How to Slow Down Your Mornings for a Better Routine
Do you ever have those mornings where a cup of coffee and pulling back your hair is all that you can muster? Those days of feeling the constant pressure of gogogo can’t be helped sometimes. There are morning where slowing down isn’t an option, and that’s okay! Albeit, a bit hectic the day of, but nevertheless needed.
But if your days are always starting off in a mad rush to the door, this article is going to help slow down your mornings tremendously.
I used to run myself ragged in the mornings, and it wasn’t from just sleeping in. In fact, I really enjoy early mornings! Some days I would barely get the toothbrush out of my mouth before I headed out the door.
I felt so rushed, and I knew I was the one to blame for being so hectic right out of bed.
For years, I had always done better by getting my work done right when I woke up. This schedule worked for me until my days began getting longer and longer. I allowed my to-do list to spiral out of control each day and before I knew it I barely showered, and barely remembered where the day went!
At this point, I knew I had to slow down but I was afraid that I wouldn’t get everything done. Super afraid, probably more than I care to admit!
By finding balance and figuring out what worked helped to take the stress off when my morning’s weren’t the brunt of my workload.
If you haven’t started a morning routine yet and are looking for what goes into one, check out my article on How to Build a Successful Morning Routine. Here you’ll find plenty of building blocks to get you started on your new routine within any schedule.
The first step? Let’s slow down your mornings, so you can enjoy actually get to enjoy your routine.
Let’s get started!
balance your schedule
Balancing your schedule to have more time for yourself in the morning is the key to a true slowed down, intentional morning.
Anytime you’re working on your schedule, looking at the whole week works for me instead of just zooming in one day. I really like to design my day and plan in spots where I can bounce things around.
When I first started to slow down my mornings, I blocked out enough time for myself where I wasn’t spending breakfast checking emails or answering phone calls. I was generous with the time that I gave myself because I knew that I wanted to start my day off right.
Prioritization is big, but looking at your whole schedule to see where you can get creative is even bigger.
prep-work & automation
Being prepared and scheduled made everything a whole ‘lot easier when it came to fixing my schedule. When I was dead tired one evening, I was running through everything that I needed to do for the next day. How early I was going to have to get up, did I even have time for coffee… And then it hit me: was there anything that I could do now, the night before, to take the burden off in the morning?
After some trial and error, I ended up putting a few of the smaller to-do items in my nightly routine so I didn’t feel the morning rush as bad as I was. Before I knew it, I had freed up enough time in my morning to sit for a few minutes. As time went on, a few more minutes!
There were also things that I started to automate to make my mornings more calm. Having my night-mode include the first hour of being awake has been a HUGE help in slowing down. On my night-mode, I have it automatically scheduled from 7pm to 8am so my email and other notifications don’t start dinging and buzzing before I’ve had a chance to start the day off right.
Prep your breakfast and lunch
Meal prep is a simple solution in how you can slow down your morning. This easy practice can take the decision making out of the morning. Sometimes just knowing what you’ll have to eat tomorrow makes the day go by smoother.
Set your stuff in an area of your fridge or pantry where you can quickly grab it without a second thought! Auto-pilot at it’s best!
My favorite meal prep recipes include: overnight oats, pre-made smoothie ingredients, and prepacked & chopped fruits and veggies.
Keeping your meals simple can be a difficult shift at first, but when your meals only have a few ingredients in them, the easier the prep is. Start slow with snacks and work your way into your meals.
In this step, even just prepping some snacks the night before can give you a few moments peace in the morning!
Get your bags Ready
Whether it’s a briefcase, book-bag, and/or purse, having these out, packed and ready make for a quick grab.
This was a habit I really had to focus on the first few weeks of trying it out. Before I would double, triple check my purse and bag before leaving, so leaving it to the night before was a hard switch for me.
When I first started setting my bag and purse out the night before, I would almost always leave one or two items at home every day. It was super frustrating at first, but I didn’t want to go back to fumbling with my bag in the morning while trying to juggle everything else.
The most notorious items that I left at home? My lunch bag and my headphones.
No matter how many times I would tell myself not to forgot it, my lunch bag was in the fridge and my headphones were on the table. Almost every other day that would happen.
After the last few times of forgetting these two, I decided to do some research on what was out there to help keep track of my daily items and still have my bags ready the night before. I wanted to keep my morning slow but not have to groan as I forgot my lunch bag for the second time this week.
That’s when I stumbled on Nut3 Smart Trackers and was really impressed with the reviews from what these powerful little trackers could do.
Not only can you change the battery on these smart trackers, but you can hook them onto anything! They sync right to your phone so you can find your items easily. But what I love about mine is that it reminds me that I forgot my lunch bag or headphones before I even leave the house. So much more helpful and a lot less frustrating than before.
You can have one or you can have 10, there’s no limit on how many trackers you can have. Right now I have 3 of them but I started out with one to test it out. Check out their one-pack here to try it out. They’re definitely a great way to keep track of everything and still be able to take that task out of the morning.
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Schedule in Quiet Time
The mornings hold some of the best quiet moments. There is nothing like getting up before the birds are up and it’s just natural, peaceful silence. Open the windows up or step outside and take a few moments to yourself to just enjoy it.
This time is crucial to having a productive morning. It allows the natural peace to quiet our lives before a new day starts. Use this time for reflection to help steer you in the right direction for the rest of the day.
Reflect on where you want the day to go and how the next few hours will impact your life. This doesn’t have to be a profound impact, but will it enrich your life, keep it the same, or maybe it’s going to be a long day.
If we prepare our mentality for the day, we’re able to take more challenges and not let them drag us down.
Your quiet times doesn’t have to be hours on end, but just a few moments to think about what the day’s going to look like to you. Only you can control your positivity, so why not set it in motion right out of bed?
List Your Top 3 for Every Morning
Sounds simple right? Knowing what you need out of the morning is crucial in planning it out!
For me, it’s planning my top 3. What are the three things I want out of the morning? I know that I want some time to enjoy my coffee, get a yoga session in, and I’d like to get some type of fulfillment in. Either it be through reading or through reflection.
Keep your topics broad so you can pick and choose what you want to focus on without being too rigid.
Prioritizing your Top 3 will allow you to plan your mornings around them. Remember, your time is your own, don’t let someone else dictate how to spend it. If you value a long, relaxing shower in the morning, allow yourself to enjoy it and set time aside for it.
Waking up to something you look forward to has made my life a lot more positive, just by making this small change!
Think of it this way: there’s nothing worse than setting your feet out of bed and dreading the next few steps. I’m all for eating the frog when it comes to difficult tasks but not right out of bed.
For me, I enjoy reading and try to fit it into my free time as much as possible. Lately, I’ve been squeezing in some audiobook time in my mornings. While I get ready. I fire-up my wireless speaker and have it run while I get ready for the day.
Audiobooks are amazing to start the day with and can be a lot more calming than turning the television on. If you haven’t had a chance to check one out, Audible is a great place to start and it gives you access to literally every book under the sun.
(Psst - my favorite section is the under $10 section, they have the best deals pop in every now and then!)
As of right now, I’ve been listening to The Self Care Solution which focuses on the energy aspect of self-care and to really make the most of your time during the day. A must listen/read for a deeper understanding of self care.
Everyone’s morning routine looks, feels, and sounds different. Preparation is the key for getting your day off on the right foot. When your day starts, take a step back and allow yourself to just breathe before you’re off to the races!
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