I’ve never really been one to have a consistent morning routine. It usually changes based on my schedule or my intuitive desires… but lately, my schedule hasn’t changed. My work as a freelance writer has been consistent, which means I must get myself into a “work mode” each day of the week (except I’ve been creating boundaries and taking weekends off, yay me!). Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve grown to become a person who values routine in the morning, as it eases my anxiety and helps me get in a productive and focused mindset. In this post, I’m going to share that routine with you, in hopes that you might be interested in incorporating some aspect(s) of it into your mornings. If you often have anxiety in the morning or have trouble focusing during your work day, this post is for you!
I’ve had difficulty focusing my entire adult life and I’ve been on a journey to find things that will help my focus, especially now that I’m my own boss. Being your own boss takes discipline, mindfulness, and concentration, all of which take practice in developing and maintaining (at least for me). I also often wake up with visceral anxiety shooting through my entire body, which isn’t fun to wake up to.
Here are the key elements of my morning routine and why they benefit me:
Meditation & Deep Breathing: First thing, while I’m laying in bed, I’ll take a few long, deep ujjayi breaths. This activates my parasympathetic nervous system, which calms my body and my nerves. It slowly gets me back to a state of balance and ease, the way I want to feel when I wake up. After I get up to go to the bathroom, I’ll sit in my dark bedroom on my meditation cushion and listen to a short guided meditation (10-15 minutes). This is all done slowly and with ease, to ground me and prepare my mind for the busyness ahead. I don’t like being rushed, so why rush myself?
Observe My Surroundings: To feel more grounded and connected to my reality, I like to observe what is going on around me. I’ll look at my plants and see if there’s any new growth or if any need water. I’ll look at the sky and the cars driving by outside, soak up some sun for a few minutes (if there is any), and clean up my kitchen a bit. A tidy, loved space is much easier to work in.
Jazz: This has been a crucial part of my mornings lately! I’ve been playing soft, relaxing jazz all day everyday while I work and it keeps me much more focused, at peace, and creative. Writing all day can be a bit draining at times, so it’s nice to have music in the background that I can tune into and vibe out to for a few minutes in between projects. It reminds me of the days where I would go work in a cafe for a hours and just get in a creative flow. Here is my favorite jazz playlist on Spotify and here’s a funkier, more upbeat one. Speaking of cafes….
Morning Beverages: I love a good morning cup of coffee or tea with breakfast (I try to avoid coffee on an empty stomach… it’s no good for digestion!), along with WATER! Caffeine and I have had an interesting relationship over the years. I’ll have phases where I don’t consume caffeine and phases where I do. It ebbs and flows, I just listen to my body and what it tells me. Right now, I’m in a lightly caffeinated phase, so I’ve been enjoying black tea and semi-caffeinated coffee, though I always have decaf options around in case my body is feeling like having less of it, which is often the case. A nice balance is key (half caf is great!). A little caffeine can give me just the boost I need to get focused and grind out a morning of work. I highly recommend lowering your caffeine intake if you experience anxiety. Decaf tastes just as good!
Mushrooms & Adaptogens: I always make sure to incorporate medicinal mushrooms and adaptogens into my morning. They aid in protecting my body from free radicals, increasing nootropic functions, and decreasing stress. I love Naturealm’s Lion’s Mane & Rhodiola Tincture, as well as their Sacred 7 Mushroom Blend Powder. A little bit in coffee, tea, or a smoothie sets me off on the right foot, ready to take the day on! I also treated myself to a box of Four Sigmatic’s Lion’s Mane Latte Mix from Thrive Market, which were a quick and easy way to have a delicious and healthy warm beverage every morning. Mushrooms and adaptogens aren’t necessary, but I truly feel like they make a big difference in my mood and my health, so I choose to keep incorporating them into my daily life. If you’d like to get $$ off of your Naturealm order, use code KAYLA at checkout!
Setting My Intentions/Goals For The Day: I have a cute little “Daily Intention Tracker” notepad that was given to me by my best friend, Shannon. It has sections for bulleting objectives, including “Today I Will… Be, Feel, Do, Appreciate, Let Go Of, and Attract” – so each section is a chance to manifest and organize my day. It even has an area to write a mantra for my day! It’s nice to visually see my plan and what I hope to keep in mind throughout the day ahead. Try it for yourself and see how it affects you!
Setting My Phone On Do Not Disturb, ALL DAY: Notifications = Anxiety, in my opinion… I also feel like many of my notifications are unimportant, so why fill up minutes of my day getting distracted by them? It doesn’t make sense. It’s not helpful at all! Do Not Disturb allows me to avoid the pull of social media and focus more on what’s in front of me: my computer/work. Any important texts or calls I get will come up on my computer so I can respond quickly there if I want.
That concludes my morning routine. On top of eating an energizing, delicious breakfast, this practice has allowed me the space to bloom each morning and get my creative juices flowing, assuring that I have a productive and peaceful day. I know that my body and my work days aren’t like everyone else’s, so these rituals may not work best for you. And to be honest, it’s hard as hell for all of us to even have a good, productive day these days, so don’t get too down on yourself when you have a rough day.
Working from home can get mundane, so it’s important to switch things up every once in a while. Give yourself a day off or a half day and treat yourself to some time with a bit less structure. Some weeks, I may feel great and like I can rock this routine. When I’m pmsing and during the first few days of my period, FORGET IT. I struggle! And that’s okay. Life isn’t all about work. It’s about living.
Life is full of cycles. This routine may be totally different for me in a few months. Who knows! We just have to take each day as it comes and listen to what our bodies are telling us. Forgive your imperfections. Appreciate the small things. Give love to yourself and to someone else today. Take a deep breath… and continue on your beautiful day.
Much love to you all,
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