Monday, 25 July 2016

My Morning Routine

Today I want to talk you through one of the biggest life changes I have made this year - my morning routine. Back in April I decided to take back control of my busy life and reclaim my mornings. I decided to finally accept responsibility for making positive life changes and bring more happiness into my life with my own calm morning.

This involved rising half an hour earlier than I used to, and starting my day off with some additional me-time. Rather than rushing to get ready in half an hour - I gave myself an hour. It was a small addition of 30 minutes into my day, but it's made a world of difference.

“Do you wish me a good morning, or mean that it is a good morning whether I want it or not; or that you feel good this morning; or that it is a morning to be good on?” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Why do we need a morning routine?

Morning routines give us the chance to not only have more quality time, but also to make better use of our time. Morning routines create discipline. Even if you are not traditionally a morning person, creating a structured morning can help you to become that early riser you always wanted to be!
For me, a morning routine also sets me up for the whole day. I feel more prepared, motivated and ready to face the day ahead.

My Morning Routine:

My morning routine took time to develop. Try out different activities, schedules and routines until you find one that works for you!

Early to bed; early to rise
At first, I tried rising 15 minutes earlier, and gradually increased this back to half an hour, and now sometimes 45mins to an hour depending on what I want to get down before I head to work. It's important to finding a sleeping schedule that works for you. I'm rather reliant on my 8 hours of sleep per night; so getting up earlier also meant sacrificing some time at the other end of the day too. To get up at 6:30 am, I try to be asleep by 11pm at night. By 10:30pm I am tucked up in bed and ready for a long rest.

I for one am really bad at drinking my eight glasses at water when I'm not at my work desk. But the mornings is the perfect time to take on some water for the day. Your first drink also wakes you up, and according to science, it helps flush out the toxins too.

Let in the natural light
Open your curtains and let your room be brightened with natural light. Natural light makes me feel happy, and if it's a warm, bright and sunny day out there, I know I have whole lot of sunlight to look forward to.

Make your bed
I love nothing more than getting into a bed that has been made properly come my bedtime. It sounds like such a small and simple thing (and it is!), but I honestly think a made bed feels more cozy and comfy than a messy one! 

Layout your clothes the night before
Depending on how busy you are the previous evening, this task is something that will save you a lot of time come morning. It's efficient, and saves you deciding on an outfit when you're just out of bed. My clothes and make-up can be completed in the morning without the extra hassle of not knowing what I should wear.

Breakfast - the most important meal of the day
The biggest thing my morning routine has given me is the time to have a proper sit-down breakfast. No longer rushed or eaten in a hurry, I can now sit down at my desk and really savour the first meal of the day. For something healthy and filling, I eat porridge and a bowl of berries with vanilla yoghurt.

Plan the day ahead
After breakfast I manage a quick review of my goals and daily tasks in my Life Handbook. I look at what needs to be for the day ahead and can prioritize my day accordingly; for example, meet a friend after work, post a letter, or pick up more shampoo in Boots before work!

Ignore social media
Rule 101 of my mornings is no social media. When I wake up I will glance at any texts or messages, but I generally don't respond until later in the day unless they're important. But Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are my three big no-nos.

Plan your commute
I take public transport to work everyday; in fact, not just one tram, but two! I am very reliant on public transport as a result, and need to utilise it to its full potential. One thing I really hate, is having to stand on a packed tram or a bus. Needing a seat on my tram was actually the main inspiration for creating my morning routine. The earlier you get public transport, the more you miss the rush! Armed with a seat, I can take out a good book and get some reading done.

How my morning routine has changed my life

It's amazing how a small change to your daily routine can make a huge difference to your life. Now that I have reclaimed my mornings I have more quality time which has had a positive impact on my mental health.  I actually feel so much more positive and stronger on the mornings where I stick to my routine (and don't ditch it for a sneaky lie-in)! My mental health has benefited from the extra time to adjust and plan for the day before being submerged in the daily grind of work.

Last week I even shook up my morning routine. Rising at 6:15am, I met up with my boyfriend for breakfast and a little date in town at 7:40am to play Pokemon Go. We had over an hour together before heading off to work.

Morning routines are just one way of accepting responsibility for your own happiness.

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