Is it just me or is this year flying by fast than last year? It feels like yesterday I was sitting down on my table writing my intentions and affirmations for 2021. Summer is coming by fast and I don’t know about you but I’m ready to enjoy summer to the fullest, be outside and abroad if possible. One of my intentions this year was to have an overall body care routine since last year I worked on my skincare and haircare routine, and I thought why not work on a body care routine? It’s proving to be a lot more difficult than expected mainly because I don’t where to start. I thought about doing regular massages but we are pretty much still in a lockdown here, then I thought about facials, and then that pushed me into thinking about getting pampered regularly i.e. nail care, foot care, sleepwear, perfumes, a regular shaving schedule…in the end, I realised that body care is just not about the physical but my overall wellbeing. I still figuring out the routine but let me share what I have been doing as I work my way into creating this new routine for myself.
My morning routines are sacred to me as they set the tone for my days. I’m pretty strict with them during the week as I do my powerlifting training first thing in the morning before logging on to my full time 9-5 job. I’ve been an early bird my entire life and growing up in a Nigerian household, there was no such thing as lying in until the afternoon. It wasn’t the norm. This morning routine that I am about to share didn’t happen out of the blue, it took a lot of discipline to work on it, add onto it, adapt it and shift it over time. I’m still making adjustments to it at the moment since lockdowns are slowly easing up and thing are not as restrictive anymore.
What is a routine? It is a sequence of habits that doesn’t vary, a sequence of things that happen at a certain time, in a certain way as a repeated part of a performance. Think about your work routine. You may have a time that you clock in and out, a time where you go on a coffee/tea break, a time you block out lunch, meetings or working on personal projects. We all have a routine here and there in our lives, that is discipline. We all have some sort of routine in our lives whether we are conscious of it or not.
For my morning routines, they have to include the following things:
- Making my bed
- Drinking water
- Daily faith devotionals
- Daily meditations
- Powerlifting training
- Skincare and haircare routine
Making my bed
Making my bed as soon as I wake up in the mornings tells my body that the day has started and prevents me from getting back in the bed. Why mess up something that it already neat? Some movement first thing in the morning wakes up my body and brain from sleep mode. At this point, I would usually brush my teeth and rinse my face with water to fully wake myself up. I don’t know about you but once the light is on, there is no such thing as falling back asleep and I’m already alert and awake.
I start my mornings by drinking at least a cup (500 ml) of water before I prepare myself for my daily devotionals, meditations and gratitude sessions. I sleep between 6-8 hours a night and I haven’t had any water during that time. Drinking water first thing in the morning does not only hydrate my body but also, jumpstarts my internal organs, flushes out toxins and helps to balance my immune system. I usually need another cup of water after to feel fully rehydrated but I usually get this in at the gym.
Daily faith devotionals
Starting my day with gratitude is something that I have done for a few years now but it wasn’t until 2021 that I started to be more intentional with it. I like to wake up and thank God for giving me another day of life, another day to be a better person. I know that not everyone is a Christian and/or religious but I have found that starting my days with gratitude has made me appreciate the life I live more. I do my daily devotionals by following the daily stories on the YouVersion app and choosing a plan or two on there that is related to my theme of the year and/or my goals.
One of my intentions for this year was to start doing daily meditations to stay focused, expand my mind and to learn to be more aware of my life, my actions, my thoughts, my desires, my passions etc. Here I wrote how to set intentions and make the shifts from resolutions. I started the year with one book, ‘ The Daily Stoic by Ryan Holiday‘ , each quarter has a theme and each month has a topic. Each day, I’m able to focus and meditate on that message and summarise a takeaway that is personable to my life and the way that I live. I have just started ‘Living A Life of Awareness by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr.‘ a recommendation I got through Instagram. This one is very new and discusses Toltec traditions as a form of meditation.
I like to get these done first thing in the morning when the rest of the world is still sleeping as I won’t have any distractions, it’s quiet and I focus on myself, my growth and my mindset.
I like to prioritise the things that make me feel alive and the things that matter first thing in the mornings… and powerlifting is one of those things. Even on the days that I don’t train, I like to get some movement in as our bodies were made to move. A typical powerlifting training session can take me 2-3 hours but I feel rejuvenated, focused and ready to tackle the day ahead. I like to have a small breakfast bar before I train and carry some intra workout carbs (usually a pack of sour sweets) for an extra boost of energy if needed. My days don’t feel complete without some movement.
Skincare and Haircare Routine
I prefer to do my full skincare and haircare routine after I come back from the gym. Honestly, I did have a set routine for these until last year and since then, I have seen a difference. My skin is the clearest it has been since I turned 25 (three years ago already) and my hair is so much healthier and I’m retaining length. I do my morning skincare routine right after the shower, then I lather my body in raw shea butter and then I do my hair. I like to spritz my hair with water to dampen my scalp and roots, then I apply an leave-in conditioner oil to seal in the moisture and feed my hair.
Eating breakfast is a priority for me, I never skip it. I have a protein shake, some crackers and a fruit while I make my oatmeal to ensure that my body is given some energy to start the recovery process. Once I have my breakfast, I feel at peace and calm.
I know that not everyone likes to eat breakfast and wants to wake up early to do a morning routine…you don’t have to. Create a routine that works for your lifestyle but also sets you up for your day. What other habits do you have in your morning routines? Let me know in the comments if you enjoyed this post.