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How to Make Time For a Morning Self-Care Routine

Having a morning self-care routine is a key part in changing your mindset and improving your mental health.

A bath tray with wine glasses, a candle and flower on it

It makes total sense that self-care should be a part of your morning routine – it helps your mental health, keeps stress at bay, makes you appreciate your self-worth, and sets your up for the day.

Our morning routine sets the tone for the rest of the day, yet is one of the most overlooked opportunities for self-care.

It’s frustratingly hard to fit self-care into your morning routine when you have a busy life to lead.

School, college, work and family are all difficult to juggle as it is. Adding a social life and time to practice even the most basic self-care seems almost impossible.

How to fit in a morning self-care routine

Here’s how you can change all that and ensure you’re mentally healthy right from the top of the day.

#1. Create an early morning routine

I know, I know. No one wants to hear it but if you want more time, you need to make it.

Just getting up half-an-hour earlier each morning at least allows you to get in 10 minutes of meditation (if you’re so inclined) and gives you enough time to make a balanced breakfast, journal or take a slightly longer shower.

While I don’t expect everyone to start waking up at the crack of dawn (I sure as hell don’t), even 15 minutes earlier can make a difference.

How do I calm myself in the morning using self-care?

The absolute legend that is Adriene of the YouTube channel, Yoga With Adriene, has an awesome, short video on morning meditation to start your day, which I really recommend.

That 10 minutes of meditation first thing in the morning will help you start your day in a good place.

Your mind will be clear, your anxiety will be lowered and you’ll be in a far more positive mind frame than if you had just rolled out of bed.

#2. Implement self-care products into your existing morning routine

One way to fit in morning self-care into your routine is to implement self-care products into your existing routine.

What do I mean by this?

A mug of coffee and flowers on a bed

Well, you may not have time for a long, luxurious bath first thing in the morning, but jumping in the shower and lathering up with your favourite body wash is definitely a massive boost.

If you usually spend 10 minutes staring out the window contemplating your own existence, why not journal while you do so?

While you’re getting dressed, instead of doing so in silence, I invite you to put on an inspiring podcast or music that really lifts your energy.

Don’t just create more time by getting up earlier, work with the time you’ve already got.

#3. Be prepared… or something

If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail… or something. (What it the boy scouts who said that?)

Anyway, using the night before to prepare for your morning self-care is a pretty nifty little trick.

While it may seem like common sense to some people, to those of us who may suffer from mental health issues that force us to neglect self-care or those who might be neurodivergent, this can be a game-changing revelation.

Ways to prepare your morning self-care the night before are:

  • Meal prep – Preparing your breakfast and setting it aside for the next morning
  • Laying out your outfit so that you have an extra couple of minutes to repeat positive affirmations before you put it on
  • Setting out the products you want to use
  • Planning out your day in a planner

These are just a few ways, but I’m sure you get the picture.

Pastries, flowers and a candle on a table

Try to do what you can to get you an extra few minutes so that your morning self-care routine is nice and relaxed.

#4. Set a time to journal

Journaling as part of my morning self-care routine has been nothing short of life-changing.

I can appreciate that it’s not on everyone’s list of priorities first thing in the morning and that’s cool, you do you. However, I really couldn’t recommend at least trying it enough.

Some journaling techniques that I use every single morning as part of my self-care routine are:

  • Practising gratitude
  • Setting goals/intentions
  • Scheduling in self-care
  • Writing affirmations
  • Using journal prompts

All of these techniques combined have helped improve my mindset, self-esteem, and mental health MASSIVELY.

If you’re strapped for time, I recommend two things:

  1. Set a timer – Work out how many minutes you can realistically spare first thing in the morning and set a timer on your phone to journal so that you’re not anxious about running over.
  2. Pick one or two journal techniques and stick to them – If you don’t have time to practise every single technique there is out there, no worries. Just pick one that really works for you and stick to it. This might be writing five things you’re grateful for every morning and leaving it at that, or writing affirmations, or picking a journal prompt to focus on. As long as you stick to it, you’ll feel the benefits.

#5. set and enforce boundaries; learn to say ‘no’

Your morning self-care – and looking after yourself in general – should be your number one priority. 

A mug, magazine and blanket on a chair

(Obviously, if you’re a parent, this often isn’t the case. However, even then, your needs do need to be a close second.)

You can’t be everything to everyone.

You need time to do you.

My mornings are sacred to me. I always feel fresh and introspective, which is why I love journaling at this time.

I don’t like anyone or anything getting in the way of that and ruining my peaceful ~vibe~.

If someone wants something from me in the morning, they’ll have to wait until I’m ready.

I’ve set (and enforce) clear boundaries and learned to say ‘no’ without the fear of letting people down because my morning self-care is paramount.

My own mental health is my priority.

I invite you to do the same and set some boundaries with yourself and others; it’s super-important when it comes to protecting your energy in the morning.

For example, make it clear to yourself and whomever it may concern that you won’t be replying to emails after 6pm or replying before 9am.

Communicate your boundaries so that people don’t unwittingly trample on them and make sure you enforce them firmly.

What are good morning self-care habits?

If you’re really struggling to think of some good morning self-care ideas, here are some good habits to get into:

  • Go to bed earlier so you still get 7-9 hours of sleep.
  • Don’t snooze your alarm – just get straight up.
  • Drink a tall glass of cool (not ice cold) water as soon as you get up.
  • Open your planner the night before and check your schedule so that you know exactly what you need to do when you wake up.
  • Don’t check social media or your emails in bed before you get up.
  • Think of your goals as soon as your alarm goes off – know what you have to focus on.
  • Stretch, even if you don’t have time for a short yoga routine.
  • Think about three things you’re grateful for, out loud or in your journal.
  • Repeat affirmations in your head, out loud and/or in your journal.
  • Schedule in self-care for later in the day.
  • Expand on a journal prompt.
  • Move your body in some way.

As well as implementing self-care into your morning routine, I also recommend taking at least one self-care day a week to keep your mindset and mental health in a good place.

You’re welcome ;).

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