21 Day Hero says it best, “[A] good morning routine sets a tone for the rest of the day.” The benefits of establishing a morning routine are countless. Starting the day off with a series of simple, fulfilling steps increases relaxation and reduces anxiety levels. Most morning routines have a very defined beginning based on when the individual wishes to wake up (ie., at 7:30am sharp). A consistent sleep schedule leads to better rest and, as a result, heightened performance, mental acuity, motivation, and general energy levels. Including exercise in your morning routine gets the blood flowing and releases endorphins that trigger an overall positive feeling in the body. In the long run, morning routines reduce stress, promote motivation, and contribute to better health.
So, what do I do in the mornings?
My Morning Routine
Step 1: Wake up at 6:30am. As soon as I hear the alarm clock, I must get out of bed! Otherwise, I’ll simply stay in.
Step 2: Use the restroom, brush teeth, put hair in ponytail, etc. I don’t think you need to know the deets.
Step 3: Make the bed. I am 87% less likely to crawl back into bed when it is neatly made.
Step 4: Make breakfast and coffee, refill my water bottle.
Step 5: Eat breakfast while reading a book for 20 minutes. To those of you who know me personally, I am still semi-anti-breakfast, so I typically only eat something sweet and light like granola with various fruits. It takes the body ~20 minutes to acknowledge that it is being fed, hence the time minimum.
Step 6: Exercise for 15 minutes. Aka, stretch and do light yoga on my mat. There are some days where I’ll do an entire 50 minute exercise routine, but these are very rare.
Step 7: De-clutter my room. A cluttered room leads to a cluttered mind! Cleaning makes me feel refreshed and ready to start a new day without worrying about the literal and metaphorical mess of yesterday.
Notice how checking social media isn’t in my routine! Unless it’s an absolute emergency or if I’m contacting loved ones, I leave my phone across my room and avoid it while I go through my seven steps. Similarly, my laptop remains untouched. As an introvert, looking at notifications as soon as I wake up makes me super anxious so I postpone reading them until I am at a more relaxed, social, and energetic state. 🙂
Thinking about establishing your own morning routine? Here are some things you can do every morning to kick-start your day!
- Wake up early.
- Exercise: get your blood flowing by working out, stretching, going for a walk or run, or doing yoga.
- Process e-mails or do some work: I personally like to keep my routine work-free, but getting something done early on can increase motivation throughout the day.
- Meditation: calm your mind and set the mood for the rest of the day.
- Gratitude practice: write a note of gratitude, journal, visuale your productivity throughout the day, look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that you’re amazing, pray.
- Read: a book, magazine, newspaper, astro-ph Arxiv article.
- Listen: to a podcast, TEDTalk, some music.
- Spend time with family: help children get ready, enjoy a cup of coffee with significant other.
The best morning routine is one that suits you. So – make it your own!
I would love to hear about your morning routines in the comments below. ❤
Image Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti, ESA/NASA