Oh, the magic of a morning routine checklist.
For many people, mornings can start off rough. Shoot. I remember a time when I would set my alarm clock for 5am, fully intending to spring out of bed so that I would have ample time to get the kids ready, do my makeup, take a shower, drink my coffee, do my hair…ya know. All of the things that make you feel like a functional human being in the morning.
Unfortunately, it never worked out that way. Instead, I would wind up hitting the snooze button about 8 times, all the way until I had about 20 minutes before I had to leave. At that point I would throw on whatever I had laying around, frantically beg my kids to get out of bed, shove some toast in my mouth, and burn the hell out of my hand while spastically filling my portable coffee mug.
Many days I would even forget to brush my teeth. Ugh. Those days.
Eventually, I decided that I just couldn’t keep doing life that way. Instead, I wanted some sort of routine that would make me feel like I was winning at life instead of Scotch taping it together. I mean…starting my day off in a frantic way made for frantic days. No fun. And I have to say, at that time, my anxiety was through the roof.
Enter: My morning routine
My morning routine checklist started off short and simple. After the passing of my stepdaughter, I had to find some way to get out of bed that would pick me up. Coffee just wasn’t doing it (although it did help a little). I refused to take meds. I decided that the way that I was going to work up the energy to face the day was by starting my day off in a way that felt good. Below is how I started to build my routine, bit by bit.
TIP: Start with the first item from this checklist and spend a full 7 days doing JUST THAT. Don’t worry…you’ll be building up your morning routine muscles. It also gives you a great opportunity to really notice the effects of each addition.
Author’s note: there’s a lot to creating a morning routine! Keep on top of building this new habit with the Morning Routine Checklist and Habit Tracker:
This tool is perfect for helping you every step of the way as you create the perfect morning routine for you. It’ll make you actually want to happily spring out of bed, eager to face the day rather than wanting to hide under your pillow, hissing at your cat as she bats your face, begging you to feed her.
Morning Routine Checklist
✅ Days 1-7: Get into your body
The very first thing you’re going to spend time doing is simply getting into your body. Often times, what happens when folks wake up is they jump out of bed, throw on some clothes, down some coffee, and run. This is energetically jarring, and is almost just like having someone slap you awake. With this practice you will begin by simply noticing your breath, wiggling your fingers and toes, and rotating your wrists. Take a minute to notice how your body feels. Simply notice it. Nothing else. No need to judge any sensation as being good or bad. Just allow it to be.
This Body Scan Meditation was made especially for this part of the morning routine checklist. Be sure to download it so that you can begin to integrate it into your daily routine. It will take about 15 minutes to do, so set your alarm for about 15 minutes prior to when you need to be up.
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Reduce stress and anxiety quickly and naturally with this strategy.
Just a note: It’s also great for bedtime as well!
✅ Get into your body
✅ Get moving
Once you have established a practice of climbing back into your body upon awakening, the next thing you want to do is to get moving.
Now, this isn’t a full-on workout. This is simply a little something to ground you into that meat suit that you hang out with all day long and give it a little love and attention. Regardless of how you feel about your body at the present moment, it deserves a lot of TLC…and this is one of the first things you can do to treat it! This is all in the name of self-care, right!
This week I want to urge you to begin integrating any movement that FEELS good. This could be yoga, rolling around in your bed, stretching…whatever makes your body exclaim, “YUM! Let’s keep doing THAT!”
One of my very favorite resources is Yoga with Adriene. She’s super gentle and her yoga episodes make me feel like a million bucks.
It doesn’t need to take a long time. It can take 3 minutes or it can take 3 hours. Totally up to you. The purpose is simply to give your body some attention.
✅ Get into your body
✅ Get moving
✅ Get grounded
This practice is one that is absolutely critical. For me, it grew out of a mindfulness meditation practice, but this one incorporates grounding for a greater sense of of safety and security. This practice alone has been a game-changer.
Prior to doing this practice I was full of stress and anxiety, and I was also easily triggered by pretty much every little thing that happened throughout my day. I was unable to focus, and the running joke at work was that my first grade students could focus on something longer than I could. I even tried taking medication, but I hated the way it made me feel. THIS was the thing that made me feel like a better functioning adult!
The way it works: Start by sitting and noticing your bottom touching whatever surface you’re sitting on. Next, starting from the center of your body, visualize energetic roots extending deep down into the ground. Allow them to continue all the way until they get to the center of the Earth. Next, sense a warm flame coming up from Mother Earth. It comes up all the way into your chest. Sense its warmth, and allow it to grow up and out of your head, spilling out around your body where it forms a protective layer between you and the world around you. Sit for as long as you need, sensing the support from this practice.
Focus on adding this one for the next 7 days. Be sure to track it using the Morning Routine Checklist. This tool is perfect for helping you every step of the way as you create the perfect morning routine for you!
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Goodies! You can grab your Morning Routine Checklist and Habit Tracker with a nifty little cheat sheet that will help you use it by clicking on the button below and entering your email!
✅ Get into your body
✅ Get moving
✅ Get grounded
✅ Get creative
One thing that we sensitive/empathic folk have in common is that we were incredibly creative. In an effort to manage how we process our world, we require a creative lifestyle. Something I have found that is incredibly helpful for managing my sensitivity to the world around me is starting the3 day with a creative outlet. This is why getting creative after steps 1-4 is so critical.
So for the next 7 days, what I want to invite you to do is choose a quick creative outlet. This could mean drawing, painting, writing, playing a drum…whatever you enjoy doing most.
Just remember one thing as you begin your creative activity: go into it with intention. What is the feeling you are looking to tap into as a result of the action you are taking? Does it fill you with joy? Peace? Excitement? Connection with those who have passed? This can be anything from pouring yourself a cup of coffee and savoring those first sips all the way to writing 3 full pages first thing in the morning (a practice I have found that can help you create a TON of clarity).
This intentional practice will put you in touch with something that is much, much bigger than yourself. It’s a sacred practice, for living a sacred lifestyle.
Days 29 and Onward…
By day 29 of the morning routine checklist you should have a pretty great morning practice already established. At this point you will want to take a little step back and re-examine what has been working well, and what has not been working so well. Just because I suggested you do a certain thing a certain way doesn’t mean it’s the right thing for you. Be sure to make “tweaks” until your morning routine becomes something that is precious to you.
You also may want to add in other elements to your morning practice. Some folks use oracle cards, keep an altar with pictures of ancestors, light candles and recite words of affirmation…it’s all up to you. Whatever makes your heart space feel great, go with it. Notice if what you do fills you up somehow and makes you eager to approach the day.
You deserve this time for you!
Remember, if you didn’t grab your checklist yet, be sure to do so HERE!