morning routine. That said, I hope that if you are a mom, you still found some nuggets of wisdom or new ideas in here—maybe these principles could be applied to nap time to make sure you feel recharged by the time your baby wakes up. It’s all about finding what works best for you and what helps you to feel ready to start the next leg of your day.Do something good for yourself each morning: 3 ways to design an energizing morning routine. Click To Tweet