My Morning Routine - Expectation vs Reality
Updated: Feb 4, 2019
Although I'm not exactly a morning person and I do love to sleep in whenever I can, I still treasure that short period of me time before work. By setting the mood and intention in the morning, I feel like I can have a more productive and fruitful day. Having a routine helps foster good habits, and by doing so it makes time management so much easier for me. Nowadays I rarely have to rush out the door, which often leads to mistakes (e.g. accidentally left my lunchbox/ keys at home), thanks to my well established routine.
Indeed, there is a gap between expectation and reality. As much as I wish to get up early in the morning and enjoy it, the bed is just so comfy and it's soooo hard to pull myself out of it, especially during the colder months. So while I tell you what my ideal morning looks like, I shall also show you what my actual mornings look like...
6:00 am - Alarm Goes Off
Ideally, I would get up right after the alarm goes of. I would then always make my bed and put on some morning music. I do have a dedicated morning playlist which I have put together throughout the years. If you are looking for something similar to mine, searching for 'morning music' or 'morning coffee music' on YouTube would be a good start. Believe me, it is little things like this that makes a huge difference. It helps me to start my day with a good mood.
6:05 am - Morning Meditation & Yoga
After making my bed and choosing my BGM for the morning, I will lay out my yoga mat and do a quick 10 mins meditation. I find this helpful in terms of grounding and to focus on my tasks. If you need some extra help, there are plenty of guided morning meditation tutorials on YouTube that would help you set your intention for the day. Following the meditation, I like to do some yoga poses that helps me stretch my body. This helps me to be more energize and awake. If you are new to yoga, try to look up 'morning yoga for beginners' videos on YouTube, they are usually easy to follow and anyone could benefit from some light workout in the morning (better than going to the gym, in my opinion).
6:40 am - Make Breakfast
Now that I have stretched and am fully awake, I will be ready to make myself a nice and nutritious breakfast. When I have a bit more spare time in the morning, I like to have something fresh out of the oven, usually by baking some pre-rolled out croissant or some pre-shaped scones. On days when I crave for a heartier meal, something like an open sandwich with rockets, scrambled eggs and grilled mushrooms is my go to. While I bake the pastries or toast my bread, I also like to chop up some fresh fruits to go with my meal, and to make myself a cup of tea or coffee, depending on my mood. Whenever possible, I like to grind my coffee beans using a manual coffee grinder, just before I start brewing. Doing so gives the final product fresher and richer flavour. When I enjoy my breakfast, often times I would also to do some light reading and enjoy the gentle morning sun by the window.
7:30 am - Get ready
I personally prefer to have my teeth brushed after breakfast, so I will spend about 10 mins on that, cleanse my face (I tend not to 'wash' my face in the morning, check out my skin care secrets here to see why), and apply my skincare products. Then I'll put together an outfit and get dressed. The fact that I work in a lab makes outfit styling a lot simpler and much quicker. If you find yourself struggling to find an outfit in the morning, then preparing one before you go to bed at night isn't a bad idea. It will save you a lot of time and hassle in the morning. Once I have my outfit on, I will spend about 30 mins to put on my everyday makeup, and that will leave me about 10 mins to do my hair if I do choose to style it that day.
8:30 am - Head Off to Work
Just before I am ready to leave, I always spend 2 mins to check and make sure I have everything I need with me. It is 2 minutes in your life well spend because it does greatly reduce your chance of leaving something behind.
Now that you have seen what my ideal workday morning would be, I should also show you what my actual morning looks like. Getting out of bed is a constant struggle for me so I don't actually have that much time in the morning...
6:00 am - Alarm Goes Off
Just because the alarm went off, it doesn't mean I will actually manage to get myself out of bed. Most of the time I will just hit the snooze button, nap for 30 more mins, before I reach out for my phone and start going on social media... Well, at least starting off the day by looking at cute cats photos isn't such a bad idea, right?
7:00 am - Get out of bed
An hour after the alarm went off, I will try my very best to roll out of bed, put on some music and the kettle before I make my bed. Even on days when time is tight, I still try to make my bed because it make my feel better knowing that I have been organized (somehow) and will come home seeing a clean, made bed.
7:15 am - Make Breakfast
On a normal workday morning, I will make myself something quick and simple, such as a breakfast smoothie or a yogurt bowl with Greek yogurt, fresh fruits, nuts and granola. When I am craving for something that's more filling, a jar of overnight oats from the fridge is my go to. Simply top it off with some fruits and nuts, and breakfast is served. Let's not forget about the morning cuppa; no matter how little time I have in the morning, I still reach for a cup of coffee or tea. Instead of pulling out the teapot or coffee grinder, I usually will grab a tea bag or scope out some pre-ground coffee from my food cupboard which also gets the job done.
7:45 am - Get Ready
After brushing my teeth, I will get dressed and apply my skincare and makeup. In order to save time, I will throw my hair into a bun so no one needs to know how messy they really are. The trick here is to look polished with minimum effort. No one can tell ;)
8:30 am - Head Off to Work
Before leaving for work, I will still spend the 2 mins to make sure I have everything with me. Remember, it's better to spend 2 minutes now than to spend 20 mins running back just because you left something behind.
There you have it! My ideal morning routine and my actual ones. This is what I find work best for me since my college years. I would love to hear about your mornings and tips! Leave a comment below and share with us what you find helpful in getting yourself through the morning. :)