How to Start a Morning Routine

What’s your morning routine? Wake up, look at your phone, hate yourself in the shower, grab a muffin and go to work? If this sounds all too common, you should try starting your day with crack cocaine! Get high or die trying babyyyyyy.

I’m kidding. Don’t start your day with crack cocaine. Don’t start your day looking at your phone either, because you might as well be starting your day with crack cocaine. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s not quite as absurd as it may seem. Cocaine releases dopamine the same way a notification on our phone does. Our brain is having the same chemical response to PeterEatsPotatoes74 commenting on our selfie as it would to rolling over and snorting some uncut Colombian nose candy.

I’m not going to get too scientific because well… first off I don’t want to. Secondly, that’s about as much as I know on the subject. I can say, however, the times I’ve felt the absolute best in my life are when my morning routine involves leaving my phone off for the first two hours of the day. Wild, I know! Blasphemy! Two hours!? What if there’s an emergency!? What if your ex texts you? What if Gerard Butler is on his way to kill you!?

I always find it a wee bit comical how people use the emergency excuse to rationalize their phone addiction. Even if there was an emergency, nobody’s gonna be contacting YOU. I’m kidding, that was mean. People love you. They will figure out how to get to you, even if your phone is off.

The point is, we have a tendency to diminish our addictions if they’re socially accepted and ubiquitous. Just because everyone around you has the same addiction doesn’t mean it’s not an addiction. Step one is admitting you have a problem; and trust me, you have a problem. We all have a problem. Everyone’s got their chop sticks. I mean fix. Everyone’s got their fix. Dicks! Everyone’s got their dicks!

Luckily, a morning routine can help! This feels half way like an infomercial and half way like a self-help advertisement at this point. I don’t know what I’m doing. I always feel weird giving people advice. I was just writing a joke about how I hate advice because the advice people give you is usually tailored for their lives, not yours. So, I’d like to think of this not as advice, but as me sharing what has worked for me in the hopes that it will work for you, too. Cool? Cool. Sick. Wicked. Slick and sloppy. What? Why? Slick and sloppy? The hell does that mean?

September 11th is coming up soon. Sorry, I just looked at the date and noticed it was September 8th. September 11th, my favorite holiday! I CAN’T WAIT! Ha. Jokes. I know, I know. Your brother serves in the military. But he would like that joke. He would love that joke. Okay, I’ll stop. Back to trying to be helpful.

What was I trying to be helpful about, again? Oh, yes! Morning routines. Ah, the sweet sweet sound of serenity in the AM. Personally, if I start the day off right, the rest of my day will simply fall into place. My morning routine looks like this:

Yoga: 15-20 minutes.

Breathing exercise: 10 minutes.

Meditation: 15 minutes.

This obviously won’t be best for everyone. My routine is tailored for me because I’m an anxious mess, and these things help me be less of an anxious mess. It helps tremendously to get the body moving right away, so instead of yoga you might take a walk. You might write in your journal instead of meditate. You could jack off the second you get up. Okay, that’s not the best one. Save that for Saturdays.

Actually, I think it’s nice to get in the habit of a morning routine with the intention of not taking days off. It’s not supposed to be work, it’s supposed to simply be a part of your day. Become the routine. Let the routine cum in you. Become you. Excuse me. Let the routine become you. It’s not supposed to be a struggle. Some days it will be a struggle, because some days life is a struggle. It’s not because the routine itself is hard that it becomes hard, it’s because life is hard. HARD. Get hard. Man, I’m really on one today.

David Beckham.

I think part of having a routine is setting an intention for the day. What would you like to accomplish with your routine? If you have a routine, it’s imperative you understand why you have a routine. Otherwise you won’t do it. My routine is designed to let me live my life with some semblance of peace and serenity. That’s why it doesn’t include caffeine. I don’t want to immediately rev myself up, because then I’ll risk spiraling down a rabbit hole of spinning thoughts.

It might be a good idea to figure out what holds you back from doing what you want. Identify the thing that always prevents you from succeeding or being happy or letting go. Then, build your routine around that. For me, it’s my anxiety. When I’m anxious, I’m not funny. I’m not creative. I speak in monotone. I’m anti-social. I’m impulsive. ALL I WANNA DO IS SMOKE CRACK. Kidding. All I want to do is look at my phone, though. That’s for sure. I make worse decisions when I’m anxious, and then the anxiety builds on itself because of those decisions. So, if I can quell the anxiety right off the bat, I’m much more likely to have a productive and happy day.

This doesn’t mean I never have anxiety just because I do my routine. That is far from the truth. Sometimes I do everything I can and it’s still a bit of a hopeless cause. But that’s okay. That’s life. This shit ain’t easy. What matters is that it helps way more often than it doesn’t. The last couple of days I have awoken in a terrible mental state, but my routine got me up. It got me doing something. It made it possible to get in the shower after and leave the house. And you know what? Yesterday turned out to be pretty damn good. And today, I’m here. Writing this. Feeling good about writing.

Getting out of the house to start the day is important, too. Or accomplishing something. Your routine can include making the bed or making sure your room is clean. Those are really good ones. I don’t make my bed because I sleep on an air mattress and when I wake up I toss the covers towards the closet and lean my bed up against the wall so I can have room to do yoga. Yeah, that’s my life. Nice and wacky, just the way I like it.

Okay, cool. Here’s a little summary to fit your fancy:

  • Identify what’s holding you back.
  • Figure out how to conquer it.
  • Incorporate that into your morning routine.
  • Move your body.
  • Do it because you want to.
  • Free yourself from your addictions to start the day.
  • Know that it won’t always be easy or enjoyable.
  • Trust and commit.

Neat. Splendid. Glorious. Hope this helps!

Jason Brendel
Jason Brendel

Jason Brendel is an author, poet, and comedian living in Austin, Texas. Navigate the buttons below to follow him on social media, make a donation, or purchase his collection of laugh-out-loud poetry on Amazon.


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