05/03/2016

How Morning “Me Time” Could Change Your Life

How to create a morning routine that serves you

Good morning!

How do you feel first thing in the morning? Tired? Energized? Anxious? Now let me ask you this… how do you want to feel?

I am totally guilty of being the person that checks her phone before even leaving my bed. At this point, it’s probably just muscle memory reflex: alarm goes off, phone in hand. Not much intentional thought goes into it, it’s just what I’ve trained myself to do – and not necessarily on purpose.

I have a hard time believing that my best days begin with checking my emails from bed at 5:30 in the morning. Am I really getting a “head start” on my day? It sure doesn’t feel like it. Sometimes, I need to consciously remind myself that just because I’m doing a lot more, doesn’t mean I am getting a lot more done. So my question became: how are my habits affecting how I feel in the morning? How can I alter my morning habits to create more peace and raise my energy levels to carry me through the day?

This week, in an effort to limit my screen time in the morning, I bought my first alarm clock since the Nickelodeon one I had as a kid (That thing was so obnoxious, no wonder I was bouncing off the walls all day – waking up to the “Slime” alarm would do that to any kid!). This is real life:

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Wow… hello 1995.

The man selling me the alarm clock was oozing about all the awesome capabilities my new alarm clock has to sync to my phone… Little did he know that the point of my buying the alarm clock was in fact to disconnect from my phone.

Also, I found it interesting that in a world of (in my opinion) too many choices, Brookstone only had ONE alarm clock in the store for sale. Not complaining, I loved that I could just walk in, buy it, and then promptly leave sit in a massage chair for a half hour. But I digress…

So how can our morning routine help set ourselves up for success for the rest of our day?

Here are some ideas to get you (and me!) started on working towards a better morning routine:

  1. Buy an alarm clock. 

    Just do it. Let’s all be honest for a minute here, sleeping by our phones isn’t helping us in any capacity.

  2. Habitualize your morning.

    I’ve never been a fan of routines, but man, they just WORK, you know?

  3. Start the day with something physical.

    ANYTHING. A walk, a run, gym, yoga, just get it going.

  4. Following physical activity, do something mental or spiritual.

    Pray, meditate, journal, simply “be”.

  5. Work on your goals or something that makes you happy.

    For me, that’s this blog! But sometimes, it’s reading a good book, baking, or creating a beautiful breakfast.

Need help in the mental/spiritual category? Don’t worry, I got you:
  1. Read encouraging and inspiring quotes (Pro tip: write them down in a journal beforehand, limit screen time in the morning)
  2. Read and meditate on a Scripture verse (Pinterest is full of awesome little snippets)
  3. Read and meditate on a devotional (My favorites are Jesus Calling and The Book of Awakening)
  4. Follow a guided meditation (I’ve done a few of the Deepak Chopra & Oprah 30 Day Meditation Series – they are great!)
  5. Pray, either on your own or pray the rosary (If it’s too hectic in your household in the morning, stop by a church or quiet park for 10-15 minutes before work. Find your peaceful place, and go there!)
  6. Listen to a relaxing playlist
  7. Light a candle
  8. Journal
  9. Moving meditation – yoga, Tai Chi, walk
  10. Do Nothing For 2 Minutes – If you’re really hyperactive or need something to ground you throughout the workday.

I truly believe taking your mornings and carving out some time to spend on yourself, for yourself, can have a significant and positive impact on every facet of your life. When you find your center in the quiet of the morning, set an intention for your day, and ultimately begin your day from a place of peace rather than hurry, that calm & quiet can and will carry over into your commute (anyone ever get road rage? yea me neither), your workplace, your mundane every day activities and errands, and everyone you come into contact with.

Don’t let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace.

What do your morning routines look like? Do you have a favorite way you start your day?

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Comments

  1. Beautiful inspirational thoughts Arie! Years ago I used the drive-to-work time to pray the rosary along with a beautiful reflection on a CD. Wonderful start to my day. Now I challenge myself with the words of St Patrick, “I arise today, the power of God to hold and lead….Christ be with me, Christ within me….. before my feet hit the floor. There is a marked difference in my day if I don’t begin with purpose. Arie I look forward to reading “Free Spirit” because I know there will be something to cause me to go deeper. Thank you!

  2. Brittney says:

    Mornings have become my absolute favorite time of the day! My mornings go a little like this. Alarm goes off, face/teeth (probably trip over something as I stumble to the bathroom), cofeee & h2o, feed the cat, cuddle with the cat while I do bible study & pray, then yoga (if I don’t go over my God time), then time to get ready for work. I am like you in that I don’t love routines, but THIS routine is one that I can’t live with out. I found an AM sun salutation by Morgan Day Cecil where she does it with the Lord’s Prayer! That is FABULOUSSSS. Beautiful post Arie <3

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