How to Create A Simple Morning Routine to Reduce Stress and AnxietyJan 19, 2022
If you read last week’s blog post, we introduced a series in January where we are talking about habits that are going to help create boundaries around your goals, your business and honestly putting yourself first.
The other thing I love about this series is that sometimes it is not a business tip that is going to change your business. And in this case, it is taking care of yourself first.
So our topic of a morning routine is super timely. One because it is the start of a new year and if you are like me, you start to think about what is working and what needs to change. And two, I recently just left my corporate job to work full time in entrepreneurship and I made the mistake the first week to change my entire routine.
What I learned was what I am going to share today.
How to create a simple morning routine to reduce anxiety and stress.
I mentioned that I tried to change my entire morning routine all at once. As in Day 1 of our new schedule. Looking back the reason I was feeling so anxious and stressed was that I took away everything that felt good to me. So when we talk about the morning routine, I actually want you to remove the morning part. And just think about a few things first.
- What is your favorite part of the day? This is important because as you start to plan what you want to accomplish you want to pair your most productive time with tasks that match that. Case in point. I love the quiet early mornings. I actually wake up ready to work. So when I tried to journal and read and meditate first, it was an epic failure. What I found is if I give myself a minute to just write down work ideas, or work on a big creative project first, even if just for 10-15 minutes, it allows my brain to calm down. Then I go into journaling and meditation.
- How do you keep yourself motivated? This is a key part of any day. You are not going to feel motivated every day. And that is OK. The trick is to surround yourself with tools that are going to support you. So think about books, community, podcasts, etc., as well as when you are going to work them into your day. For me, when I lost my commute I had a really hard time listening to podcasts. I didn't know how to fit them in, so I had to intentionally think about when I wanted to listen to them. Which is now on my morning walk.
- How do you want to start your day? This is what is going to get you out of bed in the morning. For me, I really enjoy a morning workout. It is like instant stress relief for me. And I pair it with my favorite Spotify playlist so listening to music by myself actually is a motivator. Otherwise, it is Kids' Bop all day with the girls. But for you, what is going to motivate you to get up? A book? A meal? (Food is also a great motivator). An activity? Think about what you would enjoy doing every morning that will help you get up and get going.
I am going to pause a minute and say that the topic of a morning routine is the most popular one on the podcast ever. It is the most downloaded episode AND the #1 question everyone asks. How do you start your day? What is your routine? I have probably read 10+ books on this but my ultimate favorite is The 5 Am Club by Robin Sharma. And it is what I based a lot of my routine on.
Here are a few fun facts according to a ‘’my morning routine” survey conducted on how people actually spent their morning.
88% of people always or often have a morning routine.
Among them, highly productive people (92%) were more likely to do so. 43% of Americans said they view drinking coffee as the most crucial part of their morning routine, followed by exercising (32%) and taking a shower (26%).
- 73% use an alarm
- 63% meditate or practice yoga
- 79% exercise
- 68% sleep in on weekends
My point in sharing this is how you start your day is important. So after you have thought about 1) what your favorite most productive part of the day is 2) How you are going to surround yourself with motivation and 3) How you want to start your day, it is time to design your routine. And note I said design. Because the answers to those 3 questions are what is going to work best for you.
How to Design your Morning Routine
I like to keep my activities as part of my "wake-up routine" simple. So here is what mine currently looks like:
- Wake up / listen to affirmations while I get dressed. (I found I hate writing them so I use the think-up app and just have them read out loud to me.) Easy.
- Workout. This goes back to what makes me happy. Listening to music on the peloton in silence, without distraction.
- Work. This is what I tried to change that was a failure. I like to work first thing. My brain is fresh with ideas. I feel motivated after my workout. I usually will take a peek at my email or knock out some content writing every morning.
- Journal and read. Learning to journal and read is very important to me even though I am not great at it. So I put this after I get through my favorites but give myself time to learn this new skill.
- Shower and start the day.
You will notice I incorporated things I love, ways to keep myself motivated, and intentionally thought about how I want to start my day. The trick is to keep each activity under 30 minutes. Ideally 10-20 minutes each. Then you will have the perfect routine in under an hour designed just for you every day.
A morning routine that works (aka a routine to start your day) can be extremely impactful. It sets you up for success AND the most important part, you are in control of it. If you pick up your phone and start scrolling you immediately give someone else control.
Try answering these questions and design your routine specifically for you! The best part is, when you make it about YOU and what motivates you and what you love, you will stick to it!
Looking for more on this topic and your High-Level Action items? Check out the Strategy Lab in the Crush the Rush Club!