Flashback to a year ago. Monday morning. My alarm blares and I wake with a jolt. I scramble for my clothes, run a brush through my hair, grab a piece of toast and out the door I go. I arrive in work frazzled and panicked and feeling anxious and unsettled. I’m not ready to go in. I spend a minute trying to compose myself in my car – rushing to throw on a bit of makeup. I am too anxious to concentrate on listening to the radio or to even think about calming myself down. I go in, and go about my day in a haze. By the time work ends I’m exhausted and I feel unmotivated to do anything.
A year ago I was still in intensive CBT therapy for my eating disorder, depression and anxiety. I didn’t have a proper handle on my life. I felt that I was simply existing, not living. I was back working but only barely managing to hold on to my sanity day after day.
It was less than a year ago that I decided to move to Cork. I wanted to take back control of my life. I finally feel, after a lot of ups and downs, that I have taken back control of my life. I’m living more in the moment.
My Morning Routine Checklist
- Prepare the night before.
This is so important. To prevent a frazzled and unproductive morning, I have found it so much better to simply get my things ready the night before. I usually make my packed lunch for work, lay out my clothes that I plan to wear neatly and pack my work bag with my USB stick and books for school. Sometimes I prepare my breakfast the night before. Check out this recipe for overnight oats by The Bodycoach.
- Set a ‘bearable’ alarm.
There is nothing worse than waking up to a blaring alarm beeping at you obnoxiously. I usually set an alarm on my phone that goes from soft to louder the longer you leave it on. That allows me to stop it when I wake up before it gets too loud and annoying.
- Drink hot water with lemon.
I boil water in the kettle as soon as I get up and pour the water into a mug with a small drop of cold water and a slice of lemon or two. I can drink it as I’m getting dressed and doing my make-up. This aids digestion and re-hydrates the body after sleeping.
- Make your bed.
Blah blah blah. But seriously this has benefits. A neat space can help your mental health and the mundane task of making your bed can set you up as a mindful exercise in the morning.
- Make a healthy breakfast.
Again, you can shave time off by preparing this the night before. But if you wake up 10 minutes earlier you are allowing yourself extra time to settle yourself for a nice meal (my favourite meal of the day). I change up my breakfast frequently between oats, eggs and toast with peanut butter or yogurt and fruit. I love my morning meal. I just cannot function in the morning without eating first thing.
- Listen to a podcast.
While I’m getting ready I usually throw on a podcast on Spotify or Podbean. Some podcasts I like recently are Happy by Fearne Cotton and Lore by Aaron Mahnke. I will be posting a blog post on my favourite podcasts soon (so watch this space!) You can also substitute this by listening to a radio show or an Audible book. I leave my video watching until later. I find listening while getting ready takes my mind off my anxiety in the morning.
- Ground yourself.
I have talked about this so many times on my blog and on my social media. I like to do this activity in the car before I go into work.
So let me know if you decide to adapt any of these tips into your morning routine.
And don’t forget to download my free PDF My Morning Routine Checklist