A regular morning routine that incorporates daily habits and rituals can positively impact your productivity, mood, sense of calmness, success and health. How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day so if you are waking up late, rushing out the door, feeling stressed, eating on the run, this pattern will likely follow you throughout the day. If you start the day eating sugary processed foods then you are likely to make bad food choices throughout the rest of the day.
Tune in once or twice a week by closing your eyes and replaying the morning events and recognise how you feel. If you don’t feel good in these moments of reflection recognise the message to change something!
If you want to make any changes in your life you need to be committed to changing something on a daily basis – so if you want to eat healthier or exercise more for example you need to do something daily rather than now and again otherwise it doesn’t have the same impact on your overall wellbeing and is counterproductive. You need to show up every day to your intentions and make them your priority.
There are many practices and habits that can be incorporated into your current lifestyle that will improve your morning routine however it can become overwhelming and stressful to try to cram more into your already busy morning which is why I encourage you to set your alarm 15 minutes earlier and use this as your call to action (avoiding pressing snooze!). In this 15 minutes experiment with a some morning rituals and habits until you find something that resonates with you and sticks. Once this has become and firm part of your regular morning routine see if you can increase by another 5 or 10 minutes and introduce something else to your morning.
Your thoughts also play a big part of your morning routine and if your mental chatter is saying; you are stressed, the kids are a nightmare, you are always late or are not a morning person then these thoughts become your reality and you begin to live in accordance to your beliefs. You can shift this by noticing your patterns and replacing them with a positive mantra such as “I have plenty of time in the morning, or I love mornings, or my kids are well behaved” – you might not believe these words at first but with perseverance you can change your thoughts and beliefs – if all else fails “Fake it till you make it”
ACTIONS for a more powerfully productive morning.
1. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier in the morning resisting the snooze button! Get up and do something positive for yourself (see below for inspiration). If you are a snoozer then put your phone out of reach so you have to physically get your booty out of bed to turn it off.
2. Get your clothes out the night before so you are not scrambling around in the morning finding something to wear. If you have children then pack their bags, get out their uniform the night before too – this saves a lot of stress in the morning.
3. Make your bed as soon as you wake up, this instantly gives you a sense of pride and achievement.
4. Give yourself enough time in the morning. Set yourself time goals in blocks of 15 minutes to help keep you on track for the morning.
5. Don’t look at social media or emails for the first hour of your day if you can avoid it. If you are guilty of Facebook surfing as soon as you wake up then put this time to better use with some powerful productive practices.
6. Rehydrate as soon as you wake up by drinking a big glass of water which also kick starts the metabolism. Take a big glass of water to bed with you so it is ready to drink as soon as you wake up.
7. Prioritise 3 things to do for the day ahead. You may have a long to do list (most of us do!) so avoid overwhelm by selecting 3 things to accomplish in the day ahead – please note your daily tasks don’t have to be big, if you have a newborn then simply showering is a huge daily achievement!! Be realistic with what you can achieve with ease.
8. Fuel your body by eating a nourishing balanced breakfast to include a good source of fat, protein and carbohydrate for example – a smoothie (with veggies) plus a good quality protein powder and nut butter or smoked salmon on sourdough with fresh watercress, scrambled eggs with avocado and tomatoes, Full fat Greek yoghurt with mixed berries, seeds and cacao nibs.
9. Practice positive mantra’s this can be done while you brush your teeth, look in the mirror and repeat a positive mantra that resonates with you such as:
“I Love and Accept myself just as I AM” this mantra is hugely powerful!
10. Move, Stretch or Twist your body through some simple light or more intense yoga moves. There are plenty of great apps such as Yogaglo or short timed videos on YouTube.
11. Find stillness through meditation, which is quite possibly my favourite practice as my days are always very busy so I love starting my day in stillness as it helps me cope with the demands of the day ahead with a level head (most of the time!!) I use an app called CALM and have also used Headspace too – both apps have free timed guided meditations.
12. Breathe – even though breathe all the time it is really important and beneficial to simply stop to really feel the breath sink to your stomach and release again. Follow your breath in and out to bring stillness and calmness to both your body and mind. Slow deep breathing lowers cortisol, this is also a good practice throughout the day to refer back to in times of stress.
Remember one small change is all you need so don’t be overwhelmed with the list above and use it as a guide to experiment with new practices. Set yourself small and achievable goals without judgement. If you have kids you may need to be more flexible with your morning routine, but try to find a space first thing in the morning that is just for you.
What is your current morning routine like? Do you start your day in calmness or calamity? Share your insights with me.