woman in morning routine with coffee

The Perfect Morning Routine for the Winter

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My morning routine is my favorite part of the day! I love to wake up, enjoy the sun, and spend some me-time before I start my day (If you’ve ever read about my solo dates, you know that I love any excuse for me time).

But now that winter has set in, it’s dark when I wake up so it’s harder to get out of bed. There are days I want to hit the snooze button and stay under the warm covers. However, mornings are my most productive time during the day so I HAVE to wake up.

If you struggle to get up and get motivated when it’s dark out, check out these tips to enjoying your morning routine, even in the winter.

Winter Morning Routine

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Tips for the Perfect Morning Routine in the Winter

1. Get some light into your room

Waking up in the dark makes it hard for your brain to believe it’s morning. So to get our winter morning routine started right, we need to get some light in our room. Since the sun isn’t going to cooperate, we need to make our own!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this alarm clock:

(Yes, it’s the same one from tips to get a full night’s sleep). The light turns on like the sunrise and wakes you up. I’m a pretty sensitive sleeper, so I can’t imagine trying to sleep through it.

If you don’t want to add light, you can also keep your alarm clock halfway across the room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. That way it’s less tempting to keep snoozing your alarm.

2. Do a form of movement

Winter is no excuse for not exercising, and getting some form of exercise into your winter morning routine is a great way to start the day. 

If you’re the kind of person that loves a morning workout, go for it! I prefer to move a little slower paced in the morning. So I suggest getting in some form of movement that works for you.

My favorites are a quick morning yoga flow (I love Sarahbeth Yoga on Youtube, because I can stream it for free in my living room, instead of leaving the house when it’s cold). But on days when my back is super sore, I also love a good foam rolling session.

Even if you just want to sit and meditate, that’s totally fine. Whatever your sense of movement is for the day, do that!  It has surprising benefits for your mental health as well as your physical health, so it is worth setting aside time to move.

3. Take a quick shower

The harsh weather plays quite a toll on our skin in the winter. In my winter beauty tips, I talked about how you should take a mild, shorter shower so you don’t dry out your skin further. Follow this advice and save the long, deep thinking for the meditation time. Your body will be grateful 🙂

4. Be sure to moisturize

Winter weather, and constantly moving in and out of the cold outdoors and heated rooms will wreak havoc on your skin.  Just after you get out of the shower is the perfect time to take advantage of moisturizing.  

My absolute favorite body moisturizer is made with Cocoa Butter and is so hydrating for my skin:

It is really reasonably priced, does a great job of keeping my skin hydrated, and it smells amazing!

Don’t forget to also moisturize the skin on your face.  I like to use all of these products from the Ole Henriksen Vitamin C Trial Kit, which is hydrating, brightening and anti-aging – just what you need in winter! 

There are days when I feel lazy and want to skip the moisturizer. I have to remind myself that it literally takes less than 5 minutes, but it’s SO worth that small bit of time. Do yourself a favor and put on the lotion.

5. Sip on some warm water with lemon

In the winter I crave hot beverages, mostly of the coffee variety. But it’s better if I start my day off with tea or warm water and lemon. PLUS it helps me maintain a healthy weight (AND I read that it eats belly fat, which I’m all about!).

Instead of grabbing coffee first thing, try sipping on lemon with warm water for an easy detox. Normally I only use 1 or 2 slices of lemon, but it’s personal preference. You can swap to caffeine later. If you’re feeling it, then add up to half a teaspoon of salt to replace the electrolytes you will have lost when sleeping.

6. Eat some breakfast and watch the news

Breakfast is SUPER important to jump start your metabolism and give you energy during the day, so don’t skip this step. If you’re running late, you can always keep some granola bars handy or another grab and go type of food.

I like to make sure I have enough time when eating my breakfast to watch the news. I think it’s important to know the current events, but also to know what the weather will be like, especially when it comes to picking out your clothes for the day.

7. Dress for the weather

I wasn’t lying when I told you in my winter beauty tips that I SUCK at dressing for winter. I know it’s cold outside, yet I’ll still have exposed skin or not warm enough clothing on. But the older I get, the more I realize how important it is to be winter smart rather than fashionable.

Be sure to listen to the weather while you’re catching the news and to dress appropriately. You can still buy cute coats, scarves, and boots that serve the purpose of keeping you warm.

8. Pack a lunch

I try to always bring my lunch to work because it’s a more budget friendly option and it tends to be healthier than going out to eat all the time. When the weather is colder, I like to bring soup or warm comfort foods, but you have to be careful with how you pack them. Make sure you have a good container that won’t leak. This set is my favourite and they’re BPA free so no worrying about nasties getting into your system!

9. Start your car before deciding to leave

I hate getting into a freezing car in the winter. It feels like it takes FOREVER to warm my body up. It also sucks if the windshield is frozen over and I have already decided to leave.

If you’re driving to work, start your car to let it warm up and defrost. Even if you park in a garage, you should let the engine run for a minute or two before leave (Just be sure to keep the garage door open).

10. Leave a few minutes earlier for work

I don’t know why, but I always tend to leave at the last possible second in order to make it on time to work. In the winter, this isn’t smart because of snow and ice and slow-moving traffic (that’s another bonus to watching the news, getting an update on the traffic). If you leave 5-10 minutes earlier than usual, normally you shouldn’t be any later to work (depending on how heavy the traffic is and if there’s a snowstorm, you may have to leave even earlier).

The darkness of winter isn’t fun to wake up to. If you have a solid morning routine, then it’s much easier to handle.

The more you practice enjoying your mornings, the more you will actually grow to love mornings and be off to a great day.

My morning routine consists of a longer ritual than most (I’m pretty dedicated to morning me time), but having at least a half-hour to an hour routine when you wake up is perfect.

Winter Morning Routine

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