Introducing a morning routine has been such a game-changer in my life. It may surprise you when I tell you I'm not a morning person. I don't like talking and generally want to just go back to bed, but having a morning routine isn't about making you a morning person, rather setting you up for a beautiful day.
With a morning routine, I'm more productive, focused and in a better mood - all day.
I'm not just speaking from experience, but research. From books like Robin Sharma's 5 AM Club to Jay Shetty's Podcast, and consultations with my yoga teacher, Aarti Inamdar, I was able to build a morning routine that truly worked for me and my lifestyle.
I've taken all of this to build a guide that will allow you to take advantage of your mornings and build a beautiful routine for yourself. Let's get started.
Rise Early + Stick To Your Routine
Ok, we all know the first part of setting a morning routine is to rise early. For a long time, I was rising at 5 AM, but then, life happened. My husband injured himself playing basketball and somehow I found myself doing everything around the house while managing my business. Slowly 5 AM turned into 5:30 AM which eventually turned into 6:45 AM (ish). I began to feel frustrated with myself and took it out on my routine.
Then my yoga teacher shared with me the idea of feminine and masculine energy when it comes to setting routines. Living in a predominately masculine world, we are tied to the idea of structure and rules and forget to let life flow - which is very feminine energy. So I tapped into this and set a new rule for myself. Regardless of what time I woke up, I stuck to my morning routine. Following the same steps to rising each morning without constantly looking at the clock allowed me to keep my routine and feel all the benefits of rising early.
Recite A Mantra.
Start each morning with a positive mantra. This can be as simple as a couple of positive affirmations with 3-5 deep breaths the moment you wake up. I've been given a mantra from my yoga teacher that truly makes me feel empowered and ready to take one the world.
Massage + Self Care.
Prior to my morning shower, I take some time for self-care. This is really important because it is about giving yourself some love before you start your day.
My routine includes abhyanga massage (click here to try it yourself) with coconut oil, facial cupping (Province Apothecary Sculpting and Toning set is what I use) and a 5-10 minute facial steam.
These three steps take me about 20-25 minutes and really help wake me up. Plus all three have amazing health benefits. The best part is I start my morning with self-care which really elevates my mood.
After my shower, it's important for me to be active. Starting your morning with a form of activity helps boost your focus and aids in productivity throughout the day.
I start each morning with a Classical Hatha Yoga practice that includes, breathing exercises (about 10 minutes) and a 30-60 minute asana ritual depending on how I'm feeling.
For me, this is one of the most important steps to my morning routine as I'm taking time to be still and quiet. This is the only time in the day where I'm truly by myself alone with my thoughts. It's a moment for me to be grateful for what I have and focus internally on what I want.
Meditation takes practice and I'm still learning. Remember, you don't have to do it for long. Try one-minute, and keep adding on. We aren't programmed especially in North America to have stillness in our lives, so it's hard to get started but trust me you want to stick to it.
The benefits of meditation are massive - I'm not going to list them here, but personally, it makes me feel less anxious and more in control of my life.
I end my morning routine with a reflective reading. I generally grab a cup of hot water with lemon and turmeric and depending on my mood I'll read a chapter, a paragraph or even just a sentence! It's not about the speed of finishing the book but really reflecting and understanding the content. That's why during this time I generally opt for a spiritual, philosophical or self-help read. These books really make me soar and I find myself reflecting throughout the day - which keeps me calm, cool and collected.
After a beautiful morning, I bring everyone in my household back into my life. I take time to get dressed for work (even if I'm WFH), put on some light makeup and begin my day. It's only now that I pick up my phone and start my workday.
Now I know reading this you may think it sounds like a lot of time, but it can be as little as 1 hr and as long as 2hrs; depending on my mood, what time I wake up and what I have going on that week. Carving out approximately 1-2 hours, in a full day isn't easy but trust me, it's worth it, so instead of getting those extra Zzz's try pushing yourself out of bed early and building the foundation for your day!