With Lily Baker
There are probably 1,001 different blog posts on the internet about how to create the ‘perfect morning routine’. However, the bottom line is, no two people are the same and the ‘one size fits all’ approach simply doesn’t apply to a morning routine.
Our bodies, our lifestyles and preferences are all so incredibly unique. It’s silly to think that the same morning routine (will work for everyone) that works for another will also work for you. If we haven’t met before, my name is Lily Baker. I’m a Pilates Instructor, Primary School Teacher and content creator based in Sydney. I’m the founder of an online platform called The Pilates Project or TPP for short. TPP is a female-focused, online destination that curates content around the pillars of movement, wellness and community. Through equipping women with the tools, resources and confidence to take control over these areas of their lives, my hope is to assist women in finding inner love and a greater sense of self-acceptance.
My morning routine is so special to me and today I’m going to be sharing a few tips to help you start your day off on the right note, everyday!
So what is a routine?
A routine is a sequence of actions that you do repeatedly. There is a lot of chat surrounding morning and
evening routines and there’s a good reason for that. Having a routine or daily rituals set in place is a beautiful way to create balance in your life and feel centered within yourself. My schedule tends to lean towards the hectic side and I find that when I make the effort to stick to my morning routine, my energy is optimised and I truly am the best version of myself. Now, as I’ve already mentioned, there is not one singular morning routine that will work for all individuals. What works for me, might not work for you and that’s ok! However, I do think there are a couple of universal elements that can be included within every routine.
So, how can you create a healthy morning routine? I’m glad you asked.
First things first: Optimise your sleep/wake cycle.
Ever heard of circadian rhythm? Circadian rhythm essentially refers to your 24-hour sleep/wake cycle. This rhythm can be impacted by so many things including light, your work hours, physical activity and general lifestyle. I’m one of those people who really struggles on minimal sleep and so this is something I’ve really learnt to prioritise. Having many friends and clients who have recently become mums, I’m so aware that sleep is such a privilege and not to be taken for granted.
● Give yourself at least thirty minutes before you go to bed to start winding down. I know it’s easier said than done, but minimising your exposure to technology during this time will ensure you aren’t stimulating your brain when it should be doing the opposite. Use this time to have a sleep tea, read a book, journal, spend time with a loved one, meditate or whatever else gets you in the zone to sleep.
● If you can, try to wake up with natural light in the morning. When it’s dark, your body naturally produces more melatonin (the sleep hormone) which is not what we want first thing in the morning. Leave your curtains or blinds. slightly ajar so that you can wake up with the sun and fresh air.
● Make sure you give yourself enough time in the morning and be realistic about what time you (need to set your alarm) need to be setting that alarm for! When you start the morning feeling rushed or panicky, it can set the tone for your entire day without even realising. If you are someone who wants to get into the habit of waking up earlier, simply set your alarm for ten or fifteen minutes earlier every-day until you’re waking up at your desired time. This is much better than shocking your system with a blaring alarm that is an hour earlier than when you would typically wake.
Make life easier for yourself the night before
You’ve probably twigged so far that I’m a very Type-A personality and that I obviously have a night-time routine! There are a couple of things I make sure to do every evening so that I feel organised and ready for the coming day;
● Depending on what the following morning looks like, I make sure I have my clothes ready to go. If I’m attending or teaching an early morning class, I make sure my exercise gear is ready so that I can avoid the morning hunt for matching socks or the particular black tights I want to wear. If I’m going to school, I have a quick glance at my schedule for the following day and make sure I have the appropriate clothes ready to go.
● I know there is a lot of hype about meal prep but honestly, who doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and have one less thing to think about? I always make sure to pack my lunch and snacks the night before (typically leftovers) so that I’m not scrambling in the morning to put together a semi-decent meal. I find a couple of really easy food staples to have on hand in this department are: pre-cooked rice cups, roasted veggies, fresh salad ingredients and a protein of your choice (chicken, tuna or boiled eggs).
● Never go to bed with a messy bedroom! This might seem random but hear me out. I read a study a while back that directly correlated having a messy bedroom to a poor night’s sleep and the potential of increased anxiety. Personally, when my room is cluttered in the evening, I know that my mind feels cluttered as I try to fall asleep – hello head-noise!
Part of my night-time routine is always lighting a candle, cleaning my room and ensuring that my space will feel beautiful to wake up to. Last thing to tick off the list for the day is practicing Gratitude.
Practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be a time-consuming or elaborate process. Practicing gratitude is something that I have been integrating into both my morning and night routine for months now. I am a huge advocate for using the ‘Five Minute Journal’ by Intelligent Change. This daily journal inspires thankfulness, positive manifestation and gratitude. There is a morning segment that prompts you to think about things that you are grateful for, things that would make the day great and a daily affirmation. The evening segment encourages you to think about the highlights from your day, along with something you learnt. If you don’t feel that a journal is for you, I encourage you to simply take a few moments at the beginning of your day to think about the things in your life that you are grateful for and the things you are looking forward to.