At last, here we are: Week 4 of the Morning Routine Challenge! It’s been quite a month, hasn’t it? We’ve discovered that lemon water can be a refreshing alternative to tea and coffee (honestly can’t believe it’s still here), and that alarms trigger Annie the Anxiety Monster. As we close the chapter on this challenge, let’s reflect on all that’s happened.
On with the show!
In my original Morning Routine Challenge post, the main reason that I listed for undertaking this experiment was to push through my depression (Debbie) and anxiety (Annie), in order to have a productive day. Mornings tend to be a prime time for the Mental Monsters to rear their ugly heads, in particular, I regularly feel the weight of my illnesses bearing down on me whilst I’m trying to get ready for the day (JVN would not approve). With so much burden on me, the whole process used to be incredibly time consuming, with plenty of procrastination and suffering breaks. My perfect morning would start by getting out of bed as soon as I wake up (imagine actually wanting to wake up), eating a healthy breakfast, getting showered and dressed, and ending with being physically and mentally prepared to tackle the day. Without any structure, Debbie and Annie were taking control.
With the goal of having a productive, successful day in mind, I set out to research what other “successful” people do in the mornings, this chiefly consisted of the routines of CEOs and entrepreneurs (success is in the eye of the beholder, I guess). After picking out all the keys components of their mornings, and then being realistic about it (because I don’t live in 24/7 sunny L.A. with access to a plethora of smoothie carts), I compiled my original routine.
It was not successful.
Getting up spritely and active at first light doesn’t work for me, primarily due to a side effect caused by my medication (but also because ya gal loves sleep). I am also not a huge exercise kinda person (wait exercise or extra fries?), don’t get me wrong I enjoy going on walks with my dog everyday and the occasional game of badminton, but not in the mornings. Dedicating an hour of my morning, just to listen to “motivational” speeches isn’t for me either, as once I am fed and dressed, the energy to begin the day is at a high – so not acting on that energy feels like a waste. Gratitude journals took a swing and a miss (later hoe), whilst I see the benefit in them, much like the motivation speeches, my mind is more focused on the tasks at hand.
Fear not, dear reader! There were parts of the “successful” routines that really worked for me. Surprisingly (and I know I’ve mentioned this in previous posts), the hot water and lemon anti-vax nonsense, stood it’s ground throughout this whole experiment. I still do not believe that the drink has any magical properties that will somehow clear my skin and kick my immune system into gear (please refer to the horrendous cold I had in Week 2). However, it was refreshing and enabled my body’s natural energy supply to spring into action, instead waiting on my coffee’s supply of caffeine. Another winner was reading in the morning, instead of mindlessly staring at my phone. Through reading a couple of chapters each morning, I have been able to rekindle interest in a book that I had put down for a while, and ignited my old passion for books. As well, by eating the frog first everyday, I have started overcoming my stress from driving. Now, before I do any uni work or chores, I drive myself and my dog to the park, or go and see a friend, and it is helping me to become a more confident driver.
So, the big question is: has this challenge helped me to become more productive? And the overall answer is…yes! By adopting some new steps into my routine, and fine tuning it to suit my needs, I believe that I am starting to see success in my day. It’s not perfect, by any means, I still struggle to pull myself away from my duvet and it still takes some motivation to swiftly get dressed for the day – but compared to last month, there’s a definite improvement.
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Featured Image Credit 📷: Amelia Bartlett