The Art Of An Effective Morning Routine


I’m sure I’m not alone in this, I am not a morning person. I am the queen of hitting snooze, getting up at the last second and getting ready quickly and mindlessly. I am always rushing and running late.

Honestly, it’s a pretty shitty thing to do to myself. By rushing and stressing every morning, I not only lose out on valuable time to take care of myself, I’m setting that tone for my day.


1) Get Up, No Really Get UP!

Pick a time and stick to it. If you’re not used to waking up early, you may want to start by waking 15 minutes earlier each day. I chose 6:30AM as my wake up time. I leave in the morning at 8AM, so it gives me an hour and a half to wake up and set myself up for success.

You must, and I cannot stress this enough, get up as soon as your alarm goes off. I find it helpful to set one alarm for the time I must wake up and get back to bed. If I set 3 alarms 10 minutes apart, I won’t fall back into restful sleep anyways.

Making it routine to hear your alarm and get right up is key for actually getting up. Sure, it sucks. Especially in the beginning. However, the more often you do it, the easier it gets.

2) Have Something To Look Forward To.

For me, it’s coffee. I love flavored hot coffee. I prepare it the night before so I can turn on my coffee maker, use the bathroom, and wash my face.

By the time I am finished, I have a warm cup of flavored coffee to enjoy. After a few sips of coffee, I am ready to continue my morning.

I also light a candle and play some gentle music, sometimes acoustic covers and sometimes The Coffeehouse by Sirius XM.

3) Eat Something, Even If It’s Light.

I usually alternate between cereal and oatmeal along with a banana or some strawberries. Some prefer to eat breakfast after getting ready, but because I try to stop eating an hour before bed, I’m pretty hungry when I wake up.

I like to have my journal out, in case I feel like making a physical note of how I’m feeling, jotting down ideas, or making a to-do list. Typically, I look at my planner the night before, but if I know it’s going to be a particularly heavy day,

4) Move Your Body In A Way That Works For You.

I don’t think I will ever be the person that bounces up from sleep at 5:30AM and gets ready to go to the gym. I don’t like getting up before the sun does. For a lot of people, it’s what works. I’m scared of those people.

I try to move my body in a simple way each morning. I do some light yoga or take my dog on a short walk. I don’t sign up for 6AM workout classes that I’ll snooze my way into missing. I keep it easy and quick, practicing deep breathing and mindfulness.

5) Start Getting Ready.

Take a shower if you didn’t take one last night. Wash your face, brush your teeth, take your medication. Drink water, lots of water. Pick out an outfit that you feel confident and if you’re feeling it, put on a little make up. Not for anyone, just for yourself.

To keep myself moving at a pace that will get me out the door on time, I like to listen to a podcast. My current favorites are Michelle Obama’s and The Highest Self Podcast. Hopefully I’ll learn something new. While getting ready, I state my affirmations. I listed a few that I say almost daily.

I am strong.
I am capable.
I am loved.
I am deserving of good things.
I am important to others.

6) Whatever Fills Your Cup.

Once I am ready, I make my lunch if I didn’t the night before and pack my bag. When I am ready, I determine how much time I have until I need to leave. I make it a point to leave the door 5 minutes before I need to.

Below are some activities I do with 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 20 minutes before leaving.

5 Minutes to Fill:

  • Quick phone sesh, swipe through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and my favorite, TikTok.
  • Write out a to-do list, grocery list, gratitude list. Make a list.
  • Take deep breaths, meditate, stretch.
  • Listen to music (Folklore still on repeat for anyone else?)

10 Minutes to Fill:

  • Watch an Inspiring TedTalk
  • Journal
  • Color
  • Cuddle sesh

20 Minutes to Fill:

  • Watch a short light-hearted show
  • Wash some dishes
  • Fold some laundry
  • Write a letter
  • Pay a bill
  • Do something that tired 5:30PM you will be happy about

Let me know in the comments if any of this is useful, or what pieces are necessary in your morning routine! There’s no right and wrong way, but this has been my experience about what the best and most effective ritual is for starting my day. Likewise, you know yourself better than anybody!

Peace.

6 Simple Tips For Dealing With Anger

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I have been working through my anger for a long time. A LONG time. Angry at my parents, angry at my peers, angry at my bosses, angry at the world, and most of all, the systems that keep people marginalized/impoverished/down.

I had a tendency to react quickly and dramatically. At times, I would be in a full meltdown over a minor inconvenience, and if someone wronged me I would hold a grudge. I was angry at myself and at the life I lived. It just kept getting projected onto others.

So yeah- I know plenty about being angry, but I have learned so much about working through my anger, channeling my anger into something positive, and sometimes just letting things go.

Here are my top 5 alternatives to getting angry, brought to you by psychiatric medications, lots of therapy, and slow but steady self-growth.

1. Wait 24 hours, then react if you are still angry.

It’s important that you give yourself time before you react, especially in a serious situation. My standard is to wait 24 hours if I feel alright doing so, and if it still bothers me in 24 hours I will speak up. After 24 hours, I use my voice in a calm way to clearly state what I am angry about and what I would like done.

