How to Build a Healthy Morning Routine to Avoid Burnout
Are you experiencing burnout during quarantine?
Think back to before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. What was your daily routine like? If you’re anything like me, it was busy.
As an entrepreneur, I know there is always work to be done. This is true even if you’re not a business owner. Many of us have running to-do lists of things that we hope to get done once things wind down. So, when Stay-At-Home orders were put in place, it seemed like a great time to finally start checking things off this list.
Afterall, we should all have more free time now…right?
In reality, working at home because of the Stay-At-Home order – if you are not already someone who works from home – doesn’t necessarily mean things slow down. In fact, they might be busier than before.
So while you’re operating at a faster pace, build a healthy morning routine to foster energy and take care of yourself again.
The Quick Path to Burnout
Lately, we’ve been consumed with tackling those projects we feel like we should have extra time for. At the same time, requests for online meetings have consumed our calendars – keeping us professionally and personally connected in a physically and somewhat personally disconnected time.
If you’re like me, you’re probably bouncing from one video call to the next for 12+ hours a day. Whatever it is… We all have things absorbing our days. Being wound in this non-stop routine can set anyone up for a quick path to burnout.
If you’re feeling like you’re on the quick path to burnout, you’re not alone!
Trust me, I was feeling it too.
After about a month of long days sitting at the computer, I realized something had to change. I decided to make some work-life boundaries to avoid burnout and maintain my own health.
And you can too!
Setting Healthy Boundaries to Prevent Burnout
What is filling your calendar that is causing you stress? Once you identify that filler, the next step is to set a healthy boundary around it to prevent burnout.
Personally, I’m only allowing for one networking-type event each day.
That’s my boundary.
I know you might be hesitant to say “no” to things that feel like obligations. But only you can make your wellness a priority. It’s okay to push others out if your schedule is getting overbooked.
Here are a few things I encourage you to consider when setting healthy boundaries during this time:
- Plan your day, and stick to it. When your calendar is full, it’s full. Remember, you’re responsible for your own happiness. Prepare your day in a way that brings you happiness. Planning allows you to respond, rather than react.
- Be true to yourself. Maintaining your integrity starts with staying true to your own values first.
- Be honest with others. If you can’t commit to something, then say “no” rather than committing to something out of guilt, obligation, or fear of what others may think. Let your “yes” mean YES and your “no” mean NO.
- Ask for help if you need it. Surround yourself with those who support you. You’re not alone.
- Take time out everyday for a little quiet time and self-care. Block out the noise, and turn off those pesky notifications. It’s not always easy to take time out of
ofeach day for yourself; however, when we’re intentional about our daily routines, this becomes possible.
Become more intentional about your daily routines first thing in the morning.
Build a Healthy Morning Routine
So how do you build a healthy morning routine?
For me, it all starts the moment my feet hit the floor. I usually give myself 2 to 3 hours of time to focus on myself in the mornings before I start my day with the rest of the world.
We are all different. What works for me won’t work the same way for you.
You have to customize your approach to wellness.
So, I want to give you some ideas for how to get started in building your own personal morning routine that keeps you grounded:
Practice gratitude and prayer
Focus within and meditate
Visualize your day
Stimulate your mind
Get in some morning movement
Practice Gratitude and Prayer
From the moment we wake up, we choose what energy we want to bring with us throughout our day. If you’re looking for a way to foster optimistic energy, practice gratitude journaling and/or prayer.
A recent scientific study found that people who reflect on things they’re thankful for through gratitude letters have better long-term mental health than those who don’t.
What would having a more positive outlook do for you?
Let me know in the comments below.
Focus Within & Meditate
Many people rush into their day without taking time to center themselves.
If we don’t take time to fill up our own cup first, we won’t have anything to share with others.
You can’t pour from an empty cup!
For this reason, one of the most powerful ways to prevent burnout is to start your day by finding wellness within and meditating.
In last month’s blog I introduced you to several tools that allow you to decompress and focus within, such as meditation and breathwork. Many business professionals like you worry that they don’t have the time to do these practices. The truth is, it doesn’t have to take much time at all!
In fact, meditation is so powerful that it takes only a few moments each day to reap plenty of benefits, including…
Relaxation of the mind and body
Decreased muscle tension and stress
Better focus and concentration
Lower blood pressure
Improved mental health
The best part is, you can practice meditation or breathwork anywhere at any time.
Spend time honoring your body each morning by focusing within.
Visualize Your Day
When was the last time you paused to ask yourself, “How do I want to show up today?” or “What do I want my day to look like?”
These simple questions can have a transformational impact on your whole day. When we visualize something enough, it can become our reality.
Have you heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? It’s the idea that if we constantly focus on the negative, then we will see that come alive in our lives. So many people are there, right now, living in fear. Being stuck in a pattern of negative thoughts can have a negative impact in your body and life.
Instead of putting your energy into what you’re afraid of, harness that energy into what you’re hopeful for instead. Break free of this negative pattern as early in the day as possible so you can set yourself up for success.
Stimulate Your Mind
When was the last time you did something to stimulate your mind? Most of us go throughout our day on auto-pilot out of habit. A thoughtful path to health and wellness often requires intellectual and spiritual growth. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t growing.
Challenge yourself to read or learn something new every day to stimulate your mind and encourage learning and growth. This can be as simple as reading a few pages of a book each morning. Of course, make sure whatever you’re reading is enjoyable so that you’ll be motivated to continue each day.
If your reading list isn’t exciting you and you’re looking for suggestions, check out my book, Healed His Way. It’s about my personal journey overcoming health struggles through approaches to healing that aren’t typically addressed in mainstream Western medicine. I put a lot of research and passion into writing it to help others like you.
Get In Some Morning Movement
More than any other time of day, mornings can be a fantastic time to get in some movement. For one thing, there are fewer distractions! Messages, emails, and meetings aren’t fighting for your attention this early.
Another incentive to start your mornings with movement can be inspired by one of Newton’s general laws of physics…
“An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion” – Isaac Newton
In other words, when we start our days with movement, we are more likely to honor our bodies with movement all day long.
To add to the list, have you ever heard of the runner’s high? Personally, I’ve never experienced it first-hand because I’m not much for running. But in general, exercise improves my mood and energy and probably yours too. This occurs because the brain is producing endorphins that make us feel good.
Try to get in some morning movement to start the day in a good mood. You will likely sustain your energy all day long.
The Time Is NOW to Build A Morning Routine
If you haven’t been able to check off all the things on your to-do list in the past month, don’t be too hard on yourself. We have all felt burnt out from trying to take on so much without taking time for our own wellness.
Give yourself some grace, and don’t give up!
Now is the time for you to step back into your power.
Create healthy boundaries and start to build a morning routine. It’s so much easier to do the right things later in the day when you’ve started the day with something healthy.
Don’t worry about how much time you spend for yourself at first. Just start somewhere, and do what works for you. When you put these tools to use, you’ll surprise yourself with just how much you can accomplish.
If you’ve been struggling with burnout and have been having trouble focusing on your goals, you’re not alone. This month, I sat down with Megan Warren, a fellow practitioner, to talk about different ways to build routines to benefit our own health and the health of our clients.
You can watch the full video here, or jump to a specific topic below:
Looking for help setting boundaries or customizing your morning routine?
Let’s make a routine together! I can’t wait to help you start living a more happy, healthy, and whole life.