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Create a Morning Routine that Serves You

Filling your self-love cup first thing in the morning is the best thing you can do. It is a step towards intentional living.

Having a purpose-driven morning routine will help set the tone for the rest of your day.

No one wakes up wanting to have a "bad" day. Perhaps you slept through your alarm and are feeling rushed to get to work, or you thoughts were spiraling late into the night and you didn't sleep well. Or maybe the smallest annoyances are adding up as soon as you wake up, you stub your toe, you burn your toast, your gas tank is on empty. Much of these futile problems can be avoided if you build a morning routine into your schedule.

When you don't feel rushed and you got to sit and enjoy your cup off coffee, you are more likely to have a "good" day. You spend time treating yourself to anything that makes your heart and spirit full of joy and life before anyone else is demanding your attention.

Morning routines bring balance to your mental and physical well-being through the development of healthy habits.

For me, working out (or at least stretching) is part of my morning routine. Exercising is incredibly beneficial to your mental health, as well as your physical health. Exercise promotes several changes in the brain, including neural growth, reduced inflammation, and releases powerful happiness-promoting chemicals (endorphins) into your bloodstream. It will increase your sense of calm while reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Prioritizing yourself and your needs first thing in the morning leads to greater productivity and reduces stress.

Lisa Nichols sums up this idea perfectly, "...someone is going to cross your path tomorrow, next week, next year, and they need the love that you have. But, in order for them to give it, you need to fill your cup up and you need to be an overflow because you can’t love them from YOUR cup. You've got to always love them from your saucer...When you love them from your saucer you never ever run out. You never love on an empty tank. Love never hurts. A lot of time when love is hurting it’s because YOU haven’t given YOU everything you need yet. And you’re trying to give other people what you still need. You’re trying to give them your oxygen."

Sometimes this means saying 'no' or being honest with your limits. Sometimes it means having a frank conversation with your spouse about how you need time alone before the kids get up. Whatever the case, serve from your overflow.

So, how can you make sure you're overflowing?

Fill your cup first by starting your day with a hand-crafted morning routine!

Step 1: Pick a wake up time and commit to showing up for yourself.

Make it a habit. However you need to do it. Set your alarm clock on the other side of the room so it forces you to get out of bed to turn it off. Start slowly. If you've never done this before, start by getting up 15 minutes early, then slowly bump yourself up to 30 minutes or an hour of self-time.

Step 2: Design your morning routine.

If you don't know, try out a few and adjust based on preference.

  • Move your body – Work out, stretch, weight lift, go to the gym, take a class, practice yoga or pilates, go for a run or walk.

  • Hydrate - Drink a full glass of water.

  • Meditate – Practice calming your body and mind before jumping into your day. This will help ground and center you. (I suggest the Headspace app.)

  • Morning Pages - Journaling is incredibly therapeutic. You'll find some days are easier to write than others. Some days you'll be overflowing, venting anything and everything that comes to min. On the days you don't feel the free-flow look up mindful writing prompts.

  • Visualizations - Spend some time visualizing how you want your day to unfold and how you want to show up in the world. This practice will help you manifest a beautiful intentional day.

  • Gratitude Journaling – write down three to five things you are grateful for. This will give you the perspective of abundance. You can take this to the next level by texting a few people, telling them you are grateful for them and why.

  • Spiritual Practice - This extends to meditation too, but perhaps you read a sacred text or spend time praying.

  • Be Creative – Every person is creative. You don't have to be a master to feel the freedom of creating - draw, paint, blog, bake, build a puzzle, and use your hands to create.

  • Grow – Take time to learn something new. Be intentional. Instead of scrolling the news outlets to source new information, pick up a book or another way to learn. I spend 6 months, 30 minutes a day, studying French on Duolingo!

  • Declutter or Clean - For some this can be therapeutic, for others it feels like a chore, so pick what works for you.

There are thousands of options, but here are a few to start off.

Step 3: Start tomorrow! Don't delay.

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