Tips for a better morning & evening routine
Why should you have a routine? This is a great question and often most of us go throughout our day with little awareness of how quickly it is passing. We rush to get up and out the door, we rush around work, we rush in the evening, fall into bed and do it all again the next day.
But what if you looked at your mornings and evenings more intentionally? What if you set yourself up for a more positive and productive day and a better night sleep? Wouldn't you want those things?
Creating a routine does not mean you add hours of activities to your day, all it means is you create 1-4 habits you consistently do to let your mind, body, and spirit know that the day is starting or ending.
As we create consistent routines in our lives in an otherwise inconsistent world we allow ourselves to find peace and balance. So I encourage you to start being intentional with your mornings and evenings, just pick 1 or 2 of these things to try and see how it goes. Stick with it and slowly you will want to add more because it feels so good to not rush, to have structure and to bookmark the beginning and end of your day with intention.
Morning and/or Evening Routine Habits:
Gratitude: Before you even step out of bed and as you get back into bed, place one hand on your heart, one hand on your stomach and as you breathe in say something you are thankful for, pause and then deeply breathe out. Do this a few times with a few different things or even feel free to repeat the same things. Feeling our body move and feeling our breath gives us a grounding sense that helps us more peacefully and joyfully start or end our day.
Meditation: You've heard it before and this won't be the last time. Meditation is so good for anyone struggling with anxiety, depression, stress or busyness. Pretty much anyone would benefit from even just 5 minutes of meditation. When you quiet your mind you give it a chance to be still. It works so hard for you all day long but starting (or ending) your day with meditation frees it up to rest just for a moment and for you to step into your body and take note of how it's feeling.
Journaling/Quiet time: I love this practice because it gives me food for thought and allows me to brain dump before moving into my day. When I have first sat with my study, journaled some of my hopes and dreams and then anything else I want to say I am able to connect with what's emotionally going on below the surface. Meditation can help expose that and journaling or a quiet time allows you to reflect on those things. It is so helpful to look back on things I hoped and prayed for months or years ago and to then see where I am now. Sometimes I have those things and sometimes I don't but I can see the journey from each hope and where it has led me.
Water/Tea/Coffee: First and foremost drinking a big glass of water is so important each morning! Your body has been dehydrated over then night and is waiting to be rejuvenated. Do not withhold that hydration. As humans, our bodies are 60% water and that means when we run low, our whole body stops working optimally. There are so many symptoms we get that we attribute to anything besides water. But water can improve a mood, feeling, energy, clarity, appetite, and so much more! After your water create a habit of a morning and evening beverage. This is just another signal (both taste and smell) that tells your body what is happening next! Maybe you start your day with coffee and end it with peppermint tea!
- Candles/Smudging/Diffusing Oils: Scent is such a strong sense and a great way to start the day is by lighting a candle you love in your home or office or smudging your space to create new, fresh and calming energy. When we treat each new day as a blessing, create a space we are happy to be in and continually connect with all our senses we allow ourselves to be more fully present. This can also be done in the evening as you are relaxing, unwinding and creating a sense of calm.
Move your body: Even if it is just stretching or walking move your body! In the morning it can help to go for a run or a fun workout class but if evening workouts are more your thing try a candlelit yoga class. Most of us are pretty sedentary and allowing our body to stretch and move each day, even in small ways can improve our mood and productivity and even sleep!
Limit Technology: I need to work on this for sure but try to not be looking at your phone first thing or last thing each day. We are so connected to technology and as our brains are trying to settle down we need to separate ourselves from social media and whatever else might set our mood off and not allow us to start our day positively or end it calmly. Instead, take a bath or read a book if you want to have something to do! This does not have to be every night but see how your days change when you choose to do this instead!
Add a Himalayan salt lamp to your room or office: Himalayan salt lamps are great at cleaning the air in your space but also in creating a calming and peaceful feeling in a room. The dim warm light makes it easy to both wake up and fall asleep with. This is just another simple thing you can have around your space setting the tone of your mood and where you are at in your day.
For me, I always start my day with gratitude, coffee and quiet times! I end my day diffusing essential oils and having my Himalayan salt lamp on. I, of course, would like to add more meditation, smudging, and less technology but baby steps. Even me just doing a few of these things helps me better start and end my day on the note that I want too! So what will you start adding to begin and end your day?