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The Importance of a Morning Routine and How to Create One for Better Self Care

photo credit: Katie Grace Photography

How you spend your morning sets the tone for your entire day. Find yourself snoozing your alarm and scrolling through Instagram first thing in the morning? This may lead to you being late for work, rushing through the day, and reaching for your phone at every spare moment. That is not a great self care practice for anyone.

But there’s hope.

On the flip side, if we are careful and intentional about the way we spend our first waking moments, everything can be shifted, and you can be more prepared and equipped to be the best version of yourself throughout the day. This is why I’m a huge believer in morning routines! Just a few simple steps set in place and repeated daily can change everything. What can be the sleepiest part of the day can become the most joyful part. “Waking up on the wrong side of the bed” is about to be a thing of the past by starting your day with self care the right way.

Creating a life-giving morning routine changed pretty much everything about my life, faith, and work. I started feeling more prepared, more present and was able to live life proactively instead of just reactively. I’ve been crafting and refining my morning routine for about 2.5 years and I’ve found that it works best when I stick to a simple formula.

The best morning routine formula for improving self care

Heart + Mind + Energy

These are three overarching categories for your entire day, so I like to do one small thing to tend to each area each day.

For your heart

Slow down and get quiet. Maybe it’s through your faith or a few journaling prompts. Take a few moments to care for your heart and soak in this sweet time.


– Bible reading

– Journaling

– Prayer

– Meditating

– Reflecting on the day before

For your mind

Strengthen your most important muscle. Stretch your limits and care for the part of your body that should never stop growing.


– Read something non-fiction

– Work on learning a new language

– Study a new topic or skill

For your energy

If you want to have a kick-butt day, accomplish your to-do list, and be present for your loved ones, set yourself up for it! Neglecting your energy level can lead to groggy-ness and a lack of focus and motivation.


– Wake up at the right time

– Eat a nourishing breakfast

– Workout or walk your pup

– Stretch

– Listen to good music

Roadblocks you may face in your morning self care routine

Establishing a morning routine isn’t always easy, and it won’t happen automatically in the beginning. Be persistent! If it can become second nature it may just be the best thing you ever do to care for yourself. Here are a few roadblocks you might hit along the way and how to overcome them.

  1. Sleepiness

Getting up is HARD, especially when you have comfy covers on your bed, or maybe you find yourself falling back asleep during prayer or meditation (guilty over here)!

How to get past it:

– Make sure you are ACTUALLY getting enough sleep (ideally 8 hours +) then remind your body it doesn’t actually need those extra 10 minutes

– Set a bedtime alarm on your phone to remind you in the evenings that it’s time to shut the laptop and turn in for the night

– Move to a different spot to start your routine. Reading in bed is pretty much a guarantee that you will fall back asleep

2. Your phone

There is nothing easier than grabbing your phone and doing a quick scroll before you start your routine! 30 minutes later you look up and realize it’s time to go to work! I get it, the distraction is REAL! You don’t have to just leave it up to will power (which is usually weaker first thing in the morning)! Take the temptation away!

How to get past it:

– Charge your phone in a different room. Purchase a separate alarm clock if you need to

– Use the “screen time” features on iPhone to limit your access to apps until after your routine

– Buy hard copy books instead of reading on your devices

3. Schedule variations

When schedules vary it can be tempting to throw the whole thing out the window. Resist the urge! Remind yourself that this is a daily habit now, not just for special occasions.

How to get past it:

– Think one day ahead. If you have an early meeting tomorrow, get in bed a bit earlier to compensate

– Create a “shortened” version for mornings you are short on time. Pick one thing you can do that is the MOST important and try to get just that in, rather than skipping your morning self care routine all together

– If you miss a day, don’t quit. Give yourself a little grace and try again tomorrow.

I hope these tips help you create space in your morning to take care of yourself, practice healthy self care every day, and set your day up for success. You’ll be a morning person before you know it!

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