Alright, people. This is not a boring post about morning routines… it’s an exciting one! Or at least an informative one! I know the internet is already brimming with posts about people’s picture-perfect morning routines, so I hesitated to write this. But the truth is that implementing a morning routine literally changed my life for the better. So here we are.
Before I had my own morning routine, I was pretty cynical about the entire concept. Pssh, morning routines? That’s for people who roll out of bed happy and have all the time in the world to navel-gaze, not for people like me who hit the snooze button five times and then wake up grumpy and have to get to work.
At that time I was struggling with life. I kind of hated my job, I had low energy basically all of the time, and I was pretty inconsistent with doing the things that matter most to me like writing and exercising. I had a lot of brain fog and a lack of focus.
And look, I’m not going to act like starting a morning routine was some magic bullet, but it really did create some big shifts. Starting the day consciously – doing something meaningful, spiritual and intentional – lets you connect with yourself and get centered before you start your day. And at least for me, this led to experiencing greater clarity and focus throughout the entire day.
In case this needs to be said, giving yourself the gift of a morning routine is NOT selfish. Consistency in your morning routine leads you to your center, and this allows you to show up more lovingly for yourself AND for the people in your life. It is a win win all around.
How to create your own morning routine
When I suggest that my clients try out their own morning routine, one of the most common resistant points is time. I get this – I’m self-employed now, but when I first started my own morning routine I had a regular job. And as I’m not a “morning person” to begin with, I had to move through my own resistance about time. So if you decide to create your own routine, the first thing to do is think about how much time you want to devote to each morning.
What worked for me is simply getting up half an hour earlier, and setting a timer before I started my morning routine. What works for each of us is different – maybe you’ll only want a ten minute routine, or maybe you’ll want an hour. But for me, half an hour is that ‘sweet spot’ where it feels effective yet also allows me to get on with whatever’s on my schedule for the day.
Once you know how much time you’ve set aside, you get to the fun part: deciding what to do with that time. Remember that your routine does not have to look like anyone else’s! The whole point is to do something that makes YOU feel centered, grounded and connected to yourself. So start by asking yourself: what activities make me feel that way? For example, you might choose to implement any of the following (or something else entirely):
- Drinking tea or coffee.
- Tarot draws.
- Ecstatic dance.
- Reading poetry or a spiritual text.
- Sitting at your altar.
- Using affirmations or mantras.
- Lighting candles or incense or diffusing oils.
- Working with crystals.
- Rituals or spellcrafting.
- Listening to music.
- Creating art.
- Spiritual study.
The key is picking the things that actually speak to you, not the things you think you “should” do or that you saw someone else on the internet doing. Your routine will be the most nourishing when it is custom created to fit your weird little heart. It’s also okay to switch up your routine. The point isn’t to do the exact same thing every morning, the point is to give yourself some soul nourishment each morning, and your soul’s needs may vary from day to day.
My morning routine
I want to start by saying I am not perfect! Even though I’ve had some form of a morning routine for five or six years now, I definitely fall off the bandwagon from time to time (and always feel crappier when this happens). Some days I’m grumpy and feel like I’m just going through the motions, but I still do it. And I usually skip the weekends. So yeah – I’m not perfect, but it’s not about perfection.
That said, here’s what my morning routine looks like currently, on an ideal day. When my alarm goes off, I try really hard to resist the urge to check my phone. I’ve found that for me, getting on the news or social media straight away fucks with my energy. I do usually glance at my emails in case I have something important from a client, but other than that I TRY not to get sucked into smart phone land.
From there, I have a glass of water with lemon (I slice up a lemon each week and keep it in the fridge). I make breakfast (oatmeal and coffee most days) and say good morning to my partner and my fur babies. From here, the heart of my morning routine commences.
I head into my office – or, if the weather permits, I sit outside on the porch. With me I have my brekkie and coffee, two journals, my planner and a tarot deck. I eat my breakfast first thing because I’m always really hungry when I wake up. I take a look at my planner while I’m eating and make a to-do list for the day. I like doing the planning stuff first thing, because then my brain isn’t dwelling on logistics when I move on to the next portion of my routine.
Once my tummy is full and my planner is updated, I pull a tarot card of the day for myself. I use my Sacred Journey journal to record my card. This is pretty no-frills, I just notate the card and a sentence or two about how it might be applicable to my day. If I remember any dreams from the night, I also record them in this same journal.
From here, I either do some journaling, or do some meditation for however much time I have left. Several years ago, journaling WAS my morning routine. Back then I was doing daily ‘morning pages’ – a tool from the Artist’s Way, morning pages are three pages, written long hand, done daily to get all the gunk out of your brain. If you are feeling reaaallly stuck, I highly recommend morning pages. But at this point, for me, three pages is overkill. I just write a page or two on days when the mood strikes.
As for meditation, I mentioned that back in June I was doing an hour a day. I’ve adjusted this slightly, and found that about twenty minutes is my ‘sweet spot’ for meditation. I’ve been taking a course in iRest meditation, which is based off Yoga Nidra, and I’ve found this modality works better for me than more traditional seated meditations.
And that’s it! This current incarnation of my morning routine usually takes around 45 minutes. Of course, as I already said, I don’t tell you this so that you can make your routine look just like mine. This is just to give you an idea of what a morning routine might look like.
All those years ago, before I had my own morning routine, I remember wanting to roll my eyes when I heard people talk about them. I thought they were for people with all the time in the world for navel-gazing and I thought I could never be one of “those people.” But I have to say this again…
Having a morning routine DID change my life. And it continues to change my life.
If you are able to get in a bit of self-care in the morning, you know you’ve filled your tank that much. If you wait until later in the day to do the things that evoke your soul, it’s a lot easier for them to end up being forsaken. I am a firm believer in doing the things that matter first, and what matters the most in your life is taking care of yourself. My meditation teacher always brings up a quote that goes something like this: “self-care is not selfish. In fact, it is selfless. When you take care of yourself, you are then able to give to others without resentment.”
You matter. Your spiritual connection matters. Carve out the space in your life to connect with yourself each morning, and I guarantee your heart will feel lighter and brighter, and the world needs you at your lightest and brightest!