Hello everybody! Welcome back to my blog. The purpose of this blog is to help people find their way to a healthier lifestyle. I mostly talk about exercise and its science, which is my area of expertise, but I also talk about nutrition, sleeping habits and many other subjects related to wellbeing and healthy lifestyle.
There is a lot of sensationalism around morning routines. Name one celebrity who has not shared a perfect morning routine in YouTube in which they run, do Yoga, meditate, have a nice breakfast, write a journal, run a business, and study a masters. And all before 7am! I understand some want to share their morning routine in order to inspire others, but they do it from a position of privlege.
In this post, I am not going to share my morning routine because it changes every day, like most of you I have to stick to work schedules, and unlike those celebrities, sometimes when the alarm goes off I want to crash my phone on the floor. With this post I want to debunk those myths that the celebs spread about morning routines, and I am going to try to help you build your own, realistic, and flexible morning routine.
- Be realistic.
Let’s face it, not everybody feels like going for a run at 5 am, and the last thing we think of as soon as we wake up is doing a 20 minutes meditation. I personally prefer to set the alarm 20 minutes later. We have always heard people say: “I am a morning person” or “I am a night owl”. This is actually a real, scientifically proved fact. People are ruled by their circadian rhythms, and it’s nearly impossible to fight against them. The problem is, society is build to suit the morning types, probably because 80% of the society are this chronotype. Therefore, night owls (or evening types) end up suffering from sleep disorders and are more prone to alcoholism and other drug dependence.
Besides, statistics show that those early birds are seen as more socially accepted, more hardworking, they lead a healthier lifestyle, and are generally more suitable for a job. In a utopian world, we would work, study, exercise, and socialise depending on our chronotype, but the reality is that office hours and school hours are made for early birds.
If you want to find out which chronotype you are, click on the link below!
Perhaps you should start your day doing the basics, and leave the run and meditation for later.
- Check your appointments before hand.
I normally sit down for 5 minutes in the evening to plan the following day. I get my calendar and my diary and I make sure that I am aware of all the appointments I have, especially the ones in the morning.
If you have a regular schedule, it’s even easier, you won’t need to worry about getting to places in time, but if like me your schedules change every day, you need to do this. Sometimes some things slip away from our minds, that’s why it’s important to have them written.
- Give yourself time in the morning.
Once you are aware of your morning appointments and which chronotype you are, you can start designing your own morning routines. Although, there are a couple of things you should take into consideration to have a successful morning:
- Give yourself time to get ready (20-30 minutes). Use this time to get dress, do your morning skin routine, do your hair, go to the toilet, etc. To find out how long you’ll need, time how long you spend on a day off.
- Give yourself time for a tea, coffee, breakfast, and have it calmly. Whether you have something to eat in the morning or not, we all have some sort of beverage in the morning (tea, coffee, even water). Give yourself time, depending on what you have (you’ll need more time to prepare and eat a whole breakfast). This can be your morning meditation.
- Give yourself 5-10 minutes before you leave or start doing whatever you’re doing that day. If you are leaving the house, make sure that you got your lunchbox, bag and all the items you need, if you live with someone say goodbye to them properly; if you’re staying but doing things at home, stop for 5-10 minutes and analyse what you have to do next, what’s coming first, and if you live with someone, tell them you’re about to get busy.
- If you do want to do other things, such as going for a run, writing some positive thoughts, or something you’d like to add to your morning routine, make sure you wake up with time to do so.
- Choose what you would like to do, not what the celeb has told you to.
There’s no one size fits all. Perhaps you want to try some of the ideas they give you, and that’s great, but you don’t have to. Don’t believe in those who say that waking up at 5 am means that you’ll be richer, better, fitter, happier, more successful, because the best you can get is a lot of frustration on top of being tired and unhappy.
Don’t wake up at 6 if you don’t want to or have to, don’t do the activities they do if you don’t like them, and most of all, do not believe that THEY do it religiously. We all have bad days!
- Be flexible and understand yourself.
Now you know your chronotype, you have decided to stop following (insert celebrity here_____)’s “perfectly designed for success” morning routine, you have identified what you want and don’t want to include in your routine, and understand that if you want to do something you’ll need time, you can plan your morning with starting and finishing. Don’t worry if you end up spending more time doing one thing, it’s perfectly normal. You might need to adjust it next time if it happens often or if the difference is very big.
This is for the parents: if you want time for yourself in the morning, you will have to wake up before your kids. The good news is, kids sleep much more than us. If you decide to wake up at the same time, take into consideration that they need different things, so don’t feel frustrated about not getting to do what you wanted. This might sound harsh but if you’re too tired to wake up earlier to do your things, you should check your sleep hygiene (of course I am not including parents with newborns, that’s another story!). The following three posts give you more in-depth information about sleeping hygiene and good habits before going to bed.
- If you don’t like it, change it!
Simple as that, if your morning routine hasn’t worked out for you, change it. Try new things, check how you feel when you do certain activities in the morning or you wake up at certain times, and make the adjustments you need.
Bear in mind that life changes, and therefore your morning routine might be affected. Embrace your new situation and modify accordingly.
As we grow older, our chronotype may suffer changes. Little kids sleep about 12-14 hours per day in a very broken-down way, teenagers tend to be night owls but still need around 10 hours sleep (parents, please don’t blame this on them, they’re not lazy), 80% of adults become more of morning types and need 7-9 hours of sleep (although this number varies) and elderly people tend to wake up earlier and sleep less hours.
That’s it for today! I really hope that you enjoy this tips about morning routines. If you like what I do and you want to support this project, follow me on Instagram and Facebook, like the post and comment! Thank you!