An Introvert’s Guide to Building a Strong Morning Routine

An introvert journals as part of her morning routine

The key to a strong morning routine is consistency and discipline, two traits that come naturally to introverts.

As you know, we introverts thrive in the quiet moments. We love to be alone. However, in the midst of our chaotic lives, this is not always a luxury we get to relish in.

But I have a solution.

Creating a morning routine is a great way for introverts to schedule in that sacred quiet time before their day has even begun. There are so many different habits you can incorporate to really set you up for the day ahead (the day that will probably be filled with small talk, crowded spaces, and seemingly pointless social interactions).    

The habits I am going to outline are based off of my own personal ritual. Through a lot of trial and error, I have found it is important not to overload your morning routine by trying to tick off hundreds of different tasks. Rather, you want to create something simple, yet effective.

Since keeping consistent with my routine, I have noticed a huge difference in my mindset, mental health, energy levels, and overall well-being. Once you have an idea of how you would like your morning to look, I recommend printing out a schedule of your routine and sticking it somewhere you will see it every morning. I have my routine affixed to my bathroom mirror and my fridge, so I always know what I need to be doing next. This is a great way to keep yourself accountable and consistent.

Here are seven habits to consider incorporating into your morning routine.

7 Steps for Introverts to Build a Strong Morning Routine

1. Wake up early (even if you’re not a “morning person”).

The earlier you rise, the more alone time you’ll have.

I’m fortunate enough to live alone, so waking up in a house shared with others is not an issue for me. However, from previous experience, I found getting up earlier gave me more time to complete my routine, and more importantly, it gave me the alone time I needed to clear my head before I interacted with others.

Of course, the time you wake up will heavily depend on your circumstances, responsibilities, and career. However, I believe if you have the opportunity to wake up early (even if you don’t consider yourself a “morning person”), you should most definitely try to get in the habit of doing so. There are many benefits to waking up early, especially for introverts.

Bonus tip: Rather than snoozing 20 alarms, I find if I set one extra alarm for 10 minutes before I wake up (at 5:50 a.m.), it alerts my mind and body that it’s almost time to wake up for real (at 6 a.m.). This allows me to really appreciate my last 10 minutes of slumber.

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2. Make your bed, which will set you up for achieving other tasks.

This step is simple, I know. But do not underestimate the power of making your bed in the morning! If you haven’t already, I encourage you to watch the “Make Your Bed” speech by Admiral William H. McRaven. 

Making your bed as soon as you wake up helps to get you in the rhythm of being productive. You’ve already ticked one thing off your to-do list — what’s next?

Having your bed made also makes your space look cleaner (clear space = clear mind) and, of course, when your bed is already made, you’re far less likely to jump back in it and snooze the alarm for a few extra minutes of sleep. 

Bonus tip: If there are any dirty dishes or clothes in your room, it’s a good time to remove them now, too. Cleaning as you go makes your space much easier to maintain.

3. Meditate — sitting in silence (for even just a few minutes) will help you get grounded.

If you’re going to incorporate any habit into your morning routine, make it meditating. For introverts and overthinkers who have trouble quieting down their minds, it’s so important. Even if you have trouble focusing, try meditating

It doesn’t have to be a really long, daunting practice either. Sitting in silence for only a few minutes every morning has so many science-based benefits. 

If you’re new to meditation, there are many guided meditations online and apps out there, like Insight Timer and Headspace, to help you get started. That way, you can become familiar with basic meditation techniques. 

Personally, I value this time to sit in silence and be still before I spend the rest of the day surrounded by noise and chatter. I will sit on my armchair, set a timer for at least 10 minutes, and just embrace the silence. 

Also, make sure you choose a space where you will not be interrupted or distracted. You can do this outside among nature, on the floor, or wherever feels most comfortable. 

Bonus tip: If you find your thoughts distract you while you meditate, try to focus only on your breath, on every inhale and exhale. This will give your mind less of an opportunity to wander.

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4. Journal, which will help you process your thoughts, feelings, and goals for the day.

For a lot of introverts, I think journaling is a great outlet to express yourself and make sense of your thoughts. After all, we love putting our thoughts into writing!

After I’ve cleared my mind through meditation, I’ll always sit down and journal for at least 10 minutes. Each day, I’ll write about something different; however, every day, there are no rules or judgment. I may write about how I’m feeling, my goals or… anything!

If you’re feeling stuck on what to write, you can search for journal prompts online to give you a question or statement to help get the ball rolling. 

Whatever is taking up space in your mind that morning, get it out of your head and onto paper. Make sure you find a quiet space, too, where you feel comfortable and safe to write in as you please. 

Remember, there are no rules with journaling. Just set a timer (try 10 minutes) and write it all out!

Bonus tip: Leave your notebook and pen out on your desk or near your bed so it’s ready to go every morning. I find if I keep things in drawers and out of sight, I’m far less inclined to actually do said task.

5. Make a gratitude list — you can add anything you’d like.

Start each day with gratitude and watch your life change.

Once I’ve journaled and cleared my mind, I like to take a few minutes to write out a gratitude list. Try to write at least three things you feel especially grateful for in that moment.

There are no rules to this step either. Your gratitude list can include anything — a person, a song, a pet, the fact that you’re breathing, or you could be feeling particularly grateful about being an introvert! (I know I do!) 

Starting your morning off with a clear head and a grateful heart is magic. Remember to show gratitude Every. Single. Day. 

Bonus tip: Try to write down why you feel grateful for each thing, too. If it’s a person, maybe you’re grateful for something they did for you recently. If it’s a song, maybe you’re grateful for how it makes you feel. Get specific and you’ll find it easier to appreciate more in your life.

6. Create a (realistic) to-do list for the day.

Like many introverts, I love writing lists, about anything and everything. 

Once I’ve written my gratitude list, I like to take time to write out everything I need/want to get done that day. What are your priorities today? What would you like to try and make time for? Do you have any appointments or commitments?

Writing down your to-do list helps you go into your day focused and with a game plan while giving you less time to worry about the parts of your day you may not be looking forward to as much (like interacting with people!).

Bonus tip: Copy your handwritten list into your phone notes so you can access it all day and tick things off as you go.

7. Congratulations — you’re now ready to start your day!

By this point in my morning, I’ve cleaned my space, cleared my mind, practiced gratitude, put my thoughts to paper, and created a plan for the day ahead. 

Creating a successful morning routine will take consistency and discipline. On average, it can take weeks for a new habit to become automatic, and within that time, it can be difficult not to slip into old behaviors.  

As an introvert, however, I believe it’s so important to start your morning off right. Building a morning routine may take time to figure out what works best for you and your lifestyle, and that’s okay!

After this part of the routine, I will usually go to the gym or incorporate some sort of exercise to help release mood-raising endorphins and get energized.

Some other positive habits to consider when creating a morning routine include yoga, going for a walk, walking a pet, making a nice cup of coffee/tea, listening to a podcast, audiobook or music, reading, having a cold shower, stretching, cook a healthy breakfast, reading the news, watering plants, drinking water, or setting daily intentions. Once you do the steps above, the rest is up to you! 

And once you perfect your morning routine, you can work on your evening one!

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