Elevate Your Morning Routine with Our Tips
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Some people hit the snooze button and roll over. Others wake up before the sun for meditation or hop right out of bed and take care of the kids.
Meanwhile, some of us hop online to check social media, eat banana pancakes, or pack some greek yogurt to go. Everyone is different, and that’s absolutely fine.
Willpower is highest in the morning. The key to having a successful morning is doing what works well for you. It might not look like what works best for a multimillionaire CEO or an Olympic gold medalist, and it shouldn’t. Your goals are different. Doing what’s best for you will elevate the perfect morning routine to new heights to set the tone for the rest of the day.
The Importance of a Morning Routine
Set your alarm clock, and don’t hit snooze! Much like a Jenga stack, our choices depend on the intentions we set in the morning. The way something starts typically dictates how it will continue, and your morning is the start of your day. By structuring your ideal morning routine in a way that optimizes the flow of your energy and your goals, you’ll gain a small sense of pride and accomplish more.
For example, creating a gratitude journal or trying other forms of artistic expression can help reduce stress and get in touch with your emotions, which is better for your mind and body. You can also practice positive affirmations, read inspirational quotes, write a blog post, and practice visualization. After a few weeks, you won’t even remember life without your new habits.
Build productive, healthy habits like planning your outfit, having a made bed, taking a cold shower, and checking off the first task of the day. The whole day is a smooth ride if the morning goes well.
If you’re not the kind of person who needs to knock off your to-do list or create a detailed checklist for every project, don’t make one for your morning. Cementing morning habits can make it easier to prioritize your overall health. It’s going to take the flow and ease out of your routine. You want a structure, but keep it loose.
Before you go to bed, give yourself small directions for the morning. If you afford yourself some wiggle room, you won’t be stressed out about your plans for the next day when you’re trying to get some sleep.
“I’ll wake up, and place one hand on my heart and one on my stomach and just breathe. I’ll have a cup of coffee while I tidy up and listen to my news podcast. I’ll do whatever workout appeals to me for 20 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on how I’m feeling. I’ll have one of these three options for breakfast, and I’ll wrap up with my self-care ritual.
I need to shower. Maybe I’ll shave in the morning, or perhaps I’ll shave the next day. We’ll see how I feel. Then I’ll stop and pick up a healthy lunch on the way to work. Maybe a salad or a wrap.”
What Time Should I Wake Up?
You’ve probably heard the anecdotes of successful people waking up at 4 AM to live an entirely different life before the rest of the world wakes up, and many of them attribute their early wake time to their ability to achieve so much. This can be deceiving and may not affect every single area of your life.
You don’t need to be an early riser. It doesn’t matter what time you wake up. It only matters that you’re getting at least 7 hours of sleep. If you work until 1 AM, you still need to eat dinner and unwind when you get home. You can’t hit the pillow at 3 AM and set the alarm for 6 AM.
In this day and age, more people work from home. They set their own schedules. As long as you’re able to accomplish what you need to accomplish, you can wake up at whatever time you want. There’s no shame in sleeping in until 10 AM every day if you don’t start work until noon.
What to Do When You First Wake Up
The best way to set a tone of productivity for the rest of your day is to be productive when your feet hit the floor. Before you leave your room, make your bed and drink a glass of water.
Keep some water on your bedside table. If the very first thing you do is clean something and start meeting your hydration requirements, you’ve already won. It’s easy to keep the momentum with a strong start.
Energy levels are higher in the morning. If you keep promising yourself that you’d like to incorporate a workout into your day, you're not alone if you feel too tired after work.
Getting your workout done in the morning scratches the task off of your list. You’ll feel less overwhelmed throughout the day if you know you’ve already kept that promise to yourself.
Your movement doesn’t have to be anything intense. You can use YouTube to find free guided workouts in various styles, like boxing, yoga, pilates, or calisthenics. Even if you can only commit to a 20-minute workout, that’s a significant improvement over skipping your workout due to time constraints.
You can also move in less conventional ways. Let your dog’s excitement lead you on a brisk walk for a while. Stroll to the nearest coffee shop for your latte instead of picking it up on the way to work. You might find that it’s easier to adhere to your workout if the result is tangible or helps you achieve a goal.
Your morning meal should be something nutritious that’s sustaining enough to get you through until lunchtime. If your morning meal contains coffee, just try to be mindful of the amount of sugar you use. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have any.
It just means you shouldn’t breeze through your recommended maximum daily allowance of added sugars in a single cup. Moderation is always better than restriction.
The perfect balance in a morning meal is protein, healthy carbs, and healthy fats. Avocado, whole grain bread, eggs or egg whites, protein oats, or protein breakfast skillets with sweet potato will meet the mark.
Make sure it’s something you genuinely enjoy and that the portion size you choose is suitable enough to sustain you but not enough to leave you feeling bloated into lunchtime.
Self-care is an act of care that makes you feel better, inside and out. Spending a little extra time to pamper yourself also counts as self-care and will come with a ton of mental health benefits.
Taking care of your skin is beneficial for your appearance and your skin’s health. Feeding your skin the nutrients it needs to repair and restore itself will promote its health from within. Healthier skin often looks younger and clearer, and when your skin looks great, it’s easy to feel confident.
The products you use are just as important as the routine itself. It’s hard to consider something an act of self-care if it involves slathering synthetic chemicals or toxins onto your face, just like it’s hard to consider heavily processed foods to be a balanced meal. Make sure you’re truly adhering to the care part of self-care.
A Great Morning Leads for a Great Day
A successful morning routine gives you room for flexibility but generally follows the same pattern. If you get stuck in an identical routine morning after morning, you’ll miss out on new experiences.
You might also start to feel like you’re trapped in Groundhog Day. A good morning routine should make you feel confident, productive, and motivated. If switching things up is the best way to keep yourself moving forward, make changes where you see fit.
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National Sleep Foundation How Much Sleep Do We Need? | National Sleep Foundation
Water: How much should you drink every day? | Mayo Clinic
No Time for Exercise? Here Are 7 Easy Ways to Move More! | American Heart Association