There are just about a million articles, lists, blog posts and YouTube videos out there around morning routines.

Wanna know why?

Because there are SO many benefits to starting your day off by taking care of yourself.

When you take care of yourself, it’s a lot easier to take care of the other things in your life (your family, your friends, your job – you name it).

With two kids and a full time job, it’s not hard to feel tired, rushed, stressed and grumpy in the mornings. Having a great morning routine can make all of that go way and have a positive impact on your day. By increasing my self-care, I’m increasing my happiness, my energy and my overall mood.

Check out the steps I take in the morning to increase my self-care and be the best version of myself.

Get Things Ready The Night Before
This step is probably the most important step and it happens the night before. Start by visualizing your day the next day and think of all of the things that you can do that night to help your day go smoother tomorrow. Pick out your outfit, make your lunch – make your kids’ lunches – get your bag all packed, find your keys. Doing any or all of these things will help set your day up for success. And how much less stressed are you when you’re on time for things?!

Wake Up Early
When you start off your day by hitting the snooze button, you’re already setting yourself up to play “catch up”. Instead, wake up right away with your first alarm (a soothing alarm sound definitely helps) and get your day started. If you have kids, waking up before them goes a long way as well. Imagine starting your day with “you time” instead of waking up to your child yelling for a snack…sounds pretty great right?

Avoid Technology
There’s nothing worse than waking up, checking your email and seeing that frustrating message from your boss that was sent the night before. Or opening up your Facebook to see that negative post from your friend about how she hates the world today. Give yourself some time to wake up and seize the day before you go searching for your phone. Trust me, your mood will thank you for it.

Drink Your Water
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my coffee,  but there are some UH-MAZING benefits to drinking water right when you wake up. (Bonus points if you add freshly sliced lemons to it). Think about it, your body just went all night with no water so it’s in definite need of rehydration. Drinking water first thing in the morning aids your digestion and metabolism.

Journal & Express Gratitude
This one has been a game changer for me. Every morning I write down 5 things that I am grateful for, 10 dreams that I want to make happen and then the 1 goal that I want to work towards first. I do this in Rachel Hollis’ Start Today Journal but you can do it in any notebook. Starting your day expressing gratitude not only improves your physical and physiological health, but it will also improve your self-esteem and put a little pep in your step.

Get Your Sweat On
This one is kind of on hold for me right now seeing as I’m about 6 months pregnant, but fitting in your workout in the morning is definitely the way to go. Even a quick 30 minute workout will get your endorphins going and give you the energy you need to begin your day.

This is my morning routine. These are the steps that I take, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re all for you. The important thing is creating a morning routine that works for you and the stage of life that you’re in. It make take some time to establish but once you do, the benefits will be life changing.

Comment below and tell me some of your favorites from above or share some of yours!