/ #Self-care 

Here's my morning routine

And the habits that help me create calm mornings and good days

Most mornings, I wake up naturally at around 6am. I get up as quietly as I could so the rest of my family could sleep longer and I would have at least an hour of peace all to myself.

While most people advise to keep your phone out of reach, I do the complete opposite: I reach for my phone first thing after getting out of bed, along with my earbuds, my Kindle and my journal.

(Note: My phone used to be a direct line to unproductivity but I’ve since set it up so it actually helps — not hinders — my morning routine.)

Then I brush my teeth, change into workout clothes and retreat to my favorite corner by the window to officially start my morning routine.

The intention behind my morning routine

Over the last few years, I’ve tried a combination of different habits but the intention for my morning routine is always the same: to reach a state of calm, both mentally and physically.

Ever since I became a mom, I almost always find myself waking up with thoughts racing in my head — mostly anxiety and worry about the days ahead. My shoulders would be all tensed up as if I’ve switched from sleep mode to fight mode.

Pre-morning routine, I would get lost in these thoughts and that would often dictate my mood for the rest of the day. I’d walk around feeling heavy as if I’m lugging a big boulder on my shoulders.

Since I started having a morning routine, I’d gotten better at noticing these unwanted thoughts and deliberately focusing on what I want instead. I’m also more aware when my body is tensing up and that’s my signal to consciously stop, breathe and relax.

The morning habits

The core habit for my morning routine is meditation. I tap the One Giant Mind app, which is on the main screen of my phone. I set the timer for 20 minutes, relax my whole body and focus on just being present.

This is my minimum viable morning routine. If I was very short on time and I can only spare a few minutes, I’ll meditate and I’ll be good.

Total time: 20 minutes

After meditation, I open my Kindle to the book I’m currently reading (right now, it’s “It’s Not Your Money” by Tosha Silver). Then I take out my journal and write any realizations or thoughts that came up during meditation and my personal prayer for the day.

Total time: 15 minutes

After that, I roll out my mat and do a 25 - minute yoga workout. I’ve been alternating between Sadie Nardini’s HIIT Yoga Workouts and Yoga Flow from PopSugar. I love how their workouts can give me a nice sweat without leaving me in an exhausted heap on the floor.

Total time: 25 minutes

And that’s it, one hour of self-care first thing in the morning and I’m good to go for the day.

Next up is to review my daily list for the most important tasks and get to work.

Staying consistent

Ideally, if all my days unfolded perfectly, every morning would be like this.

But sometimes things can get unusually busy or something needs my attention almost immediately after waking up. When that happens, I do that first then I make sure to block the next hour for a delayed morning routine.

Other times, I skip a day or two (sometimes three) which is fine when I’ve been doing my morning routine straight for weeks. Skipping a few days is no big deal and I can usually pick back up the next day.

Any thing more than that though, and I know I’m gonna get cranky and impatient all over again so I make sure to return to the habit and keep at it as consistently as I can, for as long as I can.

And the rest of the day begins…

In three hours or so, the kids get up and I need to shift from “me time” to “mommy time”.

When I’m so embedded in what I’m doing that I’d rather keep working, there’s a feeling of frustration that creeps up knowing I have to stop.

But that quickly fades away as I trade the laptop and phone with morning hugs and kisses. With pancakes or pan de sal dripping with melted cheddar cheese. With tales of beautiful dreams so vivid, you’d think they were real.

It’s almost always a good day.

But even when it isn’t (because bickering, complaining or mood swings), I have lots of patience and love to spare because my cup is overflowing.

What’s your morning routine? Go ahead and share in the comments below, I’d love to hear about them.

To peaceful mornings and good days,