Living an Empowered life, Part One: Build your morning routine.

We’ve all heard that having a routine is good for you and for those of you who have kids, you’ve probably experienced how much a good routine can do for a busy family. There are plenty of benefits to having a consistent routine including improving sleep quality, having less mental fatigue, and ensuring time for healthy eating and exercise.  Waking up and going to bed at the same time is a good start to improving your sleep, but if you want to go a step farther you can practice the same bedtime routine to signal to your body that it is time to wind down and relax.

For example, a bedtime routine could include brushing your teeth, washing your face, and then reading a book for a few minutes before actually going to sleep. All of these actions, when performed consistently, create a habit and tell your body that you’re preparing for sleep.  In addition, routines create an environment where you don’t have to make as many decisions.  Think of a person who goes to the gym in the morning. When they set their alarm the night before, they are allowing themselves to make one less decision in the morning. Over time, this helps to ease the mental load that a person carries. If they know what their schedule is, they don’t have to make decisions in the moment when it is often more stressful and leaves room to stray from their goals.

Plus, carving out time for grocery shopping or exercising can help you to stick to your goals. A lot of people find that they want to eat healthier or get in better shape, but they have trouble finding the time. If you have it built into your routine, you can hold yourself accountable and make sure to get the most out of that time.  While all of these benefits sound great, many struggle with ways in which to implement and stick to a schedule that works for them. Here are a few tips and tricks to use when starting to build a new routine:

1. Start small- Crumbs make a cake! Don’t try to change everything overnight because it simply isn’t realistic and oftentimes can lead to burn out or giving up on the routine entirely.

2. Build off of things that you already do- Habit stacking is one of the best ways to
motivate yourself to become better. For example, create a fun morning skin care routine to do after you brush your teeth. This connects an enjoyable task with a mundane one and it is proven to help people stick to their routines better.

3. Prepare what you can- Something as simple as setting up the coffee machine the night before can make a big difference in how prepared you feel to take on the day!

4. Schedule in time for rest- If it’s on the schedule you can’t skip it! Rest time is just as important as the time when you have things scheduled. It helps you to reset and
prevents you from overworking yourself.

5. Do something you love everyday- Trying to balance a full time job, a family, and
friends can be challenging, so make sure you do something for you each and everyday. It could be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee in silence or meditating for 5 minutes before work. Either way, this will help give you a sense of self. 

Always remember, the most important thing is that you build a schedule that makes you feel empowered and energized. The best routine is the one that is going to make you feel like the best version of yourself!

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