The Evolution of My Morning Routine
I've had a morning routine for years now. This routine hasn't changed much over time, and I consider it to be key to my mental health and wellbeing.
This year, I focused on continuing to do the work to become more centered and grounded. I started regular therapy sessions, and they helped me a lot! This journey made me understand which habits were essential to me. I knew they were important because I've been practising it for years, but what changed this year was my mindset towards them.
My morning routine habit started when I read this book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod in 2016. It was life changing at the time, I followed all the exercises, and it stuck with me. The principle is to wake up early and focus on activities like: mindfulness, exercise, reading, journaling. I remember it was flexible, I could choose which activities best fit my needs. After years of trial and error, I ended up with my current morning routine, which includes:
These became my “keystone habits” as Cal Newport would call them, and this year I realized that if I skip them for a day or two, I suffer the consequences. They have become part of my wellness maintenance routine.
With the help of therapy this year, I understood how important they are, but I also changed my mindset. I used to think that if I didn't do at least 30min of yoga that would be a useless session, so why bother? I held unrealistic expectations, thinking that if I couldn't dedicate a substantial amount of time to each activity, it was futile. It was a complicated relationship: I felt good when I completed some of my habits, but I was constantly frustrated because “I should have done more”.
So what changed?
After some trial and error and I ended up with my “sweet spot” routine: a minimum yet impactful sequence that aligns with my schedule. I can extend the durations over the weekend or on a day off work, but I always start with:
- Wake up, use the bathroom, drink water, get to my yoga mat
- Yoga: 15 min yoga + 3 min savasana (the yoga resting pose). I use the DownDog app.
- Meditation: 10 min (I use the Daily Calm meditations on the Calm app
- Have breakfast with my partner. Read a little bit while having breakfast.
- Take a shower, brush teeth, get dressed for work.
- Journaling: Sit down with my laptop and do a 10 to 30 min writing session.
- Maybe read some more before leaving if I have time.
To be able to do that, I wake up at 5am, and I'm usually leaving for work at around 7:40am. It's been working great for me! I feel I have more energy, I am less anxious, and I start the day with a sense of accomplishment.
There are days when I only complete one or two of those activities because of an early appointment, or none at all because I'm sick or something, and that's okay! I know I will get back to them next time. I try not to skip more than twice in a row.
My yoga/meditation/exercise corner
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By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.