2. Find the root of your anger, and deal with that.

Anger is often simply anxiety in disguise. Not always, of course. Sometimes an individual’s action can anger you, or another direct scenario that led to an angry response.

Are you angry at the amount of traffic there is at rush hour, or are you upset at yourself for pressing snooze one too many times and running late?

Are you angry at your partner for not doing the dishes, or are you feeling overwhelmed about how much you have on your plate?

I believe that more often then not, anxiety manifests itself as anger as an “easy” coping mechanism. By deflecting an anxious situation by simply getting angry, you are denying yourself the opportunity to recognize your triggers and work through them.

3. Practice deep breathing.

The key to successfully utilizing calming breaths in situations when you are angry is to practice when you are not. Being able to turn to a healthy alternative to anger must be practiced and its unlikely that you will be able to adequately calm yourself down with deep breathing if you are in the middle of an angry episode.

Meditation, a sister of practicing controlled breath, is also a great option if you’re looking for something more intense. I’m a huge fan of guided meditations on Spotify or Headspace.

I underestimated the power of stress balls for the longest time, until a friend of mine got me one. I LOVE these ones from Amazon. Squeeze while you breathe in, release as you breathe out. I keep one in my office, one by my bed, and one in my bag! It’s a must have.

In through the nose, out through the mouth. Breathe.

4. Move your body.

It might be the last thing you want to do, but getting up and physically removing yourself from a situation that is causing you to be angry is an easy immediate solution. It could be as simple as going for a walk or as intense as going to an exercise class.

You know yourself best, and might need to try a few options until you figure out what works best for you to keep your cool.

5. Check in with yourself and see what you need.

9 times out of 10 I’m hangry, not actually angry. By pausing for a moment and seeing what you actually need, you can address that before and then see if the response is necessary. Have a drink of water, have a snack, take a quick walk, put on some music, talk to a friend.

Give yourself permission something that makes you feel just a little bit better in the next few moments. By tending to one or more of your needs, you’ll be able to get yourself in the right mindset to properly tune into yourself and figure out what you’re angry at and why- and most of all, if it’s worth being angry about.

6. Be angry. Let yourself feel how you feel, then let that sh*t go!

If you’re angry, you’re angry. Let yourself feel anger for a moment or two, but don’t hold onto it. Life is too short to be angry, and you won’t feel any better for staying angry. Very little is worth your anger, channel it into something better, make a change, or let it go!

Becca

I am doing okay.

8.8.2020, 12:22AM

Sometimes I wish that I could fast forward through the next five years. Skip past the hustle and grind, not pinch pennies to make rent, advance in my career, and to settle in to the rest of my life.

Life is really fucking hard. Like really hard. Harder than I expected, but 15 year old me never thought 24 year old me would be around and living the life I am. I’m better than I thought it I would be but I’m not living the life I am.

Looking around it feels like everyone has their life together. Everyone has it just about figured out, my high school friends are getting engaged, even married. My college friends are buying houses, and my coworkers are having kids. Life seems to be moving faster for everyone else and I want in.

I love my little family and my home, I love my job and my car and all the wonderful things I have. I love my friends, though few in quantity and far in distance, I’m supported no matter how far they are. My life is good and I am okay.

Even though I know in my head that my life is good, I worry if any of this is real. I worry that I will wake up and lose everything I have worked for. I worry irrationally and all of the time. Knowing that the thoughts are irrational is half the battle, but the other half is still hard. The other half is filled with doubt, doubt of others intentions, doubt of love, worthiness, and trust. I think I’m fake, and someday everyone will catch on and see it’s an act. It’s not an act, I know that. Irrational.

About a year and a half ago I scheduled my first therapy appointment. I walk in, depressed and anxious as can be, and unpack as much as I can as quickly as I could so it wouldn’t hurt as badly. Like ripping off a huge bandaid but in front of a complete stranger.

My therapist is my sounding board, my voice of reason, and even at times my cheerleader. When my therapist felt as if I wasn’t making much progress in treating my depression, she referred my to a psychiatrist and we begun the medication tango.

Wellbutrin, clonidine, lexapro, zoloft. Those are the four I’ve tried, currently I’m taking all but lexapro. The journey has been a literal roller coaster but slowly we are getting a good balance that works for me. The self care and therapy and coping skills are half of it, my medication is the other half. I’ve never been ashamed, the outcome has been too positive.

I’m working so hard on myself but I still want to skip ahead. I want to enjoy the here and now, the today, the present. I want to picture myself 80 and happy. But me as a happy 80 year old won’t be happy if I waste my time being sad about money or stressing over work. I have to become the woman I am meant to be.

I have it together more than I’ll ever give myself credit for. I’m a badass, working a cool and exciting job and making the world a better place. I am compassionate and honest and healthy. People want to be around me, they’re just also busy. I am doing okay, I am okay.

This is hard, but as my favorite human being Glennon Doyle repeatedly says, “We can do hard things”.