Mornings are so important because they set the tone for the rest of your day. A lot of us aren’t morning people, so we have to challenge that. The first morning interaction you have is important. For a lot of us, mornings are stressful because we wake up with just enough time to get ready, and then rush off to school, work, meetings, and so on. I used to always feel rushed and stressed in the morning and always hit the snooze button, until I got up with just enough time to get ready, get my things together, and grab something quick on-the-go to eat for breakfast during my commute.
This type of routine and rushing around increased my anxiety not only during my mornings but throughout my day and altered my mood. Then I started implementing a new routine that was more mindful and I saw changes in mood, anxiety, and productivity. Getting up earlier is a key part of this so you can start your day off right — not starting your day off once you get to work or school.
Here’s my morning routine:
1. HAVE A PLEASANT ALARM
This is the first thing you hear in the morning so make it enjoyable! I tend to wake up more moody if my alarm is obnoxious. I found a really peaceful alarm sound that gradually increases in volume as I’m slowly starting to wake up.
2. NO SNOOZE
Do not snooze your alarm! We all know what happens when you do… You snooze until you have to force yourself to get up and get ready. If you get right up when you first hear your alarm, you’re pushing yourself and will be more productive! If you snooze it’s harder to get out of bed.
3. AVOID YOUR PHONE
This is the most important tip I can give you! It’s so incredibly easy to just roll over, reach for your phone, and mindlessly scroll through Facebook or other social media while you start to completely wake up. This is the worst thing you can do for yourself in the morning. We all know that social media has negative influences on us, but when you turn to it first thing in the morning it just lets the energy of others affect you before the day has even started. Don’t check emails either! You might be left feeling overwhelmed and thinking about a lot before you’re even out of bed.
4. DRINK WATER
Drink a full glass of water right when you wake up. You can even do a cup of warm water with lemon (add cayenne pepper if you’d like). Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. I know so many people say this, but it really does help.
5. WORKSHEET / 5 MIN JOURNAL
Reflecting in the morning is essential. Fill out a worksheet daily in the morning to jot down your goals for the day, how you want to feel today, and top priorities for the day. Or use a little notebook to keep track of yourself. Then add in any thoughts you’re having that morning, and rate your mood. Jot all these things down!
Another alternative would be to journal for about 5 minutes in the morning.
6. YOGA OR SIMPLE STRETCHING
As I’m sure many of you know, yoga is so good for you and promotes healthy living, relaxation, flexibility and just about anything you can think of. Do some simple yoga poses in the morning to get your blood flowing.
If you don’t want to do yoga, do some simple stretching. Before I started stretching in the mornings I really doubted it, but once I started doing it I realized its importance and have noticed a difference in my body and mind!
7. 10 MIN MEDITATION OR BODY SCAN
A short meditation is a great way to get your morning started on a relaxed and happy note! If you have enough time, take 10 minutes to yourself to meditate. This will relax your muscles and clear your head and slow down your thoughts, leaving you ready to take on your day!
For something quicker but still effective, do a body scan. That means slowly examining each part of your body / muscles one by one and noticing the tension, and then releasing it.
8. INSPIRATIONAL READING
The morning is a great time to read. You are attentive and your mind is clear. Reading at night is ideal for most people, but we are often tired from the long day we just had, so our mind starts to wander and our eyes get tired. Starting your day off with some inspirational reading will set the tone for your day! If you surround yourself with positive inspiration, you might find yourself thinking more positively. All it takes is just a few pages each day! I love doing this with a delicious cup of warm coffee in my hand! If you’d like me to post a list of my favorite inspirational books, I can do that in another post!
Cook up a healthy, filling breakfast that’ll give you energy for your day. My go-to breakfast is scrambled eggs, mixed with mushrooms, red bell peppers, scallions, and a little bit of feta cheese. You can pair this with greek yogurt on the side if you want! This will give you a ton of protein and is super filling. I keep ziplock bags of mushrooms, peppers, and scallions separately, all chopped up in the freezer to save time in order to make my breakfast quick and easy in the mornings. I just take out the bags and throw some ingredients in my pan!
I also make “power balls” almost weekly, usually on Sundays and then I freeze them, so that I can eat them on the go. They’re so filling and delicious, fast, and easy. Pick a Pinterest recipe that you think you’d like! There’s so many.
10. CHECK OVER PLANNER
You’ve stretched, read, relaxed, and now you’ve eaten… now it’s time to look at what you have planned for the day! Try to break down your tasks into smaller tasks as much as you can. Cross things off that you’ve completed. Our mind loves the way we feel when we’ve finally crossed something off and it is motivating. Prioritize your tasks and choose a reasonable amount of tasks to be done that today so that you aren’t discouraged or upset when you don’t complete your insanely long list of tasks!
11. KEEP A POST-IT NOTE WITH A MANTRA ON YOUR MIRROR
It sounds silly, but it works for me! Keep a post-it note on your mirror when you get ready in the mornings. Write a short mantra on it, so then every morning when you get ready you’ll see it. You can write things like, “You are beautiful”, “Today will be a great day”, etc. Maybe change it to a different phrase once a week!
Challenge yourself and try building a new morning routine! Use this routine, or take some ideas from it and create your own! I’d love to hear any routine ideas from you.