Starting the day by making sure your needs are met helps to lead to a fulfilling day!
We can break down our basic needs into these groups:
- Spiritual/ religious
Find things that you can do in the morning that fall into these categories. These items should be meaningful to you, personally and not necessarily the things you “should” do. We all value things and find meaning differently. The point is to do things that are filling to you.
Sometimes these categories can overlap providing a two (or three, or five) for one deal, shorting your morning routine if that’s a need of yours.
Also, you don’t have to complete each category in order. It’s not a checklist per se, it’s more like a menu. Consider options that meet your needs but have different speeds. For example, how can you meet your physical needs if you are tired versus wired? I think it’s important to be kind to ourselves and honoring how we feel. If you’re tired, don’t push it.
Some of these items can be done the night before too. Sometimes it’s not a la k of a morning routine that’s the issue. Sometimes it can be prepping for the morning routine that creates havoc. For example, you would have a nutritious breakfast except that in the morning you can’t muster the will to make it. So, make it the night before.
I also think it’s silly to wake up “early” to pack more into your day. This means that you are doing one of two things:
- Depriving yourself of the rest your body needs by sleeping less
- Shifting the number of hours you are awake to another part of the day.
There are only 24 hours in a day, my friends. You need to devote 8 to 10 of them to sleep. This is not a negotiable item.
Waking up at 4 am doesn’t create more hours in a day either.
I firmly believe that the world would be a happier and kinder place if we’d just let people get some damn sleep and work based on their own chronotypes and rhythms.
Most people, I think given the choice, would choose a slow, gentle and quite start to their day. Keep in mind that pushing to hard and fast first thing may leave you sleepy before lunch time!
Here are some activities to jump start your morning routine list:
Physical Body & Environment
- A good, full night of sleep
- Drink Coffee/tea
- Drink Water
- Eat breakfast
- Move, exercise, stretch, dance
- Get some fresh air
- Sit in the sunshine
- Clean/organize/ make your bed
- Self grooming, bathing, dressing
- Water plants
Social/ Relational/ Community
- Call/text a friend or family member. It can be as quick as sending a funny emoji or gif.
- Check your calendar or community calendars for upcoming social events later in the day/week to look forward to.
- Plan something fun later in the week while checking in with loved ones
- Say good morning to your neighbor
- Wave, smile and acknowledge people.
- Check in with your significant other to see what’s on their agenda or how their day is going thus far.
- Play with and care for your pets
- Journal/ write
- Watch a funny YouTube video
- Talk with a friend/family member
- Gratitude practice
- Crossword puzzle over breakfast
- Play a game
- Listen to a podcast or audio book
- Discuss current events
- Watch a ted talk
- Read spiritual texts
- Gratitude practice
Now that you have some ideas, pick one thing from each category or a couple of things that fall into all of the categories and that should give you a morning routine that’s satisfying. I hope it leads to a more fulfilled day!