The Morning Routine

jo malone IMG_3696.JPG

Even though I’m not a full-time student anymore, September still feels like an unofficial new year. I use it as a time to reset, reorganize and re-evaluate my goals for the rest of year. This usually means changing my routine and stepping up my productivity. This week I came across a very useful article by A Pair and a Spare called “5 Steps for Creating the Perfect Morning Routine.” I find having a routine like this can save a lot of time and energy in the morning. Doing a few basic things like taking the time to have breakfast can also boost your focus for the day ahead. A few of A Pair and a Spare’s tips are definitely things I need to start incorporating into my mornings. I’ve summarized the tips below and I have a few suggestions of my own.

  1. Make Time: Simply put, make sure you get enough sleep. Go to bed earlier. Wake up earlier. Easy to say, so hard to do sometimes.

  2. Ban Work: This is one I really need to work on. A Pair and a Spare suggests an 8 pm to 8 am screen ban. So for me, that means cutting my habitual 5 a.m. Twitter crawl and email check.

  3. Get Moving: As in incorporating some form of physical activity in the morning, even if it’s just stretching. The most I get in is a walk to the Go Station (or run depending on how many times I hit the snooze button), so this is on the “needs improvement” list for me.

  4. Feed Your Body: A travel mug full of tea and Eggos with jam is usually the most breakfast I get when I’m on the run in the mornings. Definitely not a fulfilling, grown-up breakfast. But with a bit of overnight prep, like A Pair and a Spare suggests, a hearty breakfast can be within reach each morning. With that being said, I’ll be mining Pinterest for a few quick and easy breakfast recipes.

  5. Just Add Water:  Drinking a glass of cool water in the morning has a few benefits. This healthy habit hydrates your body and helps flush out toxins while giving your brain and metabolism a boost.

  6. Feed Your Soul: Many find the morning to be the best time for mediation. Plus, taking the time to cultivate a sense of inner peace and stillness has been shown to help eliminate stress and anxiety throughout the day. I used to be better at doing this daily, but I try to say a quick prayer asking for wisdom and protection before stepping out the door. Once I’m on the bus/train, I would also read a scripture on my Biblegateway app like this one, “let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I entrust my life.”

To add to these tips, I suggest also:

7. Prepare Overnight: For me, that’s packing my lunch, bag and setting out my clothes for the next day. Sometimes, I’ll also write a to-do list so I’m not thinking about all the things I need to remember when I should be sleeping.

8. Have a 5 Minute Every-day, Make-Up Look: This is something new I started a few months ago. In my field of work, I can’t have my face look too made-up but I still want to look presentable (read: awake). I keep all the makeup I need for my 5 minute look in one case that sits on my vanity. That way everything I need is in one place and I can also “grab and go” if I’m running late. I’ll write another post about the specific products I use, but my routine is simply using a tinted moisturizer, mascara, brow pencil and a lip colour.

Hopefully these suggestions will help you build a morning routine of your own as well. I recommend a read of the full A Pair and A Spare article. One of my other favourite blogs, The Coveteur, has a related article called "5 Ways to Start Your Day Like a Supermodel" that's a great read as well. Enjoy and let me know what you think on Twitter or Instagram.

J