I used to have a great morning routine. I’m a morning person, so I was happy to get up around 6, do some exercise, calmly write out my goals for the day, take a leisurely shower, make a nutritious breakfast etc. etc. It probably took about 1hr20 in total. Now my morning routine looks a little different. It’s a joint effort with my husband, passing the baby back and forth as we haphazardly get him and ourselves up, dressed and fed.
This blog post isn’t about adding ANYTHING to your routine at all. Instead, it contains suggestions about how you can make the things you already do a bit calmer, a bit more enjoyable, so you start your day in the best way possible. Think of it as a menu; you probably don’t do all the things below every day (I certainly don’t), but pick a couple that feel doable and beneficial to you and give them a try. This falls very much into the category of not sacrificing the good for the perfect: just because we’re busy, doesn’t mean we can’t practice a touch of self-care.
Pick one thing to do mindfully. This could be brushing your teeth, combing your hair or eating breakfast (although if you have children then breakfast time is probably somewhat chaotic.) Focus on the sensations of the activity, notice your thoughts as they come and go, pay attention to how you’re breathing.
Turn your shower into a spa. This is probably my favourite! Get some essential oils that lift your mood or relax you (I’m personally a big fan of the Neom blends) and sprinkle a few drops in the corners of the shower tray when you start your shower. Within a few moments the whole shower (in fact the whole bathroom) will smell amazing. It’s a bit of an indulgence, but the little bottles of oil last for a long time and it feels like such a treat.
Stretch while you moisturise. I actually do this in the evening rather than the morning. Stand while you moisturise your legs so it becomes more of a hamstring stretch. It can also be very nice to incorporate a little self-massage, particularly of our feet, which often get neglected.
Practice affirmations with skincare/makeup. Choose a couple of simple affirmations that resonate with you and repeat them out loud or in your head while washing your face/putting on mascara etc. Here are some of Oprah’s favourites to inspire you.
Step outside with intention. The first time you leave the house, take 30 seconds to just breathe the fresh(ish) air, notice the temperature difference, the sounds, the smells. This one is perhaps less enjoyable if you live in a big smelly city like I do!
So often when we’re in a rush we feel like we can’t possibly find moments of calm or joy, but with just a little bit of planning, I promise you can. All of the above are much easier if you don’t reach for your phone first thing – try to have at least 20 minutes before you start looking at it.
I hope you enjoy incorporating some of these into your routine!