Do you wake up excited for the day ahead, jump out of bed, ready to hit the ground running? For most, mornings feel more like wanting to hit snooze just a few times, hoping for some additional sleep. However, waking up with a morning routine can make a huge difference in tackling, enjoying and navigating the day ahead. Establishing a routine to start the day allows for you to take hold of your schedule instead of your scheduling taking control of you. As human beings, we need structure and boundaries. Especially for those of us who work at home, having a set plan in place to keep ourselves accountable and on track can make all the difference in having a successful, constructive day.
I would be lost without a routine, specifically a morning routine. It’s the first step to living a life of intention. It’s my key to a productive day and can be yours, too!
I can promise you, morning routines work.
There is not one specific routine that will work for everyone. We are each unique and should come up with a routine that will work for ourselves. Below are some ideas, tips and practices I find work for many, but leave room to tailor it to you and your needs. Most importantly remember this is your time before interacting with others. Take time to focus on you!
Best practices to incorporate into a morning routine:
- Wake up at the same time each day
Be consistent. Our bodies work like a clock. We rely on our circadian rhythms to keep us on track. Waking up at the same time each morning will also help you fall asleep at the same time each night, which leads to a better overall sleep schedule. It will take a bit of time to adjust, but our amazing bodies can regulate pretty quickly!
- One- word mantra
Before getting out of bed, think of a word you want to start the day with. For me its “thank you” because I’m grateful for the opportunity to have another day. Maybe you want to seek peace in your daily routines so you repeat “peace” to yourself. Perhaps you choose the word “intentional” for the desire to cultivate purpose throughout the day. Whatever word you choose, make sure it means something that will remind you why today matters.
- Wash your face and brush your teeth
Okay this may sound silly or like a no brainer, but as soon as you get out of bed, do this. This practice will wake’s one up and signals to the brain the day is starting.
- Drink a cup of water
A cup of water in the morning gets the liver going and hydrates the body after not having anything to drink during the night. Water helps to flush the stomach and balances the lymphatic system which keeps our immune systems healthy.
- Meditate/ Pray
For many, the only real quiet time we get happens in the morning. Our families demand our attention or work calls start to invade our phones, etc. Do some breathing exercises or just sit in quiet, pray or write in your journal. Remember this time is about YOU!
- Watch the sunrise
If you live in a place where you can see the sunrise, take advantage of it. Sit with your usual cup of coffee or tea and just be in the moment. Or better yet that big tall cup of water! Admire natures beauty and let all the stress go. I promise waking up early enough to see it will be worth it! I have found these 5-10 minutes to be so refreshing, awaking and something I treasure each day.
- Read or watch something as a form of personal development
I have made it a goal of mine to learn one new thing daily and lately have found it best to incorporate into my morning routine. After watching the sunrise, I sit for another 10 minutes just reading or researching some fun new topic. It’s amazing how much you can learn with just a few minutes!
After awakening my mind and mentally setting myself in the right place to embrace the day ahead, I like to awaken my body through exercise. Write out an exercise plan on Sunday nights to incorporate throughout the week or join something like BeachBody (like I did) to make it easy. Planning it out ahead of time provides discipline and structure. However, it doesn’t have to be planned or rigid. Try something new. Do yoga, maybe an at home workout, go for a run in the neighborhood or just a nice walk. Breathe and know you are gifting your body with health. You are taking care of you and that’s what really matters. If you only have 10 minutes, great! Give it your all for those 10 minutes. Additionally, starting off the day with exercise makes it much easier to avoid the temptation of skipping it later. I know how easy it can be to say “oh I’ll do it later”… how often does later never happen? Exactly.
While these are all ideas to incorporate into your own routine, not all of them have to be used. Maybe you just have one or two you’d like to include. I know we’d like to think we have a few hours to get going for the day, but in reality we don’t. Some days you’ll wake up tired, tempted to hit snooze. Some days you won’t accomplish everything on your to-do list. Some days your morning routine may get interrupted. That’s okay! Knowing you followed your morning routine and set yourself up the best you could, will keep you encouraged to continue to follow your routine. I guarantee your day would not have been nearly as productive had you not started off on the right foot with the structure and boundaries in place.
Stick with your plan for a few weeks and take note of your days. How has it helped you? Is there anything you’d change or add in? Do you feel more productive?