A gentle morning routine can set you up for the day without feeling rushed. I hope to inspire you to create a routine that will work for you.
I’m not one to share my deep dark personal secrets on the Internet, but I’m going to reveal some personal things today. I’m going to give you a sneak peek into my morning routine. This routine has worked so well for me that I felt I just had to share it with you.
If you’re struggling to get going in the morning, perhaps this may be a blessing to you.
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Here are the ingredients for my stress-free morning routine:
1. A Good Night’s Sleep
A stress-free morning routine can set the tone for your whole day. But stress-free mornings start out with a good night’s sleep. It’s kind of hard to have a stress-free morning if your sleep routine is messed up.
Now, let’s say you do everything right to get a good sleep, but you still wake up all achy because you have a bad mattress.
I hated our mattress in New York. I just couldn’t get comfortable. So, when we came to North Carolina, John and I spent weeks researching mattresses. Phew… what a job that was. Finally, we found the perfect mattress. Read our review here.
Every morning I wake up on a super-comfortable organic Sleep EZ mattress with soft organic sheets. Oh, how lovely!
2. Waking Up In A Peaceful State
I used to wake up to one of those alarms that sounded like there was a prison breakout in progress. That was just the thing I needed to pump huge amounts of cortisol throughout my body putting added stress on already overworked adrenal glands.
Here in our new home, there’s a beautiful transom window above the bedroom window. The sun shines in every morning and gently wakes me up.
If you need an alarm to wake you up, then please choose one that has nature sounds or soothing sounds. Give your adrenals a break.
I really love my transom window. I linger for a few minutes in bed and just enjoy looking out and watching the birds in the trees and listening to their songs.
After soaking in the beauty that the Lord has given us, I’m ready to start moving. But, first, I’ll make my hubby come alive with a good morning kiss and then whisper a warm “good morning” to him. That starts the day with a positive attitude for both of us.
Now, I don’t jump right out of bed. Nope, I’ll just sit on the side for a few minutes so as to warn all the systems in my body that we’ll be walking around soon.
Then I get started on my day. First, I switch my phone off airplane mode. Yep, you gotta reduce exposure to those nasty EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies). We get enough of them during the day.
3. Determining Morning Readiness
After turning on my iPhone, I put on my Bluetooth heart rate monitor (affiliate link). This may sound crazy, but I check my heart rate variability (HRV) every morning. This reading from 1-10 gives me an insight into how my autonomic nervous (ANS) system is doing. This is the free HRV app I use to record my readings.
Some days my parasympathetic activity is elevated, and I need to take it easy that day. Other days, my sympathetic activity tells me I should do some guided breathing. And some days I get a perfect 10! That tells me that my ANS is in perfect balance, and I can go conquer the world! I keep telling John that he married a perfect 10. 😉
To do the morning HRV, you have to be in a quiet comfortable spot so I jump back in bed for five minutes. John’s hand often gets slapped because he can’t touch me while the HRV program is recording my data. LOL.
O.K., now I’m ready to get going. I get on some workout gear and head to the kitchen for a glass of water and a pinch of salt.
Drinking water in the morning helps to flush out harmful toxins, leaving your body fresh and healthy. The salt improves hydration of your body, improves digestion, and may increase your blood volume taking stress off the adrenals.
After that, I do a few stretching exercises because having a strong core equals a strong back. This girl lifts weights so she needs a strong back. Read John’s post here. Stretching is also the best way to wake up muscles and morning is the best time to do back exercises. I use this extra thick mat.
Also, this is a good time to listen to a podcast or just listen to music while you stretch.
By the way, there’s my bamboo palm in the background. They’re great for soaking up toxins from your house.
4. Self Care
There are still several more things to do before I conquer the world. I splash some cold water on my face. John tells me this is an excellent way to activate my parasympathetic nervous system. I’ve been doing this my whole life, and I didn’t know that.
If you’re overstressed, your sympathetic nervous system is probably overactive. This simple thing will help to bring both systems into equilibrium.
Then it’s a Waterpik treatment. The Waterpik is an excellent way to keep your gums healthy. An ounce of prevention can save us from getting some serious diseases.
Okay, I can finally get dressed. And even put on a little makeup to feel confident and ready to tackle the day.
5. Coffee Time
Do you like tea or coffee in the morning? For me, it’s coffee. Black. Thank you. Many mornings John has already made the coffee by the time I’m ready. Ooh…I think I’ll keep him for another 32 years.
I still have my Krups coffee grinder from 40 years ago. It’s still going strong. I love fresh ground coffee made in a simple French press. Yum.
6. Quiet Time
Now, I’ll head to my home office with my coffee in hand.
Going to the same spot every morning helps when you want to develop a quiet time routine. For example, you may have a favorite chair by the window or an outdoor patio chair or perhaps you prefer going for a walk and taking time to focus on the things that you’re thankful for.
It helps to go to a place with few distractions.
First, I read my Bible and pray. I use a program online to read the Bible in one year. Using these blue-tooth headphones, I can listen while I read along. I find that I’m less distracted if I listen too.
For prayer, I use a wonderful app my son developed. It’s an iPhone app called The Christian Prayer Guide. It helps you develop a powerful daily prayer routine with 31 days of prayer prompts rooted in Scripture. I love it.
If you’d like to strengthen your spiritual life too, you can get it for your iphone here. And for your android phone here.
This month, I’ve also started a new practice of writing morning pages to clear my mind and for personal growth. Ultimately, a gentle morning routine sets me up to organize my day without feeling rushed.
The Takeaway: A Healthy Start to the Day
Being a wife to an amazing husband and a mother of four amazing adult children, it could be easy to concern myself with the needs of my loved ones and ignore mine.
But taking care of my health is the best way to enjoy a quality life and age well.
And that’s my morning routine.
To clarify, I should say my ideal morning routine. Some mornings, life happens, and I don’t get to everything. But when I do, I’m fueled with strength and a positive frame of mind.
Well, it’s time to get to work now. I’m ready to check in on the blog. Perhaps I’ll be writing a new post, preparing for a new recipe, doing a photo shoot, or chatting with you on Instagram or Facebook.
Because I practice intermittent fasting (eating between noon and 8 p.m), I’ll break my fast after 12 o’clock with a delicious brunch frittata and another cup of coffee. I add some collagen and MCT oil to my brunch coffee.
Collagen promotes healthy hair and nails and necessary healing for my bones since I lift weights three times a week. And MCT oil gives me energy and mental focus.
So, do you have a morning routine? Let me know in the comments.
Above all, I hope I’ve inspired you to create a routine that will work for you. If you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend who you think might find it helpful too. Thanks for reading!
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Hi Barbara, I would love to know what means the numbers on your scale 1-10 with your heart rate monitor. When you consider your parasympathetic activity to be elevated or how to know when you need to meditate…. This really interests me. I have M.E. and just found your blog. I have been Paleo and Keto for a long long while and now trying to get sronger. This is how i found you blog ^_^
Barbara Bianchi says
Excellent. I’m so glad you’re here.
The Bluetooth heart rate monitor is synced with the free app that I have on my phone and gives the reading. This heart rate variability (HRV) guide explains the numbers readings. 🙂
Have a great week!