Building a Sustainable Morning Routine

by | May 13, 2020 | Productivity, Wellbeing

At the moment I’ve been finding getting up in the morning really bloody hard. Maybe it’s because pretty much every day has been the same and there isn’t much variety to my activities that I’m not really motivated to get out of bed. I find myself lying there kind of resisting the start of the day even though I know once I’m up it will be fine and I’ll probably have a nice day. To try and help myself cope with the mornings I’ve started to try and structure some kind of morning routine.

By no means is this my perfect morning routine, there are definitely things I want to add into it to try and make it even more effective and productive but this is what’s working for me right now. And I’m going to be kind to myself and say that that’s enough for now. I’m sharing my routine to show you how it helps me to keep being at least a little bit productive every day, to hold myself accountable and to maybe inspire you to think about how your own morning routine can help you get through your daily life right now.

The Night Before

I know I’m talking about a morning routine but I feel like you need to lay the foundations for a good morning the night before. If I wake up and there are clothes piled in the corner of my room and things not in their place I don’t feel as together in the morning. Putting my clothes away properly doesn’t really take me that long and it’s actually quite a nice way to wind down before bed. I often put some chilled out lo fi music on in the background to complete the ambiance.

If I want to be really organised and effective the next day I might even sit down with my Bullet Journal and plan the next day before I go to sleep. This only really works when I have a busy day planned and I have to get certain tasks done. Otherwise I tend to let myself pick and choose the tasks that suit my mood on the day.

Find out more about starting a Bullet Journal to boost your productivity and creativity

When I Wake Up

I struggle so much with the snooze button. Night before Sarah will tell herself that she’s going to get up straight away. She won’t press snooze hundreds of times and wake up feeling groggy and confused. Morning Sarah has other ideas. I’m trying to work on this at the moment. The snooze button is definitely my downfall in the mornings.

I end up waking up later than planned, sleepier than planned because I’ve essentially had a a lot of bad quality naps and feeling guilty because I told myself I wouldn’t fall into the trap again. I’ve kind of figured out that at the moment it isn’t really that essential for me to get up so early. I’d like to be able to but my body is telling me no, so I’m trying to listen and just let myself sleep a bit longer than I’d usually like. I know I’m not sleeping as well so I obviously need it, and the guilt isn’t helping anyone.

building a morning routine can be hard if you find it tricky to get out of bed
Accurate representation of me in the morning

As soon as I get out of bed

I’m a bit of a zombie in the morning. If I don’t shock myself out of bed I move very very slowly. I’m very glad that my mum got a free Google Home recently so I can just shout at it to play the radio and/or tell me the news to bring me back to planet Earth. I also find that opening my blinds as soon as I get out of bed is a clear marker to myself that sleep is over and the day has started.

Finally one of the best habits you can make is to make your bed every morning. I’ve seen loads of quotes about how making your bed makes you an effective person, and that you’ve accomplished something with the day straight away etc etc. But to be honest making my bed is the best way for me to avoid getting back in it. It can be as simple as that.

Before I Go Downstairs

Something I’ve very recently picked up is the idea of the Morning Pages. There is an incredible guest post coming up very soon all about the Morning Pages but essentially it’s just taking a few minutes every morning to write down your train of thought as they come to you. I wasn’t that struck on the idea until my guest poster submitted their piece. I think at the moment it’s really helping me to process all my thoughts and frustrations with lockdown. All I do is sit down at my desk and write everything I’m thinking and feeling. The guest post will be up at the end of May and I’ll be linking it here when it’s up! Keep an eye out it’s a wonderful one.

If I wander downstairs in my pyjamas I often end up lounging around the living room so I’m trying to make a point of getting dressed before I leave the room. Getting dressed is a clear marker of the day starting. I’m not allowed to linger around in sleepy lazy land. The day has started, I have to put my big girl pants on.

Breakfast

I’ve always been a breakfast person. I can’t at this moment recall a time I’ve skipped breakfast. It’s just not done in my house. I often stick to the same breakfast every morning, partly because it means I’m not stood in the kitchen sleepily trying to decide what to eat but also because I feel like my body gets used to the amount of fuel I give it and it knows what to do with that amount of energy.

Caffeine wise I have a bit of an addiction to coffee. If you’ve followed me for any length of time you’ll probably know that. I try really hard to limit my coffee intake to 2 cups a day (but it usually ends up as 3) so I’ve figured out that I have to spread out my consumption and tea first thing seems to work. By mid morning I’m woken up a bit by the tea but I’m ready for my coffee fix.

Mid-morning

I try to get working fairly soon after I’ve had my breakfast and by that time I usually have my mid-morning coffee in hand. Working with a hot drink just seems to do something great to my productivity. It’s my fuel. I have a coffee by my side as I’m writing this sentence.

If I’m meant to be doing a run that day I usually go just before lunch which is often when my productivity with work is starting to wear off. I feel like taking a break when your productivity is winding down is a great way to avoid that frustrating kind of procrastination. If I’m not doing a run I might have a little walk around the garden or maybe do a yoga practice. I’m a big fan of Yoga with Adriene and I practice daily to her videos even if it’s just for a quick twenty minutes. If you’ve never tried yoga before I really recommend her 30 Days of Yoga series that will get you started with daily practice.

How to Build Your Own Morning Routine

I know my morning routine isn’t perfect. There are definitely some things I’d like to change but it’s working for me like this right now. That’s not to say that every morning this is exactly what I do but realistically this is what I do most mornings. I think what’s most important is not to force yourself into a morning routine that doesn’t fit you. If you love to wake up at 5:30am and do a run then that’s wonderful (god if only) but if you can’t physically get out of bed until 9am and you spend an hour reading then create a morning routine that nourishes that practice.

Be realistic and kind to yourself. Try not to create an unnatainable routine that will end up making you feel guilty because guilt is definitely not a friend to your productivity.

Do you have a morning routine or do you want to create one? Let me know what your morning routine would look like in the comments.

Sometimes the perfect morning routine isn't realistic. Better to listen to our bodies and create a sustainable morning routine that we can stick with.

2 Comments

  1. Bonnie

    I’m having a hard time with my mornings as well. I think I need to have really low expectations right now. My routine needs to be:
    1. Out of bed by 8a
    2. Brush hair and get dressed
    3. Start working on my daily tasks

    I’m currently having a hard time with #2 and will stay in nightclothes until lunchtime most days XD

    Reply
    • Sarah

      Yes low expectations are definitely essential right now Bonnie!
      Sounds like a good realistic routine. Haha I’m getting better at getting dressed once I’m out of bed, my problem is getting out of my bed in the first place!!!

      Reply

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