It’s 2 AM and you’re wide awake thinking about how your day went––and you’re not happy. You spent 8 straight hours catching up on your favorite series that you forgot to create a healthy lunch and just went for the leftover chips in the pantry. You dozed off and woke up at 9 PM, too tired to do anything else but watch some more episodes again. You promise to turn everything around tomorrow but the next day (of home quarantine) brings of the same: sleep-watch-eat-sleep. 

We can’t blame you. The stresses that the pandemic brings makes us fall back to our lazy patterns. But the good news is, there are several ways you can do to get unstuck from these recently-formed (or not) habits. One effective way is by creating and (strictly) sticking to morning and evening routines. Below we list down three main reasons why you should start creating yours today.

Morning and evening routines ensure that the important things get done

While we generally can’t control what will happen the entire day, we still have control over the things we do on any given day’s beginning and end. Take advantage of this fact by making primary considerations on important tasks, behaviors and practices when making your own list of morning and evening routines.

For example, during this health crisis, one of the most important things we can do to fight the virus is keeping our immunity system strong. How to do that? Get at least 30 minutes of exercise daily (among many other things). You just have to choose whether to do it in early in the morning or at night. Besides health-related habits, think of other important things that you find no time doing  (e.g. meal prepping, meditating, cleaning the house, sleeping soundly). It’s time to give them more attention and incorporate them into your morning or evening routines. 

By having these routines, you reduce your decision fatigue

According to psychologist Roy Baumeister, we all have a limited amount of willpower that we can use throughout the day.  So if you go through your day unplanned, you decide on several things that can result in decision fatigue: Do I make-up my bed or not? Should I exercise or watch on Netflix instead? Apply Vitamin C serum on my face or not? By the end of the day (and after xx decisions made), your willpower reserve has depleted a lot that you become highly irritable, often leading to you making poor decisions.

This is where creating positive day and night routines help. Our bodies set routines on autopilot. So instead of having to use willpower to decide on something, you simply do it because you’ve made it a part of your daily routine––a fixed program that we have adapted to. 

Routines keep you sane

Most importantly, these routines keep you grounded and sane (especially during these days that we’ve replaced #StaySafe with #StaySane). It’s so comforting to know that amidst these trying times, there are still things we can control––and it’s just up to use which ones are we making our routines. 

4 Steps on how to create morning and evening routines

1) Write down what you want to spend your mornings and evenings for. 

The first step is to set the “ideals”.  Ask yourself what aspects would you like to spend your mornings and evenings for? Is it  (1) health and wellness, (2) professional growth, (3) household chores, (4) rest and relaxation, (5) skincare, or other things? Here are some items you can include in your list:

MORNING EVENING
Get up early Prepare your meal for the next day
Make your bed Tidy up your kitchen, living room, and other parts o the house
Recite affirmations (e.g. I will do great things today, I can finish my article, I am beautiful, etc) Read a book
Get some exercise Reflect on the day’s achievements. Prepare for new tasks tomorrow.
Eat good breakfast (and have good coffee) Meditate even for a few minutes
Take a cold shower then dress up for work Skincare: cleanse, exfoliate, repair and moisturize your face before heading to sleep
Skincare: cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and protect your face before heading out Sleep as early as you can

 

You can add other items for the weekend––when you have more time for hobbies like baking, calligraphy, cycling, and more. Anything you want to do, write it.

2) Write down how your morning and evening looks like now.

Take note of what you currently do every morning and evening. Now, you can easily compare your visions on item number 1 versus the current state of your mornings and evenings.

3) Create how would you like your mornings and evenings to become in the future.

Given that you already have the list of everything you want to do and the things you are currently doing, it’s time to set what you can do moving forward. Look at your list and you’ll realize that you don’t have enough time for every item that you’ve written. Start eliminating and focus on the important ones––things that really matter and will help you get going for the next day. 

4) Review, implement and adapt

Review your list again until you’re certain of how your future morning and evening routines would look like. Once done, it’s now time to implement. Don’t just try. Do everything as planned.

 

Do you have more tips on creating morning and evening routines? Share them with us via the comments section!

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