No. 13

Morning Routines

For the past few weeks, I’ve been establishing a new morning routine, one that includes tea upon awakening, a proper breakfast at my dining table, and singing to good music. I get time in at the gym to move my body before arriving at my desk, and I often read interesting books while I’m on the elliptical. I let the hot water in the shower soothe my muscles and I spend a few minutes visualizing all the good things that will happen.

The hardest change I’ve been trying to make is weaning myself off checking email before I get to work. Given that I was waking once or twice in the middle of the night to read texts and emails (seriously, I compulsively read emails at 2am), this has been a huge, difficult task for me. I feel like I’m missing out by sleeping. But the few mornings I’ve successfully managed not to peek at my inbox, I’ve noticed how calm I feel, and how excited I am to read notes from friends when I finally sit down.

What’s your morning routine?

(And do you have difficulty staying away from your email like I do? I swear I’m addicted.)

{Mugs from kngo. Aren’t they sweet? The first says “good morning starshine” and the other “shine on you crazy diamond.” Love those. Consider them my message to you today.}

About brandi

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim, a company that helps entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. Her academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where she’s worked with Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and other notable thought leaders since 2013. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

38 thoughts on “Morning Routines

  1. I have a really hard time staying away from email. I check it before I go to bed and right when I wake up. Your morning routine is much like mine though. Gym, shower, eat, work… rinse and repeat. Maybe I should vary it a bit

    1. You know, I debate varying mine, but I like the sense of calm that regularity brings along with it. I have a whole different weekend morning routine though, which involves a cup of tea and reading a book, since the gym doesn’t open early enough for me to head straight there.

      But what about trying some variety in food or reading material or workout?

      1. Yep – I’m so bad at varying my workout though. Maybe I should find some classes or something. That is much more fun than working out by your lonesome

  2. Hey!
    I love this post! It’s like you read my mind. I always get up with just enough time to shower, dress and if I’m lucky make my breakfast before running to the streetcar. It is annoying and I realized last week that starting my day in such a stressful way is not fun and is unhealthy.

    Now … I am getting up with enough time to have a proper breakfast on most days and to just move slower at everything. So much better. Of course I am making sure I get to bed earlier too.

    1. Bola, I’m glad to hear the changes you’ve made have had such a positive impact! Sometimes it’s hard to get started, but once you feel the difference that’s such incentive.

  3. Mine is quite similar, even the obsessive e-mail reading! I usually wake up, check e-mail and FB, go to the gym (where I also do my reading! and news watching) the I have breakfast, usually while checking on blogs, then shower and get dressed and head to my internship. I think I may add the visualizing all the good things to happen to me :)

    1. Oh, you should! And maybe also save email from after you get back from the gym? Trust me, it feels good not to be under its control.

  4. It is almost nearly impossible for me to peel my eyes off of my e-mail notification icon on my laptop. My morning routines have not been the greatest for the past few years (I really want to blame school, but I know I shouldn’t). I’m trying to get into the habit of sleeping early so that I can go to the gym in the morning. I also want to try to consume at least two glasses of water in the morning. It’s so difficult with my graduation date coming closer and closer and the pile of work…well piling up! I hope all is well with you, Brandi. I have definitely missed your posts!

    1. You can do it, Michelle! You’re almost there.

      In the meantime, turn off that e-mail notification on your laptop. It might be strange at first, but it will feel so good!

  5. I’m also trying to make a habit of not checking my phone (email/twitter, etc.) until after I’ve started getting going in the morning. Also, setting a firm “off” time at night. And making that time BEFORE I’m going to sleep, so I have some screen free time before I shut my eyes.
    (those cups are super cute)

    1. Amanda, I love that you set a firm “off” time at night. That’s really hard for me to do. I’m making baby steps toward that though.

  6. Sounds like a great morning routine. I have the habit of checking e-mail/blogs first thing in the morning. A while back I tried making Thursday evenings my no-Internet time, and it was very restful – I read, or worked on a long-neglected craft project. I need to get back to that! :)

  7. I’ve been craving a morning routine. Right now, it’s wake up fifteen minutes late and dash to get everything together, or wake up early and realizing I forgot to do something for work and running out the door a half hour earlier than planned.

    It’s not much fun. Without my morning cup of coffee (in the car, on my way, unfortunately), it’d be awful, even on the mornings that I don’t start work until ten.

    1. Oh no! It sounds like you really do need a morning routine, Katie — something that gets you started with a sense of serenity for the day. Maybe try shifting your bedtime a bit so you can start getting up earlier?

  8. I have trouble with wanting to check my email first thing in the morning. This has got me thinking that I need to work on a more soothing morning routine too – great post!

