How you start your mornings sets the tone for the rest of your day. A solid morning routine is the backbone of self-care practice and this goes beyond patting yourself on the back for following your routine like a real adult but cementing your morning habits can make it easier to prioritize your mental and physical health throughout the day. When we automate our mornings, we develop habits that becomes a part of our lives, so you can choose to either start your day by hitting the snooze button and dragging yourself out of bed at the last minute, rush to get ready, and run out the door with breakfast in your hands or you can choose to start your day with good morning habits- the choice is yours. Everyone’s ideal morning is different and so will the routines so experiment with what works for you and remember consistency is key. When your morning starts in a frenzy of snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast and rushing out the door – the rest of your day tends to reflect that mood of chaos as well but when you form healthy habitual behaviors for the morning, you set your day up for success.
Whether you are aware or not, you operate under habits (both good and bad) and they are an integral part of your daily existence. Part of developing a healthy habit is to become intentional with it and positive habits require intentional effort into forming them until they become a part of your life and this is particularly true with morning habits. The routines you cultivate in the mornings influences how you feel, act and think during the rest of your day.
So, let’s together look into simple habits you can add into your morning routine to ensure you feel, act and think at your highest potential for the rest of your day and days ahead.
Wake up early
Early risers reap many benefits and some of these benefits include:
- Having time to go through your morning routine in a calm and relaxed manner instead of trying to rush through it.
- Having time to introspect and get yourself in the right frame of mind.
- Gives you the opportunity to get an early start on your goals like a workout.
- Utilizing the quiet morning hours to get things done and plan your day.
Waking up early will also allow you to practice all your morning routines and habits which will help you to start your day in high spirits ready to tackle any and everything throughout the day.
Water up for a fresh start
Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going for hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. The good old technique of adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, freshen your breath, supports weight loss and stimulate metabolism and digestion amongst other benefits. So, bottoms up first thing in the morning for a healthy and refreshing start of your day.
Before you get out of bed, give yourself a few minutes to smile and practice gratitude. What are you grateful for? When you smile, your brain releases feel-good neurotransmitters like endorphins and serotonin which works at lifting your mood, relaxing your body and lowering your heart rate. As you smile, reflect upon what you are grateful for as practicing gratitude reduces stress hormones and improves mood among other benefits so, adding a simple daily gratitude practice is a great way to begin your morning. Begin by taking a minute or two in bed before you rise to reflect on one person or opportunity you are grateful for in your life.
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help train your mind and emotions which in turn influences how you react to challenges throughout your day. Meditating in the mornings does everything from improving your focus to reducing stress and improving emotional stability. Meditation is also a great time to set your intention for the day with clear visions of how you want your day to go. Not sure where to start? You can start by doing some deep breathing exercise, focusing on your breath for three minutes each morning and improve from there. These activities help calm the mind and body, improve your overall mood of the day, improves memory and focus. If you are new to meditation, many resources are available to help you get started. Simply start by sitting in a comfortable position, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Inhale deeply slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. And for every time you feel your mind wander, bring it back to your breath and continue repeatedly for at least 3 minutes. Then set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention and enjoy the rest of your day carrying the positive energy and intention with you.
Make your bed
This may seem like a waste of time, unimportant or unnecessary because you will probably think to yourself “I am going to use it again at night” but making your bed is a simple action you can take every morning that makes you start your day feeling accomplished. Taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take more and more throughout your day.
Exercise and move your body
Whether it’s a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, a simple yoga routine, a brisk walk or hitting the gym, starting off your day with movement energizes the body and mind. Determine what kind of exercise is right for you and schedule it. It doesn’t have to be intense, long or complicated. Having some kind of physical activity in the morning will get your blood flowing and help quiet any mental chatter. You can even switch up the exercises to keep it interesting.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day yet so many people skip it because they don’t have the time to wait for it or they just don’t feel hungry. When you make time for a healthy breakfast, you will have more energy throughout the day and a stronger ability to focus and concentrate and reduce cravings later in the day. So, even if you’re not hungry, try to eat something light like a piece of fruit or yoghurt.
Plan your day with a To-Do list
One of the best ways to start your day on the right foot is to take some time to plan your day. This will help you feel more organized and less stressed about what you need to do. To do this, simply list the tasks you need to accomplish for the day and prioritize them based on order of importance. Writing down your to-dos instead of keeping them floating in your mind helps clear mental chatter and it gives you a sense of purpose each day when you know what you need to get done. And there is this sense of satisfaction you feel when you cross off tasks on your list- it cultivates a sense of accomplishment.
Finally, get enough restful sleep! This isn’t a morning habit exactly but however, before you can hope to implement new, healthy morning habits you must have the foundation of a well-rested body and mind. When you start your day after a night of restful sleep, you will wake up early feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the day, starting with your morning habits and routines.