Some of my favorite videos and blog posts are routines… skin care, morning, evening, etc. I don’t care. I love them all. It’s kind of like buying office supplies. The illusion of being productive and organized. So this week I’m going to start out by sharing my morning routine!
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Keep in mind that I have to leave for work at least by 5:30am. Many morning routines are 2+ hours long, which is great it if you get up at 5 and need to be at work by 8. Ideal. But I can’t go to bed earlier than 9 on a regular basis (it’s just not practical) so to get enough sleep I can’t get up before 4:30, nor would I want to! Therefore, my morning routine is only about 1 hour long and I pack a lot into that short time!
4:30AM WAKE UP, KATE!
I have an alarm set at 4:20 and one at 4:30. I’ll be honest and say that sometimes the first half hour of my routine gets scrapped. Sometimes I just can’t convince myself to get up at 4:30. It’s extra hard since the sun doesn’t come up until I’ve actually been at work for 15+ minutes. There’s all sorts of tips about how to get up early, but most aren’t practical. I can’t put my alarm clock on the other side of the room because there isn’t an outlet, and I’m not convinced I’d actually hear it anyway. I can’t keep my phone in a different room because my phone is my alarm clock. Ultimately, for me anyway, it comes down to sheer will-power.
Wake up Workout
One of the reasons I get up at 4:30 is so I can get a workout in before work. Even if I didn’t get enough sleep I always feel a little more energetic if I run a mile before work. Of course, it’s dark when I get up so I have to make Ryan go with me! Ideally the sun would be up when I go running to keep my circadian rhythms running on schedule. But at least I get fresh air. I also find that working out in the morning helps me make healthier choices throughout the day. Plus it’s summer in Kansas and it’s not only no fun to run in the afternoons, but actually unsafe. Between getting dressed for running, actual running, and short warm up I usually finish my workout around 5am. I will add, though, that when the weather is nice sometimes I save my run for the afternoon, or if it’s winter I might just walk on my treadmill instead1
Even though it’s definitely cooler before the sun comes up, running outside in the summer at any time of day is pretty hot. I don’t usually need a full shower, and I take one after my afternoon (indoor) workout. Plus who has time for a shower in the morning? Instead I take a quick cold rinse. Aside from getting rid of a little sweat it helps to re-regulate my body temperature. Plus cold showers strengthen your immune system, increase alertness, accelerate metabolism, fight depression, and tighten skin! I usually wash my face at this time too, just to save time. Nobody wants to stay in a cold shower very long so this usually takes 5-10 minutes.
Back to Basics
There are some things that are just part of being human. Like brushing your teeth, putting on deodorant, getting dressed, etc. Nothing special here. I do take some vitamins, Flinstone’s with Iron (as recommended by my doctor) and a magnesium citrate supplement. For my hair it depends on what day since washing it is. First and second day hair gets scrunched with a little hair oil, past that it gets put half up or full up. Either way the basics of my routine don’t take very long. Probably around 5-10 minutes.
To help this go fast I have a list of breakfast options that I don’t have to think about. If I’ve thought ahead sometimes I’ll even prep my food the night before. I don’t have time to eat at home so I grab my breakfast, water bottle, and morning snack and throw them in my purse or a bag. The exception to this is Friday mornings. To reward myself for making it through another week I leave the house a little early and stop at Starbucks! On Starbucks days I try to leave the house by 5:23, on regular days I’ll still try to leave by 5:23 if at all possible, but I can be a little more relaxed about it.
Things that Aren’t Part of My Routine
You might notice some things that are glaringly missing from my morning routine. The first is scrolling through social media. I’ll be honest, I totally do this. Since I can’t get sun first thing in the morning and supposedly the blue light keeps you awake at night because it messes with your circadian rhythm I figure it maybe does some of the same when I wake up. However, I do stay away from negativity (like facebook arguments) or news (which might be depressing) first thing in the morning.
Another thing that’s missing is coffee. I do really love coffee. I used to be a barista. But even on Starbucks Fridays I don’t get coffee. I struggle with insomnia plus I don’t want to be caffeine dependent, so I try to avoid caffeine as much as possible, even in the morning. That’s not to say I never have coffee, I do occasionally make a latte on the weekend, but I intentionally don’t make it a part of my regular routine. Working out, getting enough sleep, good nutrition, and a cold shower in the morning help me stay awake and have energy to get through my day without caffeine!
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