I never really considered myself a morning person up until this past year. Actually, no. Up until a couple of months ago now that I think about it. When I moved back to Chicago, I started getting into a routine where I would wake up around 8 or so naturally, without an alarm, mainly because I was anxious to get back to unpacking and setting up the #tccloft so it felt like my own. Then, after spending more time with Chris, I fell into the habit of setting my alarm on my Echo every morning for 7:30am. Even when I’m in Michigan. It’s completely changed the flow of my days and how productive my mornings have become. I’m able to take it super slow upon first waking up, I never rush to get out the door since I never book any shoots earlier than 9am, and I don’t check email until about 10am. It’s been one of the greatest changes I’ve made to my routine.
In going down this thought path, I came up with other things I do that make me love my mornings, and I wanted to share them here with you guys in case you were in need of some inspiration. Mornings can be super therapeutic – they don’t have to be daunting. I promise, it’s possible :)
10 TIPS FOR A CALM, BETTER MORNING
1. Clean your kitchen and living space the night before.
This may just be my Type A ways, but this is something I’m always sure to do unless I’ve accidentally fallen asleep on the couch (which is rare) Dishes are always done, counters are cleaned and clutter is picked up. All in all it probably takes me about 10 minutes, and it’s 100% worth waking up in the morning to a clean kitchen. I grew up with my parents always doing this every single night, so it’s not something I had to train myself to do, but I assure you – if this is somewhere you lack, changing this habit will make for a better start to your day.
2. Pre-make your coffee.
First of all – the smell of coffee upon waking up is pretty equal to waking up to the smell of bacon. Delicious, and worth crawling out of bed for. It’s one less thing you have to focus on when you’re still getting your brain right, and takes all of 2 minutes the night before. I have this coffee maker and I love it.
3. Wake up at the same time every day.
As I mentioned above, I think it’s super important to train your body to know when to wake up. Weekends I’m a bit more flexible, but majority of the time I’m up at the same time, and can implement my morning routine.
4. Drink a large glass of water before anything else.
Before you drink the coffee, drink a huge glass of water to rehydrate yourself. Think about it – we’re asleep anywhere from 6-9 hours a night without any water. When you wake up, you’re in need. This always jumpstarts my morning and makes me feel so much better than when I chug caffeine for the next 2-3 hours straight (I drink coffee allllll morning)
5. Avoid your phone until after breakfast.
I’m usually pretty good about this since I spend the first portion of my mornings grabbing my coffee, bringing it back to bed and writing in a journal, but I could be better about avoiding social media until I’ve been well fed. I think a little bit clearer and write better once I’ve got some fuel ;) Plus I don’t like the feeling of taking on so much information first thing in the morning. I like to be in my own little bubble for a while.
6. Open up the blinds. Let the sunshine in.
Natural light is scientifically proven to be a mood booster. Let the light in as much as possible, and first thing.
7. On that same subject, if you can, open up some windows or your balcony/back door. Let the fresh air in.
Fresh air, just like natural light, is a mood booster. I can’t wait until it starts to get a bit warmer so I can take my coffee out to the balcony.
8. Keep a gratitude journal.
You guys have heard me talk about my Five Minute Journal again and again, and I swear by it. It’s one of the first things I do upon waking up, once I’ve brought my coffee back to bed, and sets the tone for the day. I plan out my intentions, I write what I’m grateful for, and set a daily affirmation. It’s hard to have a crappy day when you’ve already put out all of that positive energy.
9. Play (the right kind of) music.
I used to habitually always turn on the TV in the morning. News, HGTV, Bravo, etc. I was such a TV junkie just for the background noise, but now I rely on music 99% of the time to keep me company. Every morning I turn on either some country, piano music, maybe some jazz or playlists that I’ve created on Spotify.
10. Light a candle or diffuse some oils.
One of my favorite things to do. When I come out for my coffee, I always light the candle in my living room and in my kitchen, and light my bedside candle once I crawl back in. They’re all sultry smells (think, sandalwood) and both the scent and the asthetic keep me leveled and super calm. I also sometimes sub out my bedroom candle for grapefruit or citrus essential oils in my diffuser for a bit more of an energizing scent. Here are my favorite candles and the diffuser that I have and love.