How to Create Your Own Morning Routine

From Kayla in the City

Everybody be talking about morning routines these days. It comes up on a lot of the podcasts I listen to and the blogs I read. Entrepreneurs and freelancers chat about their glorious morning routines which include some combination of meditating, journaling, and exercising.

I love the idea of a luxurious, long, drawn out, morning routine. But come on, that's not always realistic. We all got places to go, people to see, and work to get done.

I've come to realize that morning routines don't have to be this long, drawn out thang. You can still integrate little hints of mindfulness even when you're running to get to the office by 9AM. Or in my case running to catch the subway by 5:15AM to teach in Brooklyn…

Here are some ways to add a bit of mindfulness to your morning and create a morning routine that works for YOU.
 

FIRST THINGS FIRST:

Your morning routine doesn't have to happen first thing in the morning.

Yes really. Nowadays for me there's no way I'm getting anything done at 4:30AM when I wake up to teach. That doesn't mean I can't enjoy some sprinkles of a mindful morning routine later on in the day.

Even when I was working 9-5 I preferred rolling out of bed to get my workout on. Afterwards I'd come home and slow down for a bit before heading to work.
 

WHAT HELPS YOU GET FOCUSED FOR THE DAY?

Everyone has their own thing that helps them get focused for the day.

For some it's journaling (hello, morning pages!) Others like to meditate. If you're like me you need to work out before launching into work mode. Otherwise my brain feels scattered.

And also for me drinking caffeine is a very necessary part of my morning routine and getting FOCUSED for the day. People are always surprised to hear I don't drink caffeine before I teach an early morning class. Nope, I'm just naturally loud and can pretend to be energetic at 6AM. Although sometimes I do flub my words BIG TIME in the early morning classes because my brain isn't 100% awake yet.

After teaching I like to come home, take a very necessary shower, and then I get caffeinated. Usually while writing my to-do list for the day, doing my morning pages and answering a few urgent emails.

In the morning I've always been more of a tea drinker. I find coffee or espresso first thing in the morning leaves me jittery and too wired.

Argentinian Yerba Mate tea contains as much caffeine as coffee — minus the jitter factor. In addition to providing you with a caffeinated boost, Yerba mate contains Vitamin B, Vitamin C (def necessary with all the germs going around this time of year), zinc, potassium and manganese. It's also believed to aid in digestion.

With my schedule these days I'm sipping on my tea in the comforts of my own home. Even when I was working 9-5 I liked to use this time to slow down before launching into the day.

Yes, sometimes it meant getting to the office a bit earlier so I could enjoy this time in peace. And y'know without someone asking me to do something ASAP. But enjoying some calm before the workday storm has always been super helpful for me.
 

SOME OTHER WAYS I LIKE TO KEEP MY MORNINGS MINDFUL:

  • Leave yourself LOTS of time. This one sounds silly but it's so underrated. I'm totally the kind of person that will snooze my alarm a million times. Next thing I know I need to get ready FAST otherwise I'll be late. This always always always leaves me feeling frazzled. Not a cute way to start the day.
     
    Leaving myself extra time to slowly get ready and not feel rushed is key.
  • Meditate while you commute.
    Why not use your commuting time as meditation time? Okay, it's probably not a good idea to close your eyes on the subway. And it's definitely not a good idea if you drive to work. BUT you can still listen to a guided meditation on-the-go.
     
    You can also lead yourself through some breathing exercises. I'm a big fan of 4-7-8 breathing — inhale for a count of 4, hold for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 8.
  • Get off the subway a stop or two early so you have the chance to walk. Being on the crowded subway in the morning gets me SO crazed sometimes. Walking a few extra blocks gives me the time to shake off that crazy feeling and get some fresh air.
  • Listen to a podcast or music that puts you in the right mood.
    My all-time favorite band is Green Day. I obviously love them to pieces however listening to loud punk rock music first thing in the morning is a bit much. Last year at my internship I used to love listening to my yoga playlists in the morning. They were gentle but not too gentle.

I've been enjoying listening to podcasts while I do my make-up lately. Something about podcasts just make me happy and excited to conquer the day.

YOUR TURN: How do you bring mindfulness to your morning routine?

Argentinian Yerba Mate, Part I

From kathyylchan.com
 

Argentinian Yerba Mate, Part III

From kathyylchan.com
 

How to Create Your Own Morning Routine

From Kayla in the City