We all hear about the importance of a morning routine lately – it’s every influencer’s favorite topic and every entrepreneur’s secret to success. But for the rest of us – the normal, everyday people stuck at home, with limited income or view of anything outside our apartment walls – are routines actually that necessary?
For me & my anxiety, the answer is undoubtedly: YES. When I slip up on my routines, or choose to relax a little on my daily schedule, I immediately notice a shift in my day, mood, and reaction to the world around me. Routines have kept me sane for years, but especially now in quarantine while working from home, paired of course with increased depression and anxiety, I have relied on routines far more than before. I don’t think routine makes me an exceptional employee, or a fitness guru, or a budding CEO, but they do level me out from general anxieties, and help me sleep, work, and achieve my daily short and long term goals that I otherwise let slip. My routines help me stay on track, motivated, grounded, and stable no matter what else is going on around me. For that peace of mind, I have basic routines for morning, noon, and night.
I like to start my mornings with a little extra time before work to focus on my intentions for the day, spend time with my dog, Kali, and get a healthy mindset before diving into work. This routine helps me keep goals front of mind to carry through the rest of the day and a foundation of mindfulness I return to when external sources could potentially shift my mood or increase my anxiety. Some days I work out in the morning, some days I don’t – there is room for some spontaneity but still a sense of structure. I think it’s important to have a routine to guide you, but be able to make adjustments as you need each day/week. This routine is a foundation to start, and anything I supplement or change I make sure is still in the same energy – mindfulness, meditation, goal setting, movement, clearing & energizing.
6:30 – wake up, make a glass of warm or room temperature water with lemon, and start a manifestation course through To Be Magnetic
7:00 – 10 minute guided meditation and 2-3 pages of morning brain dump/morning pages
7:20 – 1 mild walk with Kali and a motivational, educational, or entertainment podcast
7:45 – clean up around the apartment, set up my space for the day OR yoga practice if feeling the space is clean and ready
8:15 – shower, skincare
8:30 – make my cup of coffee and start work
Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.Mahatma Gandhi
Typically by lunch time I am itching to get moving again, or else I’ll end up taking a lunch time nap and spiraling into a lazy depression from there. If I can get up and moving, clean up whatever messes I have created, and spend another 30 minutes to an hour focused on re-grounding myself, it’s a successful day. My lunch time cardio typically consists of light jogging or incline walking on a treadmill. Sometimes I will watch Netflix or listen to a podcast, sometimes I just have music playing, but either way it’s an opportunity to step away from the rest of my life and my day and do something entirely for myself. Additionally, I have found that healthy eating habits as a part of my routine have made a world of difference. I feel entirely better having a salad for lunch than I do having pasta, but some days are better than others. At times I make a fresh kale salad, and other times it’s post-workout pizza, mac and cheese, or a frozen burrito. Again, I try to give myself some grace but know that conscious healthy decisions and patterns leave me feeling better day to day and in the long run.
12:00 – walk with kali, or cardio in the gym (put roomba on so floors are vacuumed upon return)
1:00 – take a shower, make lunch (ideally a salad)
1:30 – clean up lunch mess and organize desk/area for rest of the day
3:00 – 15 min walk with Kali
By 5:30, I’m logging off of my computer (ideally) and, though I am still in the same spot I was during my work day, I try and kick back and relax. Evenings can be far less structured for me because I have spent the day prioritizing my goals, movement, my health, and my space. I typically start dinner prep with the goal of eating around 7pm, but it depends what’s on the menu each night. Some nights it’s Chipotle and I lay on the couch until 6:45 when I head out for pickup, and some days I’ve started dinner as soon as I log off. My routine again is more about setting up opportunities for success than it is setting a rigid, mandated schedule.
5:30 – log off from work, watch tv, chat with friends
6:30 – start dinner
7:00 – eat dinner
7:30 – clean up kitchen
8:00 – bath, read a book (typically something fun & fiction)
8:30 – watch tv & relax OR do some computer work/online courses, have a glass or two of wine and/or dessert
9:30 – clean up any knick knacks that accumulated throughout the day, wipe down counters, set up any necessary items for next morning (mug, lemon, notepad)
10pm – sleep!! aka my favorite part of the day
Hopefully this breakdown of my morning, noon, and nightly routines gives you some ideas for your day and reminds you of how much better you feel when you stick to a schedule. Having daily targets and a sense of structure help achieve both short and long term goals and allow for a productive day, rather than the bed-and-netflix spiral I have been prone to in the past, and especially now with quarantine. This post is as much a reminder for me when I get off track as it is for others. The power of consistency and routine can change your attitude and change your life.
If you have any question, tips, recommendations, or want to share your routine, comment below or let me know on my Instagram, @hannahfaithprice!