The Ultimate Morning Routine
Ramp up your morning routine
The way you spend your morning has an impact on your entire day.
You know this if you’ve ever rushed out of the house harried and distracted, only to find the rest of the day you had the nagging feeling you were behind. On the other hand, starting the day over a slow coffee and reading the newspaper sets an entirely different tone.
Here are five easy ways to make your morning routine healthier and happier, from drinking water to making a one-minute breakfast.
Adopt Small Habits to Make a Big Impact
There are many small things you can do that will have a big impact on making your morning and day go better. Here are just a few.
- Reach for water rather than coffee. While our first impulse is often to get the coffee brewing, grab a glass of water instead. Your body has just gone hours without water, and it is dehydrated. It is recommended to drink 16oz of water as soon as you wake up to help you hydrate, fire up your metabolism, and flush out toxins.
- Let the light in. There’s a reason your parents used to come into your room and open the blinds in the morning. Natural light signals to your brain it is time to be up, making you more alert, and it also improves your mood. This tip is only useful if the sun is up (sorry, all you people in northern climates in the winter), but it is a good one and should not be overlooked because of its simplicity. Open those blinds!
- Turn on a playlist that will complement your morning routine. If you like to ease into the morning slowly, try listening to relaxing classical music. If you need a jolt to get your energy levels up, listen to a playlist of music with an upbeat tempo.
- Take a walk around the block. This will get the blood flowing, and the sun will give you vitamin D, which is important for bone health and your immune system.
- Do yoga. With a yoga mat, any floor becomes a place you can practice yoga, making it easy to do at home. Yoga has been around for more than 5000 years, and it’s no wonder – a regular yoga practice will make you stronger, more flexible, and calmer.
Focus Your Mind and Spirit
Many morning routines focus on the physical by emphasizing things like food and exercise. These are important, but it is just as important to pay attention to your mind and spirit.
This can look different for everyone, but here are some activities and exercises to consider adding to your morning routine.
- Meditate for five minutes. Meditation has been proven to lead to less stress, more creativity, and better focus. You can meditate in silence, listening to a soundtrack of relaxing sounds, or by repeating a mantra. Repeating a mantra helps you keep your focus so your mind doesn’t wander back to your to-do list.
- Like meditation, journaling takes you into the present moment, helping your mind focus and actively engage with your thoughts. Your past frustrations and anxieties about the future will fade away as you focus on the moment. Journaling is also linked to higher emotional intelligence, better communication skills, and more creativity.
- Encourage someone. Take a moment to text a loved one with something encouraging, telling them you’re thinking of them, or write out a note for your partner or child. This will not only improve someone else’s day but will make yours better, too. You will feel grateful for having that person in your life, and even briefly focusing on a relationship important to you will change your perspective as you face the day.
- Take three deep breaths. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and slows your heart rate, making you feel more relaxed. This will help you feel less stressed and more in control, which is how you want to feel when starting your day.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Breakfast doesn’t need to be complicated. Granola and yogurt, sprinkled with berries and almonds, will get you off on the right foot.
If you are not a morning person and can’t find the energy to make breakfast in the morning, or are consistently running a bit behind in the mornings, make your breakfast ahead of time. The night before, prepare a breakfast smoothie you can quickly grab and go.
Make a batch of muffins at the beginning of the week and use them as breakfast throughout. There are many breakfasts you can make ahead of time that are good for you.
Really pressed for time? You can make breakfast in a mug in just one minute. How’s that for quick and easy?
Begin Work When It’s Best for You
Different people have different internal clocks. If you’re a morning person, perhaps it makes more sense to begin work earlier than your colleagues, and leave earlier too. But if you don’t really wake up until 10 am, maybe it makes sense to start work then.
Yes, work hours are traditionally between 9 and 5, but that doesn’t mean they have to be. Ask your boss if there is any flexibility. When starting a new job, consider negotiating a start time that works best for you.
After all, what works best for you will make you more energetic, productive, and focused, which will benefit your employer.
Remember, what works for someone else make not work for you.
Think about the kind of morning you want, and then take the steps to make it happen.
You do not need to change everything all at once; rather than be overwhelmed with many new habits, add them one or two at a time. Over time, you will feel happier and healthier with your morning routine.
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