Living alone is great and scary at the same time. I love to have an empty apartment to myself in the morning because I enjoy some me time and not fighting over a bathroom is nice! However, some mornings when that alarm goes off, I get a bit grumpy and if I hit snooze and roll over to go back to bed I won’t have someone else there to make sure I get out of bed. Living alone has its set of challenges including learning how to live alone and do things by yourself. I like to set my alarm earlier than I need to wake up because I want to enjoy my morning and not be rushed. Since moving to Philly a month ago, I have created a new morning routine that helps with my anxiety and put me in a better mood for the day.
I am lucky because with my new job I don’t have to be in the office until 10am, but I do have a 40 minute walk to work, so I like to be in the elevator at 9am. I have found that when I wake up earlier in the morning, usually between 6-7am, I get so much done! I start my day off in a better mood, I am more productive during the day and most importantly, I am able to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Even though I have this delayed start to my day, I don’t want to waste it by sleeping late because then I am groggy and not my best self. I also have anxiety, so I like to spend some time slowly waking up and relaxing before I start the day. Some people do meditation, I like to spend some time in front of my mirror watching Netflix doing my hair and makeup.
My morning routine consists of my alarm going off between 6am to 7am, then I will turn on my Keurig and wash my face in the bathroom. I have a rule that I have to eat breakfast every morning and I drink a cup of coffee while I find something to watch on Netflix while my hair straightener heats up. I do my hair and makeup while I eat breakfast, then I get an outfit together for work. By having a slow morning to ease into my day, I am not rushing around and I can enjoy my morning walk to work. Having everything under control in the morning and not being rushed most importantly, keeps me calm and in a better mood for the day.
Last week, I had something trigger my anxiety and depression and even with my medication waking up in the morning the next day seemed impossible even though I went to bed super early the night before. I kept telling my body to get up, but my bed was holding me hostage giving me only forty minutes to get ready and out of the house that morning. Even though I was running late, I still turned on my Keurig, washed my face, ate quickly while I tried to do something with my hair and did a quick 5 minute eye makeup look. My day didn’t start off like it should have, but I didn’t let that break my normal morning routine. I like control and I like routines, so I knew that even with a late start I could turn this day around just by finishing my routine. For someone with anxiety and living alone, I like to have the structure in my day.
In case you are interested, this is my ideal daily schedule during the week.
6am: wake up
I try to be awake before 7am and I will allow myself to scroll on my phone a bit or respond to messages as my body slowly wakes up.
7am: turn keurig on and start getting ready
Seems silly, but once I turn my Keurig on, I know it is time to get my day started. While I wait for the water to heat up, I will straighten up my kitchen and go wash my face.
Then I will bring my breakfast and coffee to my bedroom where I have a tall standing mirror where I get ready in the morning. I am still waiting to get a vanity, but I like sitting on the floor in my comfy bathrobe where there is plenty of natural sunlight.
8am: get dressed and ready for work
This is when I start to get dressed and I have plenty of time to pick out an outfit or steam something if I have to. Once I am dressed, I go back to my kitchen and make another cup of coffee for my walk to work and pack my lunch. I know I should be better at making my lunch the night before, but I have enough grab and go food in my fridge where I am okay. One of the smartest things I did when I started my job was designating a work bag so that it always has my work ID badge in it and I just have to make sure I moved my wallet and keys from my purse to my work bag. It has enough room for my lunch and a book to read at lunch as well as a small makeup bag of personal things I may need at the office.
9am: off to work
This is when I try to leave the apartment because I like to take my time walking to work because I take the longer, scenic route. On Fridays, I will stop and buy coffee on my way to work because I need an extra push of caffeine to get through the day! I will reply to texts and check in with my parents on my walk to work. Reply to a few emails or most of the time, I am scrolling on Twitter while listening to music. Next week, I want to get back into listening to podcasts on my way to work. I honestly needed a break from them because while I like to know about what is going on in the world, I needed a break for a bit!
7pm: walk home from work
Before I am off the elevator heading home from work, I am on the phone with my mom to check in. We all complain that we don’t have time in our day to call our parents, but this is a time that works for both of us. Even if it is just to say a quick hello, I try really hard to talk to my parents everyday. Usually by the end of the conversation, my mom is asking if she can send money, so it’s a win win for everyone!
8pm: not allowed to sit once I get to the apartment
When I walk in the door from work, I immediately put on work out clothes and head down to the gym in my building. After not working out for more than a year, I was a bit nervous to go back to it, but now that I do it everyday after work, my body is so happy I am back! I usually spend two hours at the gym (I’m weird, I know!) and I try to bike 5 miles a day. While this gym schedule is beginning to show on my body, I don’t just go to the gym to lose weight or get more toned. It is nice to see my toned arms and legs and hello, abs!, but with living alone there isn’t much to do at night during the work week. With my 10-7 work schedule, I miss the happy hours and it’s a bit too late to make plans by then with friends.
10pm: dinner, shower and get ready for bed
Coming back from the gym, I will have all of this energy to make dinner, but most times it is a quick easy frozen dinner. I am going to talk about how much I love living alone again because I do a mini spa night every evening before I go to bed. I’ll moisturize the heck out of my body, put on cozy pajamas and do a face mask. I’ll do a quick walk around my apartment and clean up before I make my way to bed. Working out at night gives me the endorphins I need at night and also gets me tired enough so I am ready for bed at a decent hour.
By now, I am already asleep in bed with my alarm set for 6am to do it all over again! Living alone leaves a lot of free time in my day, but by having a set schedule I am able to keep myself busy instead of laying on the couch the whole night. I keep my early morning routine because once 11pm hits, I am ready for bed! One of the hardest things for me is going to bed early because I used to be one of those Yes, I am still watching on Netflix until 2am and then I would hate myself the next morning!