Building an Early Morning Self-Care Practice: How Tina Does It
Now, I’m not one to set new year’s resolutions, mainly because I’m that person who quits or talks myself out of it after the first two weeks of January. Instead, I prefer to think of things I would like to START doing, or even continue doing, for the new year. One of those routines I wanted to do in 2019 was create a solid morning routine, one that I looked forward to completing every morning. I’ve dabbled in different morning routines over the past year, but haven’t found one that has really stuck with me, nor one that hasn’t felt like a chore. That being said, I knew that having a set routine would help ease my nerves and prepare me for my day, and this motivated me to create the routine I’m about to share with you. I have been practicing this routine for the last few weeks, and I now look forward to getting up at (wait for it) 4:45 every morning. Now, I don’t recommend starting with this early wake-up time right off the bat, because most likely it will set you up for failure—which is the opposite of what we want! Instead, start a more realistic goal by waking up just 15-20 minutes earlier. This will give you some time to roll out of bed, and into a self-care practice. Keep reading for a glimpse into my morning routine and some tips on how to show yourself some love in the A.M.!
1. Every morning routine starts with a bedtime routine.
Betcha thought I was going to start with some tips on pulling yourself out of bed in the morning! Well, you’re wrong—your morning routine actually starts the night before. Brush your teeth, slather your Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask on, and get in bed at least 8 hours before you want to wake up. I personally only need 7-7 1/2 hours of sleep to feel good the next day, but do what feels best for you—some of my friends can function with 6 (though I DEFINITELY do not recommend this), and others need a full 9 hours (for more info on recommended sleep amounts, click here). Once I’m in bed, I read 5-20 minutes until my eyes start getting tired (current read: Becoming, by Michelle Obama), kiss my boyfriend goodnight, and turn my lam off. I try my best not to have my phone be the last thing I look at before sleeping. Some nights I fail at this though—and it’s okay! I remind myself I can try again tomorrow. Giving yourself a hard time for this will just make you feel worse—forgive yourself, people! #showyourselfsomelove
2. Knock out your workout first thing in the morning.
Now, it took a bit of time for me to transition from a PM workout zombie to an AM gym babe. Over the past couple years, I’ve noticed that when I get home from a long day at work, I don’t want to change, drive to the gym, and work out for an hour. All I want to do is go home and sit on the couch with my dog! Unfortunately, if I do this without working out I end up feeling guilty, and then I don’t feel great about myself or my body. Getting that morning workout in starts my day with me feeling accomplished, strong, and empowered. Things that help me: put out a cute gym outfit before bed (Balance Athletica has their pre-sale going on still for their newest collection!), have a workout picked out (Whitney Simmons, Taylor Dilk, and Hannah Bower are my go-tos when I need to screenshot a workout), and buy a pre-workout you look forward to drinking. I loved my Alani Nu Rainbow Candy #crushedit, but I’ve switched back to my usual PE Science High Volume/Alphamine stack since I’m sensitive to caffeine.
3. Do a short meditation.
When I get back from the gym, I immediately head upstairs to our loft and do a 5-10 minute meditation on my Headspace app. My boyfriend is still asleep when I get home, so it’s a chance for me to have some uninterrupted, solo, me time. I recently bought some incense and an incense holder, so I sit on the floor and light a stick while I do my mindfulness session, so then I have some good smells to go with my good vibes. If you don’t want to do a meditation but still want to practice mindfulness, you can always light a stick of incense and spend a few minutes noticing the smell and watching the smoke shapes as they rise toward the ceiling. Yes, this mindfulness, and yes, it’s that simple. #hereandnow
4. Spend some time journaling about anything on your mind.
This is something that I am going to START implementing into my morning routine now that I get steps 1-3 done on a regular basis. I have a couple different journals pre-filled with prompts, but as of now they are just sitting on our bookshelves. Starting with Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, I’m going to set a timer and write for a mere 5 minutes. When I think about how much time I spend on other things throughout the day (like the 2 hours I am currently spending watching The Bachelor as I type this during commercials #teamHannahG), I can definitely use 5 minutes of my time to build my self-care practice. Here’s a tip: prompt-filled journals provide you with ideas to write about, instead of having to come up with a topic all on your own. This is a gamechanger if you’re like me and get anxiety from staring at an empty page.
And that’s it! At this point, I come downstairs, boil some water for my breakfast tea, and start getting ready for the day. Since I’ve been doing this routine, I’ve noticed that I’ve been significantly happier and just overall feeling more accomplished every day. My relationship with myself is better, and my relationship with my boyfriend is better because I took that time to spend alone. The most important things to take away from this are to start small, make it fun, and do what works for you! If you have something that works for your morning self-care practice, please share in the comments below! I’d love to hear what works for others, and am always looking for new things to try myself.
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