Are you a victim of waking up on the “wrong side of the bed”? Is your morning hectic, stressful, or disheveled (complete with coffee sloshing on your shirt, keys lost in an unmade bed, heart racing from urgent emails hitting your inbox)?

If there’s one way  I’ve found to cultivate lasting balance and fulfillment in your life, it’s by having a morning routine. I used to never be a morning person; I slapped my alarm in five-minute intervals, grouchy and grumpy at the light streaming in through my window. I fumbled through my closet, stuffing a Pop Tart in my mouth, stumbling over the shoes in front of my door, slapping makeup over my baggy eyes. 15 minutes and I was out the door. It would take me hours to get in sync with the day and I often muddled through the morning with a frantic heart and mind before I found my rhythm. I was unproductive, lazy and anxious for half of my day. Talk about being on the fast track to feeling burned out and unfulfilled!

Eventually, enough was enough. I was frustrated with wasting my day and, more importantly, I was fed up with feeling ungrateful in the morning. No one likes a grump! Especially me.

Becoming a “morning person” was much simpler than I had imagined. I didn’t need to pump caffeine into my veins or go to bed at 9:30pm. I just needed a routine. I started by choosing how I wanted to feel at the start of each day and what activities I wanted to do. I then set a time limit on it (so I didn’t go overboard with my relaxed morning and could actually get to work when it was time). It was that simple.

My morning routine keeps me balanced. It puts my life and priorities in perspective. It allows me to focus on ME before spreading myself out among my various obligations and responsibilities of the day. Each of my senses are enlightened and celebrated, there really isn’t a better way to kickstart a day!

For those of you who loathe routine, I feel you. Here’s an example of mine, to hopefully inspire you to create one for yourself. One that feels good to YOU. My morning routine goes like this:

  • {3 minutes}: Wake up, usually naturally, but occasionally to the sound of the Chimes alarm on my phone. The sunrise streams into my room. I love adjusting my eyes to the golden light.
  • {20 minutes}: Meditation. I usually use Headspace, but I love Buddify and Calm as well. This practice is both necessary and, in my mind, a secret weapon. By tapping into my inner world first thing in the morning, I ensure I’m fully connected to all of my senses. Bonus? I’m fulfilled before I even get out of my bed!
  • {17 minutes}: Mini yoga routine. I stretch my shoulders and hamstrings. I do a few Sun A and Sun B salutations. I do a headstand and work on balancing on each leg. This practice grounds me and really taps into my touch and feel senses. I focus on my breath. No matter how hectic my day gets, I can remember I took the time to test my body as soon as I woke up.
  • {10 minutes}: Wash face, brush teeth, dry skin brushing, dress for the day. The essentials.
  • {20 minutes}: Breakfast and read. This is my favorite part of my day. I love slowly drinking my coffee, munching on cereal, and paging through whatever book or magazine is laying around. This is a simple luxury – to take the time to read and thoroughly enjoy the first meal of the day. No phone, no scrolling through Instagram, and absolutely no checking my email! 20 minutes is just enough time to get my simple breakfast made and consumed and since I’m super busy during the day, my morning routine guarantees me the chance to get a bit of reading in.

    Total time: 70 minutes

It’s that easy. In a little over an hour (I can cut it down to a single hour if I do a shorter meditation) and I start my morning feeling energized, inspired, and, most importantly, happy. No matter what happens during the rest of my day, I am connected to myself and the world and all six of my senses are invigorated. Is there anything better than that?

Take a moment to think about what’s really important to you, but that you rarely make time for. Think about how you can connect to yourself and the space around you each morning. Think about your ultimate morning – what would you do if you had an extra hour each morning? Make a schedule and test out your routine for just a week. Make tweaks wherever necessary so that eventually you have a routine that you’re excited about engaging in each morning. 

I’m curious to hear about your own morning routines – have any tips to share? Please do in the comments at the bottom of this page. I look forward to hearing from you!

Stephanie Marie

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  1. I love hearing about other people’s routines. I’ve been developing mine over the last couple of months. I’ve experimented with various things like journaling, meditation, and reading, but what has stuck has been walking while listening to podcasts, and a 10 minute workout with FitStar. I think the key is to be fluid and flexible and try different things. That at least helps me from getting bored.

    1. Me too Natalie – I love hearing about routines as well. And I completely agree fluidity is key. If we embrace that our routines change (as we do), it comes a lot easier to adapt. I think I might have to try this walking + podcast combo (great idea)! 🙂

      1. I highly recommend listening to Marriage is Funny (even if you’re not married), Happier with Gretchen Rubin, and The Lively Show.

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