why your morning routine matters

I am proud to say I have become a legit adult. A real deal adult. A full-on 100% adult. How, you might ask? Well, I have a morning routine… that counts as adulting, right?

In all seriousness, I found myself establishing a morning routine, one that I actually enjoy, and it’s helped me a lot now that I’ve started working. I am a morning person; maybe a morning routine is not for you. It’s really not for everyone, but if you feel that you are more productive during this time (regardless of how hard it is to wake up), you may want to consider establishing a routine. Or even an afternoon one—it is all about carving out some time for yourself in the day.

I started my morning routine without trying. I typically start work at 8 am, maybe half an hour earlier depending on what is going on. I used to wake up pretty early to put on some makeup for my Zoom meetings. As time went on, I stopped putting on my makeup and sleeping in until I was waking up only 20 minutes before I had to log on. I didn’t like this routine because no matter how much extra sleep I got, I would start my day feeling rushed and stressed over whatever happened at work overnight that I had to dive into directly. So, I started getting up 40 minutes before work to make myself some breakfast.

My morning meal would gradually be accompanied by reading a self-help book. I was enjoying this routine and book so much that, eventually, I started journaling my thoughts. The weather started changing as well, so I added a quick 10 minute walk on the mornings when the sun was out, or when I felt dread at the thought of sitting at my computer.

As you can see, I found a morning routine that worked for me because it was something that I truly enjoy. It wasn’t a forced “wake up at 5 am and then go do HIIT cardio for 40 minutes” type of routine. It developed gradually from doing one small thing that I liked (eating avocado toast for breakfast). These routines do not have to be intense as what people show online. They have 2-3 hours for their morning routine and at-home gyms. You, my dear reader, probably don’t, and that is okay. Do activities that you enjoy and are helpful for you in the morning. Or even switch it up, and make it an afternoon routine. It should be whatever fits your schedule, resources, and personality.

Now you know what to keep in mind when determining what your routine should consist of, but why in the world do you need a routine? Why can’t you go about your day doing whatever task is thrown at you or whatever else you decide to prioritize? The answer is that you truly don’t “need” it, but it can be a good habit to build if it helps you. It doesn’t hurt to try a few times to get this going.

As I hinted above, I came up with my morning routine because I didn’t want to start my day in a rush. I also felt that, during the winter months when I started my routine, I didn’t get to enjoy seeing daylight while unoccupied. I started work when it was still dark and ended work when it was night. Reading self-help books also pushed me to cherish this 1.5 hours in my day when I could ground myself, set aside negative emotions, and feel at peace. It’s a time when I get to clear up my mind and remind myself of what truly matters in life, in spite of whatever inconveniences come up at work or in my personal life. An hour of your day dedicated to the things you enjoy can do wonders for your mood, especially if most of your day is spent on responsibilities and duties.

So give it a go; your morning routine could lead to some personal improvements or could be an excuse to savor your favorite breakfast fully.

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