Listen, if you’re anything like me, mornings suck.
I have never been a morning person. What can I say? If we’re gonna blame things on astrology, then it’s definitely because I’m a Pisces rising! Regardless, not once in my nineteen years of life have I woken up the way Disney Princesses do (though I refuse to believe that anyone does. How can they be real??). It isn’t a pessimistic or a depression thing. Mornings are just the Monday of the day. They’re annoying to get through. I just want them to be over. Everything about them is dull. Morning classes are a bore; the weather is never settled into what it’s really going to be like the rest of the day; there’s traffic on the Five freeway from everyone trying to get to work. When I lived at home, my dad used to put on the news in the morning — you know how lovely it was hearing about American politics from Fox News over my morning cereal? It wasn’t. Not the slightest bit.
Don’t even get me started on the small specifics of the morning. What are you even supposed to eat for breakfast? Does eye cream go on before or after moisturizer? How many times is it appropriate to hit snooze on my alarm clock before it’s annoying to my roommate to a point of no return? How am I supposed to pick out a good outfit if I’m still trying to process my dream from the night before? Every time I go to make my bed, I just end up laying down in it again.
Mornings just suck. They always have for me.
That is, until I met someone who gave me a reason to get out of bed. Waking up with my partner on the few mornings we do share together means I get to beg him “five more minutes” when his alarm goes off. It means I get to hear his laugh ring through my room when I wrestle him back into bed after those five minutes are up. It means I get to grumpily sit on the bed as he gets ready for the day, and that I get to start my day with laughter, love, and him.
As horrendously cheesy as it is, waking up with him made mornings a lot easier. But no need to flatter him any more. This discovery that mornings could be good when I’m in his company led me to wonder if I could develop a morning routine made just for myself. One that wouldn’t make me dread getting up at 7 a.m. every day. I had tried (and failed) last quarter to get used to that schedule, though in all honestly I hadn’t really tried at all (hence the failing). But this is a new year. I have a lot more happiness in my life than I did last fall. I have a better understanding of how to schedule out my days, better balancing my classes with meetings and work. I have a stronger desire to just be better, much like that Bleachers song.
And Tuesday, my friends, I discovered it. The Perfect Morning Routine.
It starts off normally. My Alexa goes off at 6:30 a.m., playing Taylor Swift. At 7:00 a.m. is when my alarm starts ringing. I don’t snooze it; I stop it.
My nightstand is riddled with an absurd amount of items. One of which is a book. Right now it’s Emma, by Jane Austen. I only read one chapter, however long that takes me, and usually by 7:18 ish, I’m ready to get out of bed.
Right when I get up, I stretch, then make my bed. This became a habit when my partner and I started dating a few months ago, and I realized I was embarrassed for him to come over if my bed had been undone all day. Now, it has to do with the fact that I’ve grown to appreciate how the ivory colored sheets clash against the dark forest green of my comforter. Once it’s all neat, it also prevents me from laying back down. It looks too nice to mess up.
After that, I brush my teeth. I use a Colgate toothpaste I bought on accident because the lady unlocking the section for me at Target was trying to make smalltalk, which overwhelmed me, leading me to picking the wrong toothpaste. But it’s fine. It works just the same I think.
Once my mouth is clean, I wash my face. I use a face wash my sister bought me over break to prevent me from using her face wash and other skin care even though I still did (sorry, Jenni, that Farmacy eye cream is just to die for!). The face wash and serum she bought me are by BYOMA. My moisturizer and sunscreen are both by Tacha (that rice water wash is honestly the best thing that’s ever come in contact with my skin). And to top it all off, I put on a lip balm by fresh SUGAR. Watermelon flavored, of course.
Next, I make breakfast. That’s another thing I’ve been getting a lot better at doing. Before, breakfast was always something I deemed unnecessary. I never believed it when people said it was the most important meal of the day. I was always in a rush, I never had enough time for it. Eating in the morning was never a priority for me. Only recently have I begun dedicating time to eating breakfast every day. I’ve noticed, in the past three weeks of me keeping up with the habit, that I’ve been in a generally better mood for the rest of the morning. It wakes me up in a way. Not to mention, it feels good to give back to my body in the morning. Now, I enjoy eating breakfast, and it’s definitely worth the try if you are also someone who never paid it much attention.
The past few days, I’ve made oatmeal from Trader Joe’s, an everything bagel with whipped cream cheese topped with feta cheese, and chocolate croissants (also from Trader Joe’s). So usually, while my food is cooling down or being toasted, I begin the next step of my routine, which is my second favorite step: I pick out my outfit, and I change. Usually before I even gain full consciousness, in those thirty minutes between my first alarm and my Wake Up alarm, I begin developing ideas of what to wear that day. I take everything into consideration (honestly, I could write an entire other article on the process of building an outfit, however extravagant or simple it may be, because it is always a long process no matter what the outcome). Once I have a general idea of what I want to wear, I try it out and try different variations until I feel comfortable and confident.
Now that I’ve got on my outfit for my day, I go back to my breakfast and eat it. I try not to be on my phone at all in the morning, but especially not when I eat. Something I’ve been working on is being present while I eat, and so far, I’d say I’m doing a pretty good job.
Now lastly we have come to the final and best part of my morning routine: doing my makeup! Over the course of my life, my feelings on makeup have ranged from absolutely despising it from the deepest depths of my soul to discovering that it is one of my all time favorite ways to express myself. Of course I understand makeup isn’t what makes me pretty. Doing my makeup just feels like putting myself back together. It feels like putting armor for the day on. After all, with liner this sharp, who would want to mess with me?
And with that, we have reached the end of my Perfect Morning Routine. All that’s left to do is make sure I have everything I need for the day in my backpack or tote bag, put on my shoes, and drive to wherever it is that I need to be (which is school, 95% of the time). Within the past week of sticking to this routine, I’ve found that I’ve been in a generally better mood. I’ve felt better nourished, I haven’t been worried or upset that I forgot something at home. It’s the perfect combination of getting ready and making time for myself. And it does another very, very important thing:
It makes me feel like I’m getting better.
(Just like that Bleachers song.)