I’m pretty sure that I’ve written before about morning routines…but each year mine grows and evolves. Lately, it’s been one of the most nurturing parts of my day.
Most everyone knows that self-care is important to remaining healthy and leading a good life. Yet, one of the greatest excuses that I hear as to why people don’t take care of themselves has to do with lack of time. What I’m about to say is always unpopular, but it will solve this issue: get up earlier.
I was never a morning person, and I still might not be but after 2 years of getting up between 5 and 5:30 am, I can’t argue with the calm, sense of peace and accomplishment I get with those “extra” 4 hours of personal time before I go to work.
There are a TON of blogs, articles, YouTube videos, Vloggers, and experts that can tell you why you should get up earlier, how to get up earlier and what top performers to with that time, because no CEO sleeps to noon.
However, this post isn’t about any of the above, (I’ll leave it to those who chose to change their life to do their own research as to why and what may work for them.) Instead, this particular post is about my current morning routine and how I’ve built it thus far. I do this for 2 reasons, one is selfish in that I love the documentation to look back upon, and the second is to be of service in providing inspiration to anyone trying to make an early routine for themselves. I promise you with all that I have, getting up earlier is worth it. It makes life easy and breezy again. There are some caveats though; morning routines are just that, routines. They need consistency in order work. That does not mean that everything has to be done the same way everyday, it does mean that you have to at least begin the same way and not depart from that.
While I’ve gotten up at the same time for 24 months, I can’t say that what I do after that is the same at all. I’ve grown some great habits – which I will share in this post. The other caveat is that sometimes you will need additional sleep. This is where naps come in, going to bed earlier consistently, and allowing yourself to wake up naturally at least one day per week. For me this is Saturdays. Though you will find that you’ll be up earlier then too – as sleeping in for me now is 7 am! Without further ado, here is how my morning routine leads into my daily routine:
Monday through Friday + Sunday:
5:00 am to 5:30 am ~ I wake up and immediately sit up. Hitting snooze is just too tempting to go back to sleep. I do check my phone, but weather ONLY. Nothing else. It’s too early to be bombarded by nonsense. I made the mistake of checking trending news twice in my life and it set my day into a f-ing tailspin of bad feelings.
From here, I wash my face, moisturize according to season (extra hydrating for winter etc), apply an under eye cream, and get dressed. I dress in a pair of my Under Armor work out pants and a sweatshirt in the winter, tank in the summer. This way, if I’m going to the gym after feeding my horses, all that I have to change is my shoes.
After this, I go down to the kitchen and I grab a very large travel cup of water with 2 tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar, and a piece of fruit. I take the dog out, feed him and the cat, and grab my purse and get into my truck and drive to the barn.
What you consume first matters: I used to drink coffee first thing in the morning. The issue is that caffeine is dehydrating and your body has been without water for 8 hours as is. I replaced the coffee with water, and eventually added ACV for the massive benefits that come with that. I also add a piece of fruit to my journey and my alertness seriously keen. I wake up smoother and my alertness is on point. I also have zero crashes or slumpiness later in the day. I stay satiated too.
In keeping with the theme of consumption, I don’t listen to the radio on my 11 mile drive to the barn. I like silence and the superficial chit chat of morning talk radio irk me. I don’t even listen to podcasts, I like silence when it’s still dark outside. I allow my thoughts to rise and then be released in somewhat of a moving meditation.
6:00 am – 7/7:30 am ~ At this time, I am feeding my horses; adding hay to their pasture, mucking my stalls, scrubbing their water buckets and doing my morning barn routine. This can be a post and video in itself, and soon it will be.
I take the time to be with “my girls”, clean my barn and watch the sun come up since when I get there it’s dark. Being in the pure stillness of the dawn is the reward for getting up so early. I wouldn’t know what to do if I wasn’t watching sunrises. By slowing down in the morning I’ve become more aware of myself, and also nature from being within inches of foxes, hawks, owls…you name it. Even the rain and snow is beautiful. I’ve captured huge rainbows after intense thunderstorms, and heard the sound of snowflakes landing softly on freshly covered hills. It’s all taught me respect for our earth, for time, and for my horses. They count on me showing up and knowing that they are looking for me keeps me moving on time. I’ve been able to see what their normal behavior is and therefore catch when something is a tad off before anything bad happens. Awareness is the number one thing I’ve gotten from an early morning routine.
From the barn, I either drive the 3 miles to the gym where I do a 45 minute routine, shower and then head to work, or I go home. Saving my gym routine for another post…
7:30/8 am – 8:45 am ~ Once home, I take the dog out again if he didn’t come to the barn with me, and I move into breakfast. I make eggs with spinach and have a bowl of chex or corn flakes with whole milk and a dash of cinnamon (fat burner). At this time I hit up my Keurig again, and make green tea which I take with no milk or sweetener. I cannot claim to like green tea very much. But I drink it for the same reasons why most people eat their brussel sprouts…for the benefits. From here I hit the showers, do some hair and simple and polished make up, and NOW I make my coffee! Then I leave for work which is (thankfully) only 5 minutes away by car.
Caffeine later: I love my cup of Joe. Like love. But I also want to be super supportive of my body to keep it at it’s optimal function. So I make a thing out of my coffee routine. It’s too good to just be consumed in a rush, so I make it and take it. When I get to my office, I do my usual things to get ready for the day, and then I transfer the coffee from my travel mug to an actual mug to be enjoyed at my desk, in my office over my morning work routine.
By the time that lunch rolls around, I’ve already put in 7 hours and it feels really good. I also “front load” my day with tasks beginning with what needs to most concentration. I do this because for starters, I’ve already shoveled 5 stalls of horse crap, so I’m pretty much ready to take on anything. Also because I want my day to get easier as the days goes along. This helps me wind down naturally as the day progresses making it very easy to fall asleep when my head hits the pillow at 9pm, (no later than 9:45).
On Saturdays, I sleep until I wake up naturally. I find that this is around 6:45 and it is super nice to have 2 to 3 hours to myself with my coffee and journal. I’ll start my cleaning also which means that by the time everyone is awake and fully functional around 9am, I’m done my chores. I’m telling you, early is where it’s at.
It may not be necessary for you to wake up as early as I do, but I can guarantee that waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier than you need to will solve nearly all of your life problems. So long as when you wake up, you’re indulging in healthy habits that are going to help support a healthy and lovely life. There is a small learning curve, and it takes consistency, but all things worth while do!
Happy Mornings to you,