Last night, my friend asked me, “How do you do so well with time management and saving time and space for yourself?” I definitely do struggle with time management every once in a while, and there are days that I don't do anything I'm about to suggest to you (those are most definitely not good mornings). But I think, overall, I do a pretty damn good job. Whether I feel positive about my day or whether I feel like crap about my day almost always boils down to how my mornings go.
If you want to try to feel good, manage time a little better, and save space for yourself, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having a healthy morning routine. Before you start your day and go from 0 (sleep) to 100 MPH (dealing with life), it’s essential to ease into things. Otherwise, life will come at you in the form of a toddler, or a husband, or something/someone else being like:
Here are some things you can do to have an awesome start to your morning:
Wake up before anyone else in your family. If you live alone, wake up 20-30 minutes earlier than you normally would.
When I don’t do this, I notice an immediate difference in my mood and energy. The alternative to this is waking up to a toddler or husband who inevitably need something - then I’m frenzied, my concentration isn’t solid, and my brain fog persists throughout the day while I become cranky and irritable. Of course, if you feel like you need the sleep, then you need to listen to and honor your body’s needs. But if you’re feeling like your morning routine needs a major revamp, then this is where I recommend you start.
Slow down before everything speeds up.
Now that you have a little extra time in the morning, take some time to rev up your engine before you go, go, go. Take some time to just sit on the couch and actually *enjoy* your cup of coffee or tea instead of drinking it while you do x, y, and z. Have a brief period of time where you’re doing just one thing at a time instead of multitasking from the start.
Do something for yourself before you do something for anyone else.
You have to fill up your cup before you start giving resources out to the many people and things that demand your efforts. For some people, this might be moving and stretching your body. Meditation is what works best for me. Whatever behavior it is that fills up your cup, do that, and do it knowing that filling up your cup serves not only you but everyone else you come into contact with that day. Literally everyone else in your life will benefit if you take care of yourself first.
Listen to some good pump up jams!
Make a playlist of your favorite wake up songs - songs that pump you up, get the good vibes goin’, and make you feel good! There are lots available on Spotify, or feel free to check out my go-to tunes. Click here to find my Spotify account and click on my “Morning Jams” playlist. You can check out my other playlists but... don’t judge me because I can go from NSYNC to The Chainsmokers to Third Eye Blind to Eminem real quick.
Have an attitude of gratitude.
During this extra 20-30 minutes you have now to yourself, practice appreciation. See if you can identify 10 things that you’re grateful for. You can write it in a journal, say it outloud, or just think it to yourself. It can be as simple as being thankful for the headphones that are sending music to your ears, or as vast as being grateful for your family’s health. This practice will make you feel good right off the bat, and soon, that attitude will be your automatic baseline rather than having to remember it and practice it deliberately.
If you need a little jump start to this, you can sign up for my e-mail newsletter, which will grant you access my free Morning Tracker PDF! The Morning Tracker will give you a visual so you can hold yourself a little more accountable and see the progress you’re making to change your morning routine.
My morning routine is one of the best parts of my day, and I guard this routine ferociously. That may mean I go to bed at 8:00 every night (old lady status), but that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Even if you can't adopt all of these strategies at once, just pick your favorite. Even just one of these changes will lead to miraculous shifts in your morning and throughout the rest of your day.
Start tomorrow and let me know how it goes - and have fun!
xo - Jenna