Having the best morning routine in place sets you up for the most amazing boost in both your wellness and productivity levels. It helps to create lasting positive habits and gives you greater control over your time management throughout the day.
Check out these realistic and easy-to-implement steps for an amazing morning routine that you can follow or take inspiration from.
1. Get a good night’s rest!
A great morning routine actually starts the night before. How well rested you are sets the tone for how you feel the moment you open your eyes the following morning.
So, here are a few key bedtime tips that will help you avoid having to battle your emotions first thing in the a.m.
• Decide on a set bedtime and stick to it each night
We all have a natural sleep-wake cycle, which was once governed by the sunrise and sunset. However, with the advent of shift work, constant late nights and general sensory overload this has since shifted to suit the pattern of the individual.
Our brain usually starts winding down a few hours before bedtime, so it is a good idea to follow a consistent sleep routine as this will help regulate your cycle.
• Switch off your screens 1-2 hours before bed
Electronic devices and screens in particular, emit a strong blue light which tricks our brains into thinking that it is daytime. As a result, our brains suppress/delay the release of melatonin and keep cortisol levels elevated. Ultimately, this prolongs our ability to wind down, reduces our time for deep rest and leaves us compounding in tiredness.
There are a few other things you can do to optimize your sleep routine such as having your outfit for the next day ready, taking a warm bath an hour or two before you sleep, setting the room to a cool temperature, reading a book and even meditating.
Your ultimate goal should be to feel rested, calm and ready as you lay your head down and close your eyes.
2. Drink a full glass of water
Ever noticed that you feel lighter in the morning? This is because during sleep we can lose up to 3lbs in weight due to water and carbon loss. While not all of us are dehydrated when we wake up it is a good idea to rehydrate with water instantly.
Water helps to remove waste toxins, improve blood circulation and nutrient transportation, regulate our temperature, lubricate our joints, boost our cognitive response and performance as well as give us glowing skin!
Set aside a full glass of water on your side table ready and waiting.
3. Two-minute breath work/meditation
As you are sitting up and the water you have just drunk flows through your body, now presents a great opportunity to just quiet the mind of any instant, rushing and noisy thoughts, take in the natural morning sounds and appreciate being awake to see another day.
2 minutes of conscious breathing will help to fully open up your respiratory system, lower your blood pressure, help you focus and instantly improve your mood.
How to consciously breathe:
- Sit up or lay on your back and relax your muscles.
- Lightly place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest.
- Slowly inhale through your nose and let your stomach fill with air.
- Pause, smile and then in a slow and controlled manner breathe all the way out.
- Repeat this process for 3-5 breaths.
4. Make your bed
Growing up, many of us remember being commanded to make our beds! At the time, it may have felt frustrating, long and with our little arms and legs a big task. BUT, this was all commanded with good reason.
Making your bed counts as a small win. It is an easy task to complete, teaches us discipline, sets the productivity tone of the day, helps us de-clutter and also encourages good sleep hygiene!
A neat bed is also visually pleasing as it makes the bedroom look tidier.
5. Stretch and move your body
Stretching in the morning is something that a lot of us do unconsciously. After laying down for several hours, stretching helps get our blood circulating to all areas of the body.
For those of us who get the odd case of ‘pins and needles’, we all know how relieved we feel after stretching and changing positions.
Adding movement to your quick morning stretch is also a brilliant way to really wake up. Moving your body can be anything from doing a quick workout, yoga session, walking and even a morning dance to your favorite song!
Doing some form of exercise in the morning will really fire up your endorphins, make you feel accomplished and have you ready to take on the day.
Exercising during the morning will also help maintain elevated energy levels throughout the day and for those of you with fitness goals, it makes it more likely for you to remain consistent due to minimal opportunity for distractions.
6. Get ready consciously
Everyone has their own way of getting ready in the morning. Whether it is brushing your teeth in the shower, washing your face first or even having a full-on bath. The most important thing is to make sure you are present. Connect with yourself and be conscious of the fact that during this time you are physically ‘taking care’ of yourself.
Being present in this moment is a game-changer and teaches us firsthand ‘self-love’.
7. Eat a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is optional, but the benefits of having a good breakfast are immense!
Several studies have shown that those who eat breakfast tend to be healthier. This could be because they are less likely to snack throughout the day or that energy levels remain elevated for longer. Whatever the reason, breaking your overnight fast with a high-protein, high-fiber meal will increase your satiety, energy and focus.
Here are some of the best foods to eat in the morning:
• Greek yogurt
• Chia seeds
• Wholegrain toast
• Protein shakes
• Berry smoothies
Now that you are awake, fueled and in the flow of things, ending your morning routine with pen to paper and writing down your thoughts can be a great way to de-congest the mind.
Whether you journal about things you are grateful for or what you hope to achieve for the day. Writing and expressing yourself on paper is a great way to hear your inner voice.
We recommend journaling now more than ever, simply due to the amount of noise and overwhelm of information we filter through day to day.
If you are someone that gets easily congested, mentally fatigued and bounces in and out of a funk, then try journaling and let your inner voice express itself.
Establishing even the simplest of morning routines ensures that you start your day feeling in control. We believe this is hugely important for mental health and can help you to slow things down in today’s fast-moving world.
The 8 steps we have shared will help you to account for your time, hold a daily positive outlook, feel more energetic and productive as well as give you the opportunity to form healthy lasting habits. Give this routine a try at your own pace and tweak it to suit all your needs as you go along.
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Until the next post. Have a great day! X
Mike and Viv aka MrandMrsMuscle