A Morning Routine for More Productive Days

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I used to be a fully functioning grown-up person with a planned, predictable routine. Before COVID, I commuted an hour plus to San Diego five days a week. Then, it all came to a screeching halt with a stay-at-home order. I found myself sleeping later than I should, wandering around the house in leggings, old college t-shirts, and a messy bun. My once well-scheduled days were just an aimless blur of disorganization. I needed to do something and fast, so in an act of desperation, I created a morning routine that helped me feel more like myself. I would like to share with you my simple fix for getting more out of your mornings.

  1. Get up at the same time every morning. For me, this is 6 a.m. I love getting up before anyone else in my house is awake. In my day, there is very little “me time,” so I take what I can get. I wake up as soon as my alarm goes off, which is so hard. Most mornings, I want to hit snooze but then decide against it. An essential part of making this work is going to bed at a decent time. I need at least seven hours of sleep to be a functioning person, so I aim for bedtime between 10 and 11 p.m.
  2. Get moving. As soon as I am out of bed, I am pulling on my workout clothes for a 30-minute Peloton ride. Before I am fully awake and aware of what I am doing, I am already clipped in turning up the resistance. This early morning workout has a tremendous impact on my mood, which everyone in my house greatly appreciates.
  3. Get clean. After my workout, I feel accomplished but very sweaty. I shower but often leave the full hair and makeup for when the coffee has kicked in. Besides, I have found that my hair is healthier, and I don’t have to spend nearly as much time blow drying it if I wait a little while after showering.
  4. Get quiet. While my coffee is brewing, I take about five minutes to practice deep breathing and make a list of five things that I am grateful for, and set my intention for the day.
  5. Get caffeinated. I pour a cup of coffee and grab my computer or phone. I make a point of not opening my email, texts, or social media until now. Before starting this routine, I would wake up and instantly open my emails. I would see something that needed to be done and would either dwell on it or take care of it right then. Setting boundaries on electronic communication allows me to focus on starting my day from a place of peace and not stress.
  6. Get pretty. I love wearing makeup, and even if I am not planning on leaving the house at all, I still wear it. It makes me feel put together and really does affect my confidence. Also, if I must leave the house or have an impromptu zoom call, I don’t have to rush trying to get ready.

This whole routine takes me about an hour and a half from the time that my feet hit the floor in the morning until I am dressed and ready to start my day. This also happens to be when my family starts to wake up, so it is the perfect amount of time to myself before things get chaotic. This is my routine, and yours may not look at all like this, but I challenge you to carve out a bit of time for yourself during the day. Tell the kids that Mommy is in time out, make a hot cup of coffee, and lock yourself in the bathroom for five minutes. Honestly, a healthy morning routine can be considered self-care.