The Power of a Self-Care Morning Routine
I used to wake up and first thing I did was check my phone. I’d read ALL the texts I missed from the night before. Then I’d jump to Instagram + Twitter and just start scrolling. Next thing I know I’ve been in bed for about 45 minutes just looking at what everybody else is doing. After a while I noticed that I would feel a little down and throughout the day I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Like I would feel somewhat defeated seeing everyone so happy and living their best life meanwhile I wasn’t. I spent my time watching and comparing. And I know they say comparison is the thief of joy but it was so hard not to scroll on social media and think why am I not living like that? Or do I need to buy this to look like that? Or go to this place to feel like this? Or be around these people to get to where I need to be? I started carrying this self-doubt and sense of unworthiness throughout the rest of my day.
Studies prove that when you start your day off immediately looking at your phone it increases stress and leaves you feeling overwhelmed. There is an information overload that interferes with your ability to prioritize yourself and your tasks. For me, it was like clock work to hear my alarm, wake up, grab my phone and check ALL of my notifications. Looking at my phone first thing in the morning was sabotaging my whole damn day. I grew tired of starting my day on somebody else’s terms. So I started a morning ritual to break me out of this habit. And it wasn’t easy. It literally took me a few weeks to officially break out of this habit. So be patient with yourself.
And I get that the fear of missing out is very, very real. I used to legit feel anxious about missing out on things but when you think about it.. feeling this desperate need to check on everything else but yourself is lowkey telling yourself that everything is more important than you and what you have going on. Sometimes we avoid doing the inside work or the work that have to do to get to where we need to be. It’s a lot easier to procrastinate and watch other people live their best lives while we feel sorry for our own. But this is self-sabotage. Sometimes we all do it. But just realize that this isn’t at all productive and it just doesn’t feel good.
So I made up my mind. I just told myself no more. Less checking for what’s going on in the outside world and more checking in on what’s going on in the inside world. I created good habits to get rid of the bad ones. I started off by switching where I charge my phone at night. Charging my phone further away from my bed makes all the difference. I no longer fall asleep with the phone in my hand and in the morning I am forced to get out of bed to turn the alarm off. Then I stretch for 5 minutes. I like to warm my body up. And afterwards, I pray for 5-10 minutes. I really enjoy the way prayer makes me feel.
At the start of my days I am now giving myself a healthy physical, mental and spiritual moment to center myself, my body, and my world. Changing my morning routine changed my life. And with these small changes it dramatically increased my productivity level throughout the day. And now I feel all empowered and shit. Like I control my day, I control my energy, I control my life.
Avoid my phone at all costs in the morning. Even if it’s going off I will not answer it until I give myself at least one hour.
I grab me a cup of room temperature water. If I have a lemon I’ll put lemon slices in it. This helps to flush the digestive system and hydrates the body at the same time.
Sort of like a mini cleanse that gives more energy throughout your day.
Stretch for 5 minutes.
Say a mini prayer. Thanking God + The Universe for waking me up and giving me the strength to conquer the day. (Even if I don’t have the strength or I’m tired as shit, I’ll still say thank you. Thank it til you make it type energy.)
Pulling back the curtains by myself, take a look. Lolll, na but seriously I love me some natural light so I make sure I bring that into my space.
Did y’all know that natural light boosts Vitamin D, increases productive, improves your mood, and fights off anxiety and depression? My type of party! So I definitely recommend to get that natural light to breathe more life into your room.
Gratitude Journaling. I like to free write in my journal for 30 minutes everyday. No matter what I always write down 10 things I’m grateful for in my life at that very moment.
Meditate for 10-15 minutes. I like to listen to nature sounds or this playlist to meditate. Meditation makes me feel so, so good. Immediately afterwards I feel more aligned, more grounded. Try it. Even 5 minutes of quiet meditation is a great start and will have powerful results.
Sidebar: I used to meditate first, first thing in the morning but I just kept falling back asleep. Something had to give. Now I stretch, pray, and journal first. In this very sequence I am up more alert and focused.
Make myself breakfast and/or a smoothie. My favorite breakfast is oatmeal but other great alternatives are omelettes, toast with nut butters or avocado, sauteed peppers and vegetables. My favorite go-to smoothie is almond milk, peanut butter, banana, and spinach or kale. I will be dropping a blog on smoothies very soon.
Make my bed. After a long ass day coming home to a bed that’s already makes feels sooooo warm, sooooo cozy, soooo welcoming. It’s a calm sweetener for the end of the day.
Read my book. I’ll take about 30 minutes to read (if I have time in the morning) if not I read for an hour before I go to bed instead of scrolling on social media.
When I start getting ready to head out I like to listen to a really good podcast. My favorite Podcasts at the moment are Black Girl in Om, Breakfast with 9AM, Black Girl Podcast, Gary V, and Oprah’s Super Soul Sundays all available on Apple and Spotify.
Quick 20 minute ass and abs workout. (If I can’t get this done in the morning it will be before bed.)
25 Leg up Crunches
15 Glute Bridges
20 Leg Raises
20 Hydrant Kicks
60 Second Plank
Take a shower
And lastly, look at my phone.
This list is type long but also type mandatory so I got into the habit of waking up 2 hours before I need to go anywhere. This takes a long time and it’s really important for me to start the day off on the right foot. I hate rushing and I hate the way rushing makes me feel. I’m the type to forget something, then feel so unprepared, then feel a little resentful to the world when I know I didn’t give myself enough time. I still have my days when I wake up late and I hate myself for it. But I forgive myself, shake it off, and make sure I make some time for myself throughout the day. My ass will meditate on the train if I have to.
Try a few things from my morning routine to help you create your own. When you figure out a good morning ritual that works for you and your lifestyle, I guarantee you that your days will be a lot more productive. It can’t hurt to try it out. It’s a whole lot better than the usual routine of scrambling out of bed, hopping in the shower, rushing out the door. The goal is to have a productive, well-balanced, positive day. You make better eating choices and decisions for your life when you are in a better, more centered space. So creating a morning routine that mentally, physically and spiritually fulfills you is one of the best things you can do for yourself. When you make more time for yourself you have more control over creating the life you deserve.