Good afternoon, friends and welcome back! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and an even better start to your week. Over the past few months I have received countless messages from girls struggling to get up and get motivated in the morning; does that sound like you?! If so, don’t fret, you’re not alone. Full disclosure, I’ve always been a morning person and have never had trouble waking up (just ask my bestie); however, I used to loathe getting out of bed and getting ready for work, like I would stay under my covers until the last possible second. While I thoroughly enjoy snuggling with my chenille duvet (because who doesn’t?), the amount of time I was wasting was ridiculous. I have a beautiful vanity set-up (thanks mom) with more makeup than I could ever need, and found myself neglecting those things because I just didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work. After months of going through that routine, I had finally had enough. I had a true come-to-Jesus moment and realized that I needed to make a lifestyle shift and get myself together. I know I’m not the only person who struggles with these feelings, so I thought I would share some of the steps I’ve been taking over the past few months that have really made a difference. Full disclaimer, you WILL have to make a concerted effort to get out of bed earlier and change your way of thinking, but I PROMISE you it will pay off.
STEP 1: WAKE UP EARLY
- I can’t stress this enough; if you’re trying to find peace and motivation in the morning, waking up early is non-negotiable (IMO). I’m not saying you have to do this every day or that it has to be overly extreme, but making a conscious effort to allow yourself plenty of time to make a cup of coffee (tea, water, etc.), have breakfast (even if you don’t eat it) and leisurely go through your morning routine makes such a difference. I find that I feel more relaxed and less rushed when I allow myself an extra hour to get everything done. That time affords me the opportunity to actually sit down and enjoy my coffee, check in with ESPN (I need to be up to date) and take in the beauty of the morning.
STEP 2: MAKE COFFEE & EAT BREAKFAST
- Though I typically don’t eat breakfast (I need to get better about this), I like knowing that I have the option in case the mood strikes me. And I know it sounds silly, but there’s something so satisfying about grabbing a cute mug from the cabinet and sipping on my morning coffee; hey, whatever works right?! It seems like such a simple meaningless step, but having the time to REALLY enjoy your coffee makes a huge difference, at least to me.
STEP 3: DAILY DEPOSIT/GRATITUDE
- Second to waking up early, this might be the most important thing that I do in the morning. After making my coffee (and sometimes my toast), I sit down at my vanity and work on gratitude/personal development for 5-10 minutes. I used to use a regular notebook to reflect and acknowledge the things I was grateful for, however recently I received a Daily Deposit journal and have enjoyed incorporating that into my morning routine. Essentially it’s a notebook where you write down things you’re grateful for, personal development concepts you’re working on, daily affirmations about yourself and your game-day list. It helps to refocus your attention on all of the good things life has to offer and allows you to pour into yourself and fill your cup! I think sometimes we get so caught up in the things we don’t like/wish we could change, that we forget to show gratitude for the things that we already have. For instance, I know many of us get up every day and go to a job we don’t love; and while I understand the frustration that comes with not being able to dedicate all of your time to your passion project(s), we should be grateful that we can get up and go to a job every day that helps us pay our bills. Could we have a better job? Maybe so. Do we deserve more money? Probably; but at least we have something. I don’t hate my 9-5; I certainly wish I could pour more energy into this blog, but for now I am grateful for my co-workers and this little desk I sit at Monday – Friday that affords me the opportunity to pay my bills and get that new sweater from Express that I love. Instead of focusing on the things I don’t have/can’t do/wish were different; I try to appreciate the things I have right in front of me; a place to live, a car, warm clothes, loving friends & family and a job that keeps me around despite my low-key attitude (I’m not perfect). While I don’t always hit the mark when it comes to gratitude, I surely do my best.
STEP 4: INCORPORATE THINGS THAT MAKE YOU HAPPY
- I always find it helpful to put on something that makes me happy while I’m getting ready; sometimes it’s a country playlist, sometimes it’s the Backstreet Boys Millennium album, sometimes it’s the soundtrack to A Star is Born and sometimes it’s my favorite YouTubers; whatever works for you, do that. If you want to watch the same Bradley Cooper/Jimmy Fallon interview where they laugh uncontrollably for 10 minutes, I support that decision too (No? Is that just me?). I know this might seem like a silly, self-explanatory step, but I know so many people that don’t utilize these platforms in the morning because they’re rushed and just trying to get out of the house. Personally, one of my favorite things to do is light a candle, sit down with my (heavily creamed) coffee and catch up on YouTube videos from the night before while I do a quick sheet mask and prep my skin for my makeup of the day. Now don’t get me wrong, taking the time to sit with yourself and enjoy the stillness of the morning can have incredible benefits as well, but if you’re trying to up the pep-in-your-step, I think music, YouTube videos and podcasts are a great option!
STEP 5: LEAVE WORK FOR THE OFFICE
- Obviously there will be times when you need to check your work email at home, but I highly recommend creating a space in the morning where your focus is on YOU, not what you have waiting on you around the corner at the office. In addition to leaving your work email at work, I think it’s critical to create a time management system that doesn’t stretch you too thin and make you feel like you’re running in circles. I find that when we consistently bring our work home with us, it creates a feeling that we need to constantly be doing something, which inevitably leads to the burn-out phase. I recommend setting a cutoff time in the evening and giving yourself at least an hour (or 2 depending on your situation) in the morning where you’re sole focus has nothing to do with work and everything to do with you. Trust me, work will catch up to you soon enough, no need to rush it.
STEP 6: CHANGE YOUR MINDSET
- At the end of the day, caring for yourself and having a positive outlook is (oftentimes) up to you. I’m not saying that there won’t be days where things happen that are out of your control, but learning to respond in a healthy, more positive way will go further than you can imagine. If you have to write yourself gratitude reminders, do it; eventually it will become a habit and your outlook on things will change drastically.
So that wraps up my self-care morning routine. I hope you enjoyed this post and were able to find some inspiration through the things that have been working for me. Like I said, I don’t always get it right, but I try my best to approach each day with a healthier mindset than the day before. I’ll be honest, it takes a while to really get in a groove, so if you’re struggling with consistency, show yourself some grace and keep chugging away; it gets easier and will pay off in the end!