Morning Routines

Morning Routines

Amy V. Smith, MS Licensed Mental Health Counselor Registered Play Therapist

Morning Routines, They Really Work

My husband recently came to me and said, “I’m starting a new morning routine. Want to join me?”. I was interested since I am a routine person by nature.  I had a morning routine, only there was no “me time” built in. It was a rushed, fast-paced routine of getting up, working out (if I felt like it), getting ready, and getting out the door as fast as I could. I was solely focused on rushing to work, and I would barely speak to anyone.  I believed the extra few minutes in bed were more important than taking extra time for myself in the mornings. Boy, was I wrong!

Since my husband’s proposal encompassed many things I have wanted to implement for my morning routine anyways, I decided to join him on this journey.  What started out as “Todd 2.0” has now become “Smith 2.0”. Why am I sharing this with you? Because it has had such a positive impact on us both! Here is what we implemented and the benefits it has yielded in just a few short weeks.  

Most importantly, NO TV in the MORNING…AT ALL.

5:50 a.m. Alarm goes off.

If you knew the Smiths, then you knew that getting up too early (anything before 7:30 a.m.) wasn’t really our speed. So, when the time changed this fall, we started getting up at 6:00 a.m. to get a jump on the day. The sun coming up a little bit earlier made the change more manageable.  We have since pushed it back to 5:50 a.m. and the goal is to push it back further to 5:30. This has completely changed the way we do mornings. By getting up before the sun comes up we are affording ourselves time to really get things in we want to do each morning with room to breathe (literally see 8:15). One more perk for me is I can watch the sunrise because I love a sunrise.

6:15 a.m. Gym time.

We have both wanted to make the gym more of a routine for ourselves. It just seemed to work out that we were never on the same page with our schedules to make it work together. This was disastrous, as we both are generally looking for a way out when it comes to the gym.  “ You have a meeting and can’t make it today, ok I’ll skip too”.  Sound familiar? Now we hit the gym long before any meetings are scheduled in our worlds so there is no excuse. We can make it everyday. The good thing here is we take turns being the one who is gung-ho for the day ensuring the other goes.  Because we are both exercising, we both have more energy, are getting stronger, are more relaxed and are sleeping much better.

7:00 a.m. Breakfast.

While we have been eating a sound breakfast for some time it was always rushed and generally in front of the TV. Now we have our breakfast at the dinner table and guess what, we talk in the morning. We touch base on the day ahead and watch the daily coaching video we like called Darren Daily. Highly recommend you check it out. This is time we are both grateful for. 

7:30 a.m. Get ready.

This part of the day hasn’t changed much except I definitely feel less rushed.

8:15 a.m. Morning meditation.

I have been wanting to add routine meditation to my life for a while now.  As a counselor I am greatly aware of the benefits of this practice but have struggled to stay consistent. Having an accountability partner and making it part of the morning routine has helped me stay on track with this goal. What are some of the benefits of meditation you ask? Here are just a few – reduces stress, controls anxiety, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, improves sleep, promotes kindness, and basically changes your brain for the better. It’s a pretty amazing form of self-care you can take anywhere you go.  I highly recommend it. 

8:30 a.m. we part ways here. 

My husband heads to the office and I write my gratitudes and affirmations for the day. I read a book and attend to emails until it’s time to head to the office.  Not sure what my gratitudes and affirmations are? Studies show that by keeping a gratitude journal you can lower stress levels, feel more calm at night, and increase self-awareness, just to name a few. Plus, you gain a new perspective of what is truly important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life. I do it because I like to start my day thinking of 3 good things in my life or the world. I do the affirmations for the same reason. Starting my day by saying things I respect about me puts me in the place I need to be to do the awesome work I get to each day.  I am an avid reader as well and the morning routine has allowed me more time for reading.

Having an accountability partner in this morning routine makes it much easier to follow through. This simple routine has increased my energy level, reduced my stress, and has given me more time to connect with my guy.  And I can’t see a reason to go back to sleeping for those extra few minutes.

This is the morning routine we have chosen, but the possibilities are endless. Get creative and add the things you have always wanted to add to your day. If you would like to implement a morning routine but need help getting started the counselors and life coaches at Life Skills Resource Group would be happy to guide you on your journey.  Please feel free to give us a call at 407-355-7378

Amy Smith