Summer is my absolutely favorite time of year, and having a quality morning routine that works for me makes all the difference. A good morning routine is meant to leave you feeling refreshed and set the tone for a positive and productive day.
Everyone is going to start of their day differently, and the time of year can affect that as well. There are basically infinite possibilities when it comes to crafting the perfect system for you.
Today, I’m going to share with you how important a morning routine can be and exactly what I do to make my mornings perfect (for me!)
Now that I work remotely, I am incredibly lucky that I don’t have to worry about a commute. Because of that, I am able to sleep until I wake up naturally. I’m still an early-riser, so that’s usually around 7:30am. When it comes down to, my morning is broken down into X habits.
1. Make the Bed
I feel like the world is divided into two factions: those of use who love making our bed and those that absolutely hate it. I am in the former: I absolutely love making my bed.
I’m not talking a high-effort, super fancy bed, either. So long as my bed looks neat and tidy, that’s what I’m looking for. Something about having my bed made makes me feel put-together; like I’m a real, functioning adult (which I only sometimes am, honestly.)
There are plenty of studies that show that making your bed every morning can improve your sleep quality, lessen depression, and even improve your creativity and focus. At the very least, it leaves you feeling more put-together and starting off your day with a simple-to-complete task. I’m not saying everyone has to make their bed, of course, but why not give it a try? You just might like the benefits you start to see.
2. Morning Walk (with Rory)
Immediately after I make my bed, it’s time to get dressed and take my little monster out on a walk. Beyond just making sure that this little pupperoni doesn’t have an accident inside, my morning walks have become a sort of therapeutic start to my day. It’s just me, my dog, and some fresh air.
This walk is typically a little slower —what with Rory stopping every few feet to sniff—and it’s much quieter. There are few people out and I don’t listen to any music or audio books. At this time, I’m just taking everything in and starting to ease into my day.
I really enjoy these little walks. Beyond getting Rory outside for a potty break and some exercise, these walks leave me feeling refreshed. It’s a no brainer for me to take 15-minutes to start my day with a slow and meditative walk that gives me a boost of energy to start the day off on a positive note. 10 out of 10, highly recommend.
3. Coffee and Breakfast
As soon as I get in from my walk with Rory, it’s time for my favorite part of the day: coffee.
I’ve made my morning coffee a sort of reward for myself. Basically, if I wake up and start my day “on-time,” I get a little treat. That treat? A delicious, homemade brown sugar oat milk latte.
A few years ago I purchased a second-hand De’Longhi espresso machine and it wasn’t until recently that I really started taking advantage of it. I absolutely love being able to make delicious espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccinos from the comfort of my own home. And I have saved so much money on Starbucks!
Along with my delicious latte, I like to have breakfast. I’ve read that a high-protein breakfast can help an ADHD mind focus better throughout the day, so I’ve turned in my cereal and milk for some foods a little more substantial. Lately I’ve really been enjoying parfaits made with Greek yogurt, protein granola, and berries. I’m also a huge fan of bacon with a slice of peanut butter toast.
Beyond just enjoying the food, my morning routine in the summer also relies on enjoying the view. Probably my favorite part of my morning routine is sitting outside in my Happy Place (my perfectly curated balcony) and listening to a relaxing playlist or podcast while I eat.
OK, so I actually do this as a part of my breakfast time, but I feel the benefits of journaling make it deserve it’s own section. So, here it is.
The way I journal every morning is essentially a watered-down version of Morning Pages. I take as long as I need to simply write out whatever thought comes to my head until I fill up at least one page in my journal. This helps me let go of any negative emotions I may be hanging on to, think through any problems I am facing, and really process where exactly I am in my life in terms of my goals and objectives.
Since I started journaling regularly, I can already tell that my emotions are more regulated and I am altogether more content. Instead of bottling up my emotions and my problems, I am putting them down on paper at least once a day. For me, journaling has become a way to manage my mental health by keeping track of recurring themes or thoughts.
And it doesn’t have to be difficult. Sometimes my pages end of being endless repeats of “I can’t think of anything to write” over and over and over again. And there’s nothing wrong with that. As soon as a thought strikes, I can write it down. If nothing comes to mind by the time I reach the end of the page, at least I gave it a shot!
This is a relatively new addition to my morning routine. Now that I work remotely, I find myself hopping from my desk to my couch to my bar and back throughout the work day. Because of this, it has become increasingly necessary for my space to be clean.
Every morning, I take just 10 or 15 minutes to tidy up my space. This is not a full all-out clean. I simply make sure that my surfaces are clear and any workspace I may choose is clutter-free. This may include placing some dishes in the dishwasher, moving some laundry to the hamper, or even doing a quick wipe-down of my counters or coffee table.
Overall, my goal here is to make my space as bright and clear as possible with as little effort as possible. If I don’t have to worry about a million tiny little messes, I am able to focus on my work and get it done faster. That means more time for me at the end of the day!
Another new addition to my routine as of late. Working remotely, I have a few virtual meetings that I have to take during the day. Like many agencies and start-ups, my company starts the day with a simple 8:45am “stand-up” meeting where we just discuss what we’re working on and what we need from our colleagues. This helps everyone stay in the loop with current projects and holds us all accountable for our work.
Typically during this meeting, I’ll also take out my digital planner (I’ve been using this one by Paperlike.)
Now that I’m done with my meetings, it’s time for a stupid walk for my stupid mental health (bonus points if you get the reference.)
Before I start on any hard-hitting tasks for my job, I like to take 15 to 20 minutes to go on a walk or run outside. This has really become my exercise for the day and since I’ve added this to my routine, I have had no issues reaching 10k steps every single day.
I choose to exercise at this time because it gets me energized and helps me focus on my big tasks that I usually start my work day with. Walking daily has been shown to boost brain function and improve your mood, so what better way to start my work day?
Plus, a little extra vitamin D doesn’t hurt!
Benefits of a Consistent Summer Morning Routine
My secret for being able to maintain my morning routine and keep myself accountable? I do it every day. Yeah, even the weekends. No matter what time you wake up on the weekends, starting with your same routine will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to start your day. Of course, keeping a consistent sleeping schedule can help with that too, but that’s a whole other post on it’s own!
But what do you get from keeping with your morning routine consistently? More control in your day, to start. By not feeling rushed and stressed in the morning, you are taking back control and beginning your day exactly how you want. Having a consistent and health start to your day can also boost your energy levels, increase your productivity, and improve your mood.
Personally, I cannot think of a single downside to having a good morning routine. Unless of course you love the stressful rush of scrambling to get out the door (or to your computer) on time in the morning. In which case, you do you. I’m not here to yuck anyone’s yum.
Get Started with Your Summer Morning Routine
Your morning routine may look different from mine; all that matters is it works for you and leaves you feeling ready to tackle the day. By implementing a summer morning routine that you love, you are going to set yourself up for success. The more you accomplish thanks to your morning routine, the more you’ll want to practice it. All it takes is sitting down, figuring out what time you have, and what you’d like to accomplish with it.