The thing about morning routines
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
I love my morning routine. I wake up and meditate with the sunrise, sipping on warm water with lemon. I practice yoga, journal and drink coffee, then I workout. It’s a lot, but it works for me. It sets me up mentally and emotionally for a good day, and in the long term helps keep my physical and mental health in check. I also have the luxury of working from home and not having children, so I can afford to dedicate a couple of hours to myself each morning.
But here’s the thing about morning routines - for many people they actually create more stress and do more harm than good. Although widely touted in the wellness world as the secret to unlocking your best life, for many people incorporating a morning routine becomes yet another chore on their already-lengthy to-do list.
For example, if you are a tired mum and stressed-out business owner, chances are mornings are spent rushing around after your littles, getting them off to school, then grabbing a coffee and, if you´re lucky, breakfast at your desk as you start to plow through your never-ending pile of tasks, because, you know, #mompreneurlife. Realistically, someone with this profile does not have a lot of time (or probably privacy) to dedicate to an elaborate morning routine.
As if working mothers were not already under enough pressure to “have it all” (read: “do it all”), the wellness industry is now mounting pressure on them to also be goddesses of Zen, on top of all the other roles they must juggle. Even if you´re not a mother, the pressures of modern life often leave women with very little “me time”, which can lead to feelings of guilt and unworthiness for not languishing in bubble baths and chanting mantras every morning in the name of #selfcare.
I´m here to tell you to let go of that guilt. The point of a morning routine is to serve you, not the other way round, so if your morning routine (or just the idea of having one) is stressing you out, it´s time to stop that shit. Yes, for many people a morning routine is helpful and even essential, but there are other ways to incorporate wellness practices into your daily routine if the morning is just not an option: for example, you could meditate and journal with a nice herbal tea after the kids have gone to bed. The possibilities are endless, and the most important thing is finding a practice that fits in around your schedule, and reduces your feelings of stress and guilt, instead of exacerbating them.
If you still really want to have a morning routine, there are ways to fit it in, too. You may have to set your alarm a little earlier to get some time to yourself, even if that means going to bed earlier instead of binge-watching Netflix till 2am. If you´re already pressed for time in the mornings, keep it simple: give yourself 5-10 minutes and pick just one practice to do during that time, such as meditation, journaling, reading, or planning out your day (even better, plan it the night before and review it in the morning).
Whatever you decide to do, remember the point is to serve your own wellbeing - if it feels like a chore, it will defeat the purpose. Go easy on yourself, and experiment until you find what works for you.