Welcome back to another “educational” post. This week, we are covering how to establish a morning routine. This letter should definitely be read together with its pendant – how to establish a good sleeping routine. Let us start with the most obvious question first:
Why Should You Care about Having a Morning Routine?
A Harvard Business Study surveyed undergrads and found that those who had more energy in the morning were more productive in addressing issues than those who tended to have energy later in the day. This means that a productive morning can set you up for more success throughout your day. Having a morning routine also means that you are spending the first hours of the day on yourself. Rather, than already being busy and potentially being pulled into a million different directions. By the way, your morning routine does not have to start at 4:30 am. It just means that you utilize the first hour (or whatever time you have) of your day and then seize the rest of it!
Feeling your optimal best is always a balance of multiple things. That means you will not achieve that result by eating kale all day. It is rather a balance between nutrition, enough sleep, rest, and restoration, as well as minimization of stress and a happy, calm mind. And as part of this balance, I thought that we would cover how to establish a morning routine 💃. I do not know about you, but with lockdown, I had to find a new way to utilize my mornings and completely change my routine. Whether you are “routinized” at having a morning routine, or completely new to this subject, I hope you find something that inspires you here 💕.
What Does a Morning Routine Entail?
Honestly, there are so many different options that you could do. I will provide you with some ideas below. I suggest you take what serves and resonates with you and leave what does not 🤗.
How to Establish a Good Morning Routine
Do no Snooze
There is evidence that suggests that snoozing messes with your circadian rhythm (the internal process that regulates your sleep and wake cycle). Therefore, snoozing may make you feel worse than better. If you genuinely feel like you are not sleeping enough, try either putting your alarm a little bit later and actually getting good, quality sleep, or go to bed a bit earlier 😉. Sleep is important to our recovery, memory storage, and general well-being. And having a morning routine also greatly feeds into having a restful night’s sleep.
Make Your Bed
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Making your bed makes you feel like you have already achieved something and “ticked a task off your list”. There is evidence suggesting that people who make their bed are happier and more productive. I am still trying to teach my husband about this one 🤣…
We tend to be dehydrated after a full night of rest. So water or even lemon water is a great start to your day. It will hydrate you, as well as support your digestive tract and immune system first thing in the morning.
Personally, this is one of my favorite ways to start the day. It allows me to get centered, focus, sweat, have a clear mind, and increase my blood flow. Research suggests that working out can increase mental sharpness, as well as decreasing a foggy brain later in the afternoon. If you are not into a heavy sweat in the morning, gentle stretching to wake up the body can also do the trick. You could also go for a walk and catch the first set of daylight. This will further help to strengthen your circadian rhythm and allows you to become fully awake. I have written extensively about the benefits of research on exercise in my post Why Exercise Is Important.
I can only stress the mental benefits of meditation time and time again. It helps to release stress, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, promotes deep relaxation, increases oxygen levels, and improves circulation. It has also shown to decrease anxiety levels. Whether you suffer from anxiety regularly (🙋🏼♀️) or from time to time in stressful situations, I definitely recommend you to give it a try. If you are new to meditating – there are two great apps that provide guided meditations. I personally have used Headspace for a very long time, and I have heard that Calm is also great (I am affiliated with neither). If you are not willing to go down the “app route” just yet, there are awesome free ones on Youtube as well. And just a reminder, praying can also totally be seen as a form of meditation.
I have recently come back to this one and I am currently loving it! Picking up a book and reading a few pages before hopping out of bed just makes me feel super happy and good – so why not?! 😉
This is one that I personally struggle with but a lot of people thrive on. Either scribing free-flowingly, jotting down current thoughts and ideas, writing out what they feel grateful for, or simply their to-do list first thing is an awesome way to journal.
Visualization means that you envision your goals and you are “mentally” either getting closer to them or already “there”. Believing in yourself and visualizing your goals can help you feel more motivated and thereby more productive in moving towards them. You will likely also feel more positive throughout the day, as you are thinking about something you truly want/enjoy.
Affirmations are statements that you can use in the morning to get into a positive, joyful state of mind. These personal mantras should be whatever resonates with you most and the idea is to affirm you feeling great. Some powerful ones are: “I am calm”. “I am happy”. “I am healthy”. I am grateful for a new day”. If you are struggling with finding the right ones for you – google some and write them down. You could also put them on post-it notes around the house so that you get reminded of them throughout the day. I practice my affirmations when I am brushing my teeth in the morning (and I am using this newsletter as my reminder to be a bit more diligent on that…!).
Note that both affirmations and visualizations can be done separately or you can also combine them with either meditating, journaling, or both.
I simply do not haver that much time on my hands in the morning…
I hear this time and time again. But research indicates that the length of the morning routine does not appear to be as important as the actual doing in itself. You could literally spend one minute each on tasks that resonate with you. Do that for a total of five or 10 minutes and you should still receive the benefits of the start of the day we discussed 💚.
I have stuck with a morning routine for years. I know my day starts on a way better, happier, more productive, calm, and relaxed note when I do. However, it was a surprise to be unable to find a lot of scientific research into the benefits of a morning routine. Nevertheless, it appears that a lot of successful people follow the concept and swear by it (including successful CEOs).
Whether you currently have a morning routine or not. I hope this post has inspired you to perhaps give it a try and see whether you feel a difference for yourself 🦋. Have you established a morning routine? If so, how are you finding it? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!!