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I can’t sleep past 8 AM on most days. Is this what adulting looks like? My first class doesn’t start until 2 PM this term, but I use the first half of the morning to practice some self-care and get a headstart on any school work. I’ve been following this 8-step routine for the past year. It took me a while to find a routine that works for me, but now I can’t go a day without it. 


Step 1: Roll out of bed without checking your phone

This is a habit I’ve been working on for the longest time. I set my alarm every night before bed, and my biggest goal is not to check my phone first thing in the morning. I don’t want my notifications to be the first thing I see when I wake up. I get tempted to check my phone as soon as my alarm goes off, but ‘Do Not Disturb’ has become my new best friend. Your emails and text messages can wait until after your morning routine. Don’t let all of those notifications bombard your brain first thing in the morning. 


Step 2: Skincare routine

My morning and nighttime skincare routine are very similar: splash, cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. I’m currently in love with the Derma-E Vitamin C skincare line. I was looking for a natural skincare line, and luckily I found Derma-E. Skincare routines look different for everyone but find what works for you. Take some online beauty quizzes and buy travel-sized products before committing to a full-size. Also, ask if samples are available if you’re on the fence about a few different products. Keep it simple if you’re starting, but remember this will come with lots of trial and error. 


Step 3: A good night’s sleep calls for a good looking bed

Once I get back to my room, I make my bed. I cannot function if my blankets are all over the place. Lining up all of my pillows and having a neat bed helps me stay focused throughout the day. It also helps me stay out of bed. This is key, especially since my desk is two feet away from my bed. 


Step 4: Grab your coffee...or tea

I start my morning off with a cup of Yogi tea. I love the variety of flavors, plus each tea bag comes with a note that I always look forward to reading. My electric kettle from Costco has been a great investment. I have my cup of tea ready in less than 3 minutes. 


Step 5: Grab your favorite devotional & notebook

I set aside my cup of tea while I grab my devotional and gratitude journal. There are many different types of devotionals out there. Spiritual devotionals, gratitude devotionals, and even guided ones. Devotional hunting can be intimidating. I read a few preview pages and reviews on Amazon before purchasing, and then picked the one that suited what I was looking for. 


I then begin journaling and manifesting my day. I date every entry and use colored-gel pens. I love flipping through my journal and seeing a rainbow of entries. I usually jot down what is on my mind. My journal is a space where I can reflect and manifest. I make a gratitude section and write three things I am thankful for at that moment. I also set an intention for the day. I believe this helps me start my day on a positive note. I’ve found some of my favorite journals at Marshalls, TJMaxx, and Ross. 


Step 6: Get your OOTD ready

I cannot stress this enough. During my first online term, I would stay in my pajamas all day long, and I don’t think I was nearly as productive. Now, I change into gym clothes or loungewear. Wear anything but your pajamas! I often wear my favorite two-piece seamless set from Victoria’s Secret PINK. A change of clothes is essential for step 7. My matching workout set motivates me even if I am at home all day. 


Step 7: Morning movement

I keep my yoga mat next to my bed and roll it out in the morning. I put on my favorite podcast, Despertando Podcast, which is a five-minute meditation in Spanish. A new episode is released every morning. I stretch for at least five minutes, but most mornings, I spend up to 25 minutes on my mat. I will often hit shuffle and listen to 3-5 different podcasts episodes. Meditation music or relaxing sounds like ocean waves are also great options. Also, never rule out silence. Some days, you may want to listen to your thoughts. 


Step 8: Conquer the day

Look at how much you accomplished in the first hour of your day. Adjust your morning routine as needed. Listen to your body. Some days you’ll want to hit snooze or scroll through social media before getting up, but remember how accomplished you’ll feel after these 8 easy steps. You can go ahead and check your notifications now.

A first-generation Latina crushing her life goals! IG: @melissatduran
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