My morning and night routines have saved me more than once.
Last week, it was my affirmations and Tibetan yoga poses that helped me get my head on straight when anxiety gripped me BEFORE I got out of bed. There have been days that despite my best efforts just sucked, and only when I got to my daily gratitude practice at the end of the day, was I able to finally successfully reframe my experience.
Yes. Mama said there would be days like this…and honey, she was right.
The best remedy AGAINST a difficult day, bad mood, or challenging time in life is taking solace in your trusty daily routines.
Note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links to items I use and or recommend that are relevant to the routines I use daily. If you click a link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for the referral at no extra cost to you! It’s a win-win!
What is a daily routine?
I will be honest – I did not like this word (and I’m picky about words). For a long time I thought routine was a bad word – that it was the same thing as “monotony” and “boring.” As I got older and wiser however, I realized that “routine” was a balm. We create routines so we have a solid foundation. As someone who lives with intention, this can make the difference between being maintaining the right mindset and not.
Now here’s an important thing to remember: whether we recognize the things we do as a routine or not, routine is part of life. We are creatures of habit. Sometimes it’s a subconscious thing that we develop without recognition. Other times it’s something very conscious that we decide to do every time we wake up, go to bed, or any time during the day.
Routines can make or break you!
The problem comes when your routine just kind of happens, as opposed to being planned intentionally. If your morning is cobbled together, your life will feel cobbled together. You won’t feel in control. This will influence your thoughts and feelings throughout your life.
Think of it like having a cluttered head, schedule, and heart. Did you frown and shiver just thinking about it? Yeah. Ugh.
On the other hand, when you plan your routines based on your values, goals, and principles, you’re going to feel WAY better about life, the universe, and everything! A well planned routine can feel like a rock during a difficult time. It feels reassuring (I can’t tell you how many times my nightly bullet journaling has saved my outlook after a challenging day!).
Okay, so we know what routines are and why they’re important, but what is involved in making one of your own? How complicated do they need to be?
My Morning Routine
Compared to some, my morning routine is pretty simple. I’ve added to it as I felt comfortable. When I started this process, I just drank some water and listened to some affirmations. Over time it’s included more habits that aligned with my intentions and goals.
These days, my morning routine starts when I wake up, anywhere between 6:00 and 6:45. I prefer to allow myself to wake naturally, however sometimes my son comes in and decides it’s time to snuggle (which I totally take advantage of!) or my alarm clock wakes me up. My cell phone is my alarm, which is programmed to a song that makes me dance when I’m awake.
Before I get out of bed, I try to take a drink of water (but sometimes this happens during my affirmation time).
After I get out of bed, I open my curtains and take a deep breath enjoying the morning sky. Then I play an audio recording of affirmations. This lasts about 10 minutes. During that time, I go through the Tibetan Rites, which are a series of five yoga poses meant to increase your vitality (and lifespan!). Then I get ready for the day and make my bed (it seriously makes me feel better when my bed is made!). When I’m ready to have breakfast, I drink hot water with lemon with whatever breakfast food I have. It’s important to note I DO NOT look at social media until after breakfast, and then before I engage, I post my daily group prompts.
These are things I try to do every morning. If I miss something, I don’t beat myself up about it, but intend to do it the next day. Sometimes I sleep late by accident, or my son isn’t cooperating. I let it go. It’s not the end of the world and for me it’s more important to listen to my body and context than it is to hold a grudge against myself!
My Night Routine
My night routine has stayed the same with a few minor tweaks since January 2017.
First I brush my teeth and go through my face regime. Then I put on my pajamas, which are a color and fabric that makes me feel good. I sit on my bed with my bullet journal and gel pens. I check off any remaining pieces from my daily tasks and write 1 thing each that made me feel love, joy, and wealth/abundance. Then I write down my daily tasks for the following day. When that’s finished, I go through my habit tracker. I end with my gratitude practice. After that, I give myself a fascia massage (I use these tools here and here). Then I apply either a carrier oil mixed with myrrh (OMG I LOVE that scent!), cocoa butter, or shea butter. I drink some water, put on my eye mask, get my ear plugs in, and then I lay down.
This routine is SO SATISFYING for me I have ZERO trouble doing it every night. It is a joy. I look forward to it. And when I finally lay down in my bed, I feel soooo good. My bed feels good. I feel good about being in my bed. And the best part? I go to sleep easily.
The Other Stuff that Makes a Difference…
I’ve talked about my daily practices before, and while I don’t have specific times for all my daily practices, I do things in a specific way throughout my day. These are things like the exercises I teach on forgiveness, worthiness, and acceptance in my course, The Heart Unboxed, as well as meditations (like in this post here). They’re also self-care practices such as a cup of herbal tea (see a list of self-care practices here).
These routines or rituals give rhythm to my days and help me focus on the results I want to create, rather on what I need to do. They allow freedom to set and follow intentions without worrying about what steps I need to take immediately. Because I know exactly what I’m doing with the ritual, I don’t have to think about it. Since I set the intention behind the practice, I don’t need to worry about it aligning with my principles and goals!
How to Create a Daily Routine
There are a few steps to adding routines to your day. It’s most important to ask yourself these questions when choosing elements to your routine:
Does this align with my intentions?
Does this align with my purpose?
Does this bring me joy?
If the answer is no to any of these things, you want to reassess and do something else. Whatever you choose to do, make sure your routine is something you will do consistently and enhances your experience of life. It should be something that feels natural so that you will maintain the practice. When consistent routines align with your intentions, purpose, and bring you joy, you create momentum for good things to happen in your life. And that’s always good.
For Your Morning Routine
Here are just a few things you might want to include in a morning routine:
- Drinking water
- A gratitude practice
- Yoga (or stretching)
- Making your bed (yes – seriously!)
- Lemon water
- Dancing (because WHY NOT?!)
As always, make sure it is something you will do consistently and aligns with your principles and intentions.
For Your Night Routine
Here are some things you may want to include in your night routine:
- Yoga or stretching
- Bullet journaling (a bit different than writing pages! Find out how here!)
- Drinking water
- Drinking herbal tea (Big fan of this one and this one!)
- Gratitude practice
- Forgiveness practice (as needed)
Whatever you choose to include in your routines, make sure they align with your principles and goals. Start out small adding one thing at a time. My routines didn’t happen over night – I built them over the course of months. Once they were established though, they became autopilot.
It’s not that hard – it just takes a little commitment. But isn’t the value they bring worth it? Aren’t you worth it? So try out a routine today – see how it goes. You might be surprised!
Need help setting up a morning or night routine? Click here to contact me now!
Latest posts by Alexis Donkin (see all)
- Reconnect with this Mindfulness Exercise (and see the universal in the everyday) - July 24, 2017
- What the Golden Rule Is (and rediscovering forgiveness) - July 17, 2017
- You Need Guides & Community - July 10, 2017