We all have heard it over and over again, morning routines are an essential start to your day. But what does a morning routine look like? What if you are limited on time? What if you are a stay-at-home or work-at-home Mom? Today I’m sharing some life changing things I have done, and yes, they have changed my life.
To get a good grasp on how not having a morning routine affects you, let me start at the beginning and share a bit of my story.
Last year, in 2014, I began the year with high hopes. I was going to get healthy. I was going to get organized. I was going to do better with my business. The list goes on and on. As I’m sure it does for you too.
But then work got really busy. I traveled a lot. I was working at least 12 hours per day, usually more. And I wasn’t taking the time for myself.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Being busy is the best thing ever, especially when it’s bringing in work and growing your business. The struggle though, was I wasn’t taking any time for myself.
My day literally consisted of a few cups of Chai Tea throughout the day. Maybe I would change from my pajamas into yoga or sweat pants, and often times wouldn’t even take time to change my shirt. I would brush my hair and pull it up into a pony tail. And rush to the office to work another 12 or 14 hours. My meals – yogurt for breakfast, lunch and dinner were most of the time eaten at my desk while I was working. There was so much work to get done, I just didn’t see another way.
The year continued that way until the end of 2014. When I found myself, exhausted and unfocused. Honestly, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to continue working. I kept telling myself, there has to be a better way. Doug and I would have business meetings almost every day trying to figure out how to run our schedules better.
Then 2015 started, I knew that if I didn’t change what I was doing, I couldn’t keep up much longer. I wasn’t doing anyone, or my business any good. But especially I wasn’t doing anything good for myself.
So I spent the month of January, trying to figure out what to do. In February, Doug and I did a detox cleanse, which by the way was both the most difficult thing I have done in a long time and the best thing I have done in a long time.
I continued seeing the Chiropractor and I began seeing an acupuncture doctor. Between the three things – Chiropractor, Acupuncture and the detox, I began to feel better. A lot better.
During the detox, I also began a 28 day Rediscover Me challenge (she currently has a style challenge going on). I had lost who I was and where I needed to be. During the challenge, in fact one of the very first things, was to set a morning routine.
Get dressed. Put on makeup.
What? Why? I worked at home, most of the time no one except my family saw me.
But I knew I had to change if I wanted to feel better, not only for health reasons, but for my mental state as well.
The first step was to get organized. Before this, all my makeup, hair supplies, lotions, etc. were all piled into a basket. So I headed to the studio and grabbed a wooden tray that we weren’t using much for our photography. I added some Aqua Mason Jars that I had. Mason jars are my favorite way to organize, remember the sprinkles cabinet? If you don’t have mason jars, you can find them at Walmart in the housewares area. Then I added back to the tray each item that I actually used, everything else was thrown away.
It’s funny how a simple tray and being able to see everything you have makes a world of difference.
I began every morning like this –
- 6:30 wake up
- Make my bed – this is important too
- Make Chai Tea
- Go to computer and check email, etc.
- Get dressed
- Put on makeup
- Start work
I created a little routine for my makeup, setting each of the items I used out, then after I use them, back into the jar they go. I’m not a beauty expert by any means, and honestly, I’m not too fussy about what kind of makeup I use, which you can see by the variety. The important thing was to just do it!
My morning routine looks a bit different now, but we will get to that in a minute.
So I began by adding in a few more things into my routine, besides the makeup and getting dressed. I began using Essential Oils, and started doing Yoga, nothing too extreme, it was just baby steps right now.
I’m not sure if you know about Essential Oils, the benefits are great. They can be used in a variety of ways, applying topically, taking internally, and also diffusing.
At this point I had changed my work schedule so that I wasn’t beginning work before 7 a.m. (most days) and I was taking some time off. I was eating dinner with the family, then wrapping up any lose ends on the computer by 8 p.m. Then I would head to my bedroom to relax, read, just sit quietly and diffuse some Essential Oils.
I know what you are thinking at this point. You have a family, with small children, you just can’t devote that much time to reading, relaxing, and quiet time. And here’s my answer – take 15 minutes. Put the kids to bed, and even though you are tired and ready for bed yourself, take the time. I know it’s difficult, I remember when my boys were young.
Just remember – if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Have you ever heard that saying?
As I mentioned before, my morning routine has evolved over the last couple of months. I have been reading, watching videos and listening to podcasts. And over and over again, I heard about how important a morning routine was.
I saw that the small steps I had taken made a difference, so I thought perhaps if I took some more steps toward improving myself, it would help.
Here is how my current morning routine looks –
- Alarm goes off at 5:15 a.m.
- I lay in bed and listen to the birds until 5:30 a.m.
- Bathroom, drink water and back to my room for quiet time
- Gather thoughts and pray for about 5 minutes
- Meditate for 10 minutes – I found an awesome app for this called Headspace. The first 10 days are free, then it’s around $6 per month after that
- Yoga for about 20-30 minutes – I have been following Yoga with Adrienne, she has a free 30 days of yoga and sends you a video in your email each day
- Head to kitchen, grab a banana to eat, make my Chai Tea (I couldn’t give that up), apply Essential Oils and drink water
- Then I check email and social media updates for about 30 minutes
- Then it’s time to shower, get dressed, put on makeup and prepare for the awesome day ahead
- Breakfast while having a business meeting at 8:30 a.m.
- By 9 a.m. – the real work begins, recipes, DIY projects, crafts and more
I would love to get all of this in by 8 a.m. instead of 9 a.m., but it’s a work in progress still. Baby steps – remember – baby steps
There are a lot of different things that go into making your day as best as it can be. For me, it has been a combination of several different things. But most of all, my morning routine has changed my life. I now have more focus. I’m happier. I’m organized (for the most part). And the quiet time I spend in my new bedroom, is something I can now look forward to every day.
I still have lots of work to do. But it’s all about taking those baby steps that will lead to greatness.