  9. I NEED a new morning routine.

    Mine is a bit slap dash at the moment. I keep swearing that one day I’ll make the 6am gym classes I so desperately want to. I just find it hard to leave my husband looking all snug and warm in bed when I can have an extra hour’s cuddle.

    1. Naomi, I completely understand. Give it a try for a few days and then reevalute. Maybe the gym will end up being even more awesome than that extra hour of sleepy cuddle time. Or even better — bring your husband to the gym with you!

  10. ever since i don’t have a cell phone it’s been quite peaceful over here. I only get to read the comments left on the blog and a few emails sent by my friends about life over the past couple of weeks.

    also, ive been laying low on contacting anyone over here… i just feel so at peace the way i am and the way things are… am i turning into a hermit? yikes! haha!

  11. Hello there, lovely friend! I’m back from vacation and am catching up on reading all your blog posts I missed. I love them! You’re really on a roll lately, aren’t you? Lots of inspiration and things to think about :)

    I’m enjoying a really relaxed morning routine at the moment, with school being out. No rushing out the door with kids and all their gear in tow! Aaah… Am trying to make nice breakfasts, sit down to eat them with a hot cup of tea {my tea is never hot when I get to it on a weekday during the school year!}, spend time relaxing and hanging out with the boys, and making a list of what I plan to do with my day. One day soon, “Skype with Brandi” is going to be on that list! Is there a day next week that works for you?

    xoxo E.

  12. I struggle with good morning routines but I’ve also been managing our breakfast time pretty well. I adore those mugs and you positive attitude! xoxo

    1. Thanks, Ana! I think having a good, slow breakfast is one of the best things you can do in the morning. It helps set the tone for the day.

  13. I feel normal! I am the same with emails and technology to the point that I’m considering ditching my iPhone and going old school with a phone that doesn’t make net coverage so easy. That being said, when I make the decision to switch off in the morning and evening and not check emails (usually minimum 1-2 days a week), I feel so much more energized and positive. I haven’t managed to do so tonight and time has gotten away from me. Switching off now, but your email is on my to-do listHave a fabulous day!

    1. It certainly is tempting to go back to a non-smartphone. At the same time, I love having GPS on there. I definitely need to try shutting my phone off more — I so admire you’re able to do that!

  14. Morning routines have always been a problem for me. Lately, my boyfriend and I have been making an effort to get up at the same time, so we can spend some time together in the morning, and that seems to ground me. Whether we spend that time eating breakfast or packing lunches, or just getting in some extra cuddles, it makes me feel more energized to spend my morning with him (rather than being jealous that he gets to sleep for an extra half an hour while I get ready for work). I’m lucky enough that he was willing to compromise on that, and it’s made a world of difference.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever get into the habit of exercising in the morning, though–bravo to you for that :P

    1. Julie, that sounds so sweet!! I think it’s great you and your boyfriend have that time together.

      And not everyone is a morning workout person. I just happen to be. It’s all about finding what works well for you.

  15. After reading this I realized that the way I am starting my morning is probably not the best way. I usually wake up and start checking my email while heading to the bathroom to wash my face. I’ve even caught myself responding to emails as I brush my teeth. Definitely not a good way to start the day. I need to take your advice and try a better routine. Let’s see how it goes. :)

    1. I feel like we’ve all been so trained to be multitaskers that we now find ourselves multitasking the strangest things, like brushing teeth and replying to emails. Sometimes, single tasking is much better and much more calming.

      Let me know how trying to find a new routine works for you.

  16. When I didn’t have a smart phone, I checked emails only when I was at work, and after that, it would take a phone call or a text message for anyone to send me any news. I loved it!

    Then, last October, I finally decided to purchase a smart phone and quickly grew addicted to it. I am almost always checking my emails – work, personal, whatever in between – whenever and wherever I can. I am also trying to work through that, and silence my notifications during meals and when I sleep :P

    1. Could you get away with just turning off the email notification entirely? I did that and it’s been awesome. I still check emails but I don’t feel like I need to compulsively do it every time that green light starts flashing at me.

  17. oh good grief….reading emails in the night darling girl
    my morning starts so early: 3:45…EEEP!!!
    coffee. coffee. more coffee.
    it’s my time to work on the blog, my choreography for the day and sometimes, if i’m lucky….i’ll get to visit some of my friends….
    email, of late, has become a luxury.
    i think i may have to buy some of those mugs….
    love you.

    1. I think you do need to buy some of those mugs.

      I’m still amazed you get up that early, though I’m up not much later at 4:30am.

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