The Routine That Made Me a Morning Person
Recently, a sweet Twitter follower of mine asked if I would blog about my morning routine. (Thanks, Hannah!) It was such a fun request, and I loved the idea of capturing how I spend my mornings -- especially because over time, they have come to be so meaningful to me. I took these pictures over the span of a few mornings, so you'll see some different outfits and such, and there are affiliate links throughout as well (you know they won't cost you a penny more, but I wanted to make it easy for you to find what I'm talking about!).
I am SUCH a night owl by nature -- in my dream life, I would stay up until 1 or 2 am every night, wake up at 8, and take a nap in the afternoon. THE DREAM. But, as much as I love staying up late, having a real adult job and a real life means that isn't often a luxury I can indulge in. I used to be loyal to my snooze button, trying to cram in every last minute of sleep I could, but that rushed and frantic feeling of trying to get out the door in time was not my friend. It took a long time to get settled into a morning routine, but now, I never miss a day. (I think I might even be more of a morning person now... but that's so hard to admit!)
This is what a normal morning looks like (on the weekdays, and the weekends, although it's usually about an hour or two later on the weekends, and I'm not in a rush to get to work!) and how I spend my time before the day gets going.
Here's my daily morning routine:
6:00 am // wake up to Kiwake alarm (a HUGE game changer!) -- this alarm has a few steps before you can turn it off, which may sound extreme if you're a morning person, but when you're a snooze-button-lover like I was, you need this. You first have to turn off the first alarm, which then triggers the photo stage, where you have to take a picture of something you've predetermined. For me, that's this "It is well" banner (a former DIY project!) that hangs on my door and requires me to get out of bed to take the picture. Plus, it's a great mantra to remind myself of every morning! Then, the game stage is triggered, where you have to tap the falling boxes before they hit the bottom. Then, I have to swipe over my goals, and then the app will shut down. The whole idea is to activate body, mind, and spirit as you wake up, and it really is awesome!
6:02 am // bathroom, brush teeth, spray face with rose water to help me feel awake. Enjoy that "I woke up like this" selfie, guys. It's a rare sighting. (Also, follow up -- I shower at night 95% of the time! And never ever blow dry my hair.)
6:05 am // make my bed, turn on my salt lamp, grab my stack of Bibles/journals and get comfy.
I know they say you are only supposed to use your bed for sleeping, but I find it's the best place to spread out with all my books/journals/things, so whatever. #rebel
6:10-7:00 am // quiet time. This never looks the same two days in a row, really, but always includes a mix of meditating, prayer, reading Scripture and other devotional books, reading poetry, and journaling a lot. I don't have my phone near me (except when I'm doing the SRT reading plan on the app!) and I don't put music on or anything. I just grab a big glass of water (breakfast comes later) and get settled in.
Here are my thoughts about mornings and quiet times: I'm a big fan, but it's taken me a while to get here. I used to think I could just read my Bible at night before bed and pray before I fell asleep, and that would be good... but it wasn't quality time. I didn't prioritize it.
Now, even though it's hard to wake up early and really commit to time in the Word, I've noticed just how radically different my mood is, my day is, and my overall life is when I do so. Sometimes, I just read in my One Year Bible. Sometimes, I just journal and pray. Sometimes, I read my Bible and journal and read devotional books. Sometimes, I just write out a Psalm (my latest endeavor!) and pray over the words as I copy them down.
Quiet times do not have to follow a formula (and I would argue that they shouldn't!) and they do not HAVE to include any specific thing... but the richness that comes from time spent soaking up Scripture, being in conversation with the Lord, and processing your feelings and what you're learning through journaling is incredible.
I'd encourage anyone, no matter where you stand in your faith, to start with just a few committed minutes every morning and get in to the rhythm of that being a daily practice. As you go, increase the amount of time you spend in your quiet time! Don't make this a stressful thing, and give yourself grace on the days it just doesn't happen, but I'd be willing to bet that the more you make morning time with the Lord a priority, the more you'll want more of it. That's been so true for me!
Here are the specific books and journals and things I use and love:
- The One Year Bible (NLT)
- She Reads Truth Bible (CSB)
- The Jesus Bible (NIV)
- The Message Bible
- Moleskine journal (always black, hard cover, with grid pages!)
- These pens for my journal, these pens for my Bible.
- Q&A a day: 5-Year Journal
- New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp
- My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers
- Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (rarely, but sometimes)
- She Reads Truth app (currently going through the Romans summer study!)
7:01 am // "get ready!" alarm goes off! (This is so helpful in knowing I'll have enough time to get ready, and I don't have to keep my phone near me to keep checking the time and therefore getting distracted during my quiet time.) I get dressed (not a capsule wardrobe anymore -- read about that experiment here and here--but still much more streamlined and simplified than it was before!), put my makeup on, pack my bag for work (basically just deciding what books I want for the day), and get everything together. Follow up -- I don't pick out my outfits ahead of time, I'm a BIG "dress to fit my mood" person, so that's such a game time decision!
7:30 am // once my roommate leaves (because I'm not a morning person and should not interact with humans before I am fully awake and caffeinated), I head out to the kitchen to grab coffee, make my lunch (often leftovers from dinners, lots of veggies/fruits, nuts, etc. I will make salads in the mornings, though!), usually whip up a breakfast protein smoothie or make some nut butter toast, and water my garden and flowers.
Even just taking those few moments outside to water my plants is so calming -- it makes a huge difference in my day to have that time of silence and stillness and connecting with nature. Such a simple game-changer.
7:45 am // I leave for work! Fun fact: If you didn't hear this already, my role at work changed recently from the editor of BibleStudyTools.com to the design editor for all the editorial brands here at Salem Web Network -- literally, my dream job. It's been so much fun getting into a new swing of things, and I'm loving it! Also, we started a podcast that is a BLAST -- we'd love for you to listen to Inside the Editors' Room! (shameless plugs over!)