Morning and Evening Routines
In this lesson, we’re going to learn more about morning routines and evening routines. A morning routine can set the tone for your day, and an evening routine can help you wind down and relax before going to bed. Sleep is one of the most important things for our overall health and wellness, and practicing an evening routine can help get your body ready for rest.
An important part of this (as with all routines or habits) is to pick what works best for you and your life. Some people enjoy practicing an hour-long morning routine to prepare for the day, others either don’t have time for that or don’t want to spend that much time on a morning routine. Your morning and evening routines can be as short or as long as you need. What matters is what works for you, what helps you prepare for the day, and what helps you wind down from the day. That being said, I would encourage you to explore and try out morning and evening routines, they can make a big difference in your mood, quality of sleep, and how you go about your day.
When planning a morning routine, it is important to consider what your mornings currently look like, how you might like them to look, and what is realistic for you. I got into morning routines when I was teaching middle school. I really missed having a cup of tea in the mornings on weekdays as I did on the weekends, but I needed to get up earlier in the morning in order to have time to sit with my tea. I decided that it would benefit my day to have a peaceful time in the morning where I could sit and drink my tea before doing anything else, so I looked at my morning tasks and decided to start getting up fifteen minutes earlier in order to have time for my tea. I also scheduled some time into my morning for meditation practice. Making that change in my morning made a huge difference! I did have to adjust my schedule a little and go to bed slightly earlier so I could wake up a bit earlier, but I felt much calmer and more centered at the beginning of my day, which made an impact all day long. It was also easier to get up on time because I knew that I wanted to have enough time in the morning to practice my meditation and drink my tea. Now that I am no longer teaching, I still practice my routine of meditation and tea every morning because I was able to develop a habit, and I find great benefit in starting my day this way.
Morning routines may consist of meditation or drinking tea or coffee. But they can also include walking, exercising, reading, drawing, or journaling. Anything that will make you feel good and ready for your day. Think about what you can do first thing in the morning that will set you up for a successful day. As Robyn Conley Downs puts it, “taking a little time for yourself is a way to remind yourself that you’re worthy of care,” and starting off your day with some time for yourself will help you value and show some kindness to yourself.
Evening routines can help you set up for the next day as well as wind down for the night. I like to end the day by stretching, setting out my workout clothes for the next day, writing down a few things I’m grateful for, and completing a sleep meditation. A good evening routine is one that will help you feel ready for tomorrow while also allowing your body and mind to relax and prepare to rest. I find it nice to reflect a little on the day, but I try to stay positive so that I don’t dwell on things or start worrying, which could make it difficult to fall asleep. Other evening routine activities could include reading, reflecting on the day and good things that happened during it with your partner, journaling, yoga, or self-massage. Again, it is about what works best for you and what will create a positive setting for you to rest.
I hope that you’ve gotten some ideas about what you could do in a morning routine and evening routine. Personally, I have found creating morning and evening routines very helpful to my well being and quality of sleep. I hope that you find a good sequence of practices for your morning and evening routines that help support you in staying positive, productive, and peaceful. In the next lesson, we will revisit the discussion of mindset since that is such an important piece of developing sustainable habits and routines.
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