Updated: Apr 26, 2020
**Disclaimer: this post was written in May 2019. I just procrastinated uploading it.**
This summer has been rough for me so far. For those of you who don't know, I go to school at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. But I grew up in Maryland...about 2,000 miles away from my current school. I just finished my sophomore year in April 2019 and moved home for the summer (or so I thought...I'm actually heading back to Utah in mid-June) and was immediately completely depressed when I got back out here.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my family. They're hilarious, supportive, loving, and the best family anyone could ask for. (although I might be a little biased) But I had left a lot of great friends out in Utah, and a life that I was used to.
So I started to put some things into place in my life to try and help myself feel better in my new life in Maryland. These things included going to the gym, eating healthier, writing more, and cultivating a morning routine.
Since I started my morning routine about a month ago, I have felt a difference in my day. And as the weeks have gone on, I've slowly started incorporating more and more things into my routine to start my day off right, and I don't plan on going back anytime soon.
So, here it is: at the risk of sounding like a fake blonde social media influencer (although I already have the fake blonde part down), I'm gonna tell you guys my morning routine.
1. Getting out of bed right away
This first part is something I am still struggling with, but I'm sure it'll come with time. I try to get out of bed within the first thirty minutes of waking up, which occasionally has not happened...there may have been one day recently where I just laid in bed until noon because I had absolutely nothing to do that day. But for the most part, I'm up and at it between 7 AM and 9 AM, depending on when I'm scheduled to work.
2. Drinking water
I personally think this is way important. Every night before bed I fill up my 16 oz reusable Starbucks cup with water and leave it on my desk so that the first thing I do when I get up is drink water. I drink the entire thing before I do anything else, and usually walk around my room to open the blinds, straighten out my desk, and do other little things while I finish it.
During the school year I had an entire, in-depth skincare regimen that I stuck to every morning and every night. But then in late March/early April, I started to develop this terrible acne on my chin. I didn't really know what to do about it so I researched it a little bit ago and discovered that it's cystic acne, which tends to pop up in women around the time they're 20. (go figure) So my current skincare routine consists of three steps: a salicylic acid-based cleanser (I'm using the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Medicated Acne Face Wash), an oil-free moisturizer (I'm using the Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer with SPF 15) and finishing off with a benzoyl peroxide acne spot treatment (I'm using Clean and Clear's Persa-Gel 10 Benzoyl Peroxide acne medication).
4. Fitness Journal
Now it doesn't have to be a fitness journal per se, but that's what I've been using to help myself along with my gym and eating goals as well as mental health. I found a cute little fitness journal at Target from Fitlosophy that I've been using every weekday. It has you list three things you're grateful for, followed by your goal to "live life fit" that day and something you love about yourself. It also has room to fill out what you did for exercise that day as well as what you ate, but I usually fill that in as part of my evening routine. It also has about half a page of blank lines, so I like to journal a bit in there every morning about what's important to me that day, highlights from the day before, or anything that I think is important. Starting the day off with gratitude and self-love is something I would highly recommend, and writing those things down helps to visualize them and remember them throughout the day.
This one is obvious. Take your vitamins! I take the One a Day Women's Multi Gummies and honestly, they taste great--which is something I haven't been able to say about previous vitamins.
Since I try and go to the gym every day, it's important to stretch beforehand. I try and stretch for ten minutes every morning, focusing on my lower body.
I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I absolutely love my religion. I notice that my day is always better when I get in a chapter of the Book of Mormon every morning, but that's just me. If you are religious, then reading an excerpt from your religious text is a great way to start the morning. If you aren't religious, I would suggest reading from a motivational or inspiring book to start your morning on the right foot.
I like to finish off my morning routine with meditation. I am brand new to meditating and started it because I wanted to feel more calm and centered throughout the day. I've been using the app "Headspace" and it's been great. They give you 3-5 minute meditation sections, and they're just helpful to take a step back and focus on yourself and your thoughts for a few minutes in the morning. I used to try and do this at the beginning of my morning routine, before I got out of bed, but would always end up falling back asleep because of how calming it actually was (and how tired I always am). So I moved it to the end of my morning and have felt so much better since.
So that's my morning routine! I think it is so important to have some sort of regimen in the morning, even if it's just drinking a glass of water and then washing your face. Having something set every morning helps to make you feel more motivated, productive and on top of things for the rest of the day.