People always talk about which side you get out of bed on as a factor for deciding whether you have a bad, good or great day.
And while yes, sleep and what you do in your bed is essential to feeling refreshed and full of energy, for me, what I do immediately after getting up is just as important to a great day. My morning routine used to suck – it was all about getting as much sleep as possible and then running to work with a piece of toast in one hand and a coffee in the other. This was kind of cause and effect because I was going to bed late which set me back completely. But as many of you will have read, last year I decided it was time to become a morning person. You can read about that here. Most of the things I talked about in that post covered the concept of how to plan your evening so that getting up was easier. And all of those things have genuinely helped me. But while investing in your evenings (i.e. sleep) is essential to feeling good, so is designing your mornings so they are inspiring and put you in good stead to combat what the day is sure to throw at you! As work life has intensified lately, mornings have become even more sacred. If I start the day without my routine, these days I feel like crawling under the desk and crying by 2pm. Seriously.
5 Steps for Creating the Perfect Morning Routine
1. Make Time
Feeling like I can take time to wake up and enjoy the early hours has utterly changed my outlook on not just the morning but the whole day. I guess I covered it in my last post but jumping out of bed and rushing to work definitely doesn’t help you calibrate for what the day will throw in your face. The key here is to set your sleeping rhythms so that you wake up earlier naturally (or with a nudge of some music or alarm), and just force yourself initially to get up. There’s not much of a way around this other than to go to bed earlier. Those few extra hours (or even just 30 mins!) will set you up for a great day.
This can be a hard one, but try not to view your mornings as an extension of your work day, no matter how busy you are. This goes for everyone from students to freelancers to professionals. Think of them as special and just for you. Avoid checking emails, looking at Instagram or anything that could have your brain forced into work mode. Better yet, start a 8pm – 8am screen ban so that you can shut the world out completely.
3. Get moving
Nothing is better than getting the blood flowing first thing in the morning. If you get the chance, do something that helps you sweat so that you can wake yourself up and kick start your metabolism. I often try booking myself in for a class that I can’t get out of – it’s a great way to lock yourself into a morning routine, and if that can’t happen even just a bit of stretching will help you feel great. My regime changes all the time but no matter how much I just wanna stay in bed, my outlook is a zillion times better when I’ve sweated a bit in the morning. And yes, before you groan at the thought – relaxing on the couch with a book every few days is great too. 😉
4. Feed your body
Making breakfast and having time to actually sit down and eat it is a probably not something many of us get to do that often. In the past when I was rushing to work breakfast was the last thing on my mind and I often found myself eating Starbucks banana bread on the bus… Not a great way to start the day! Making a good breakfast takes a bit of prep because you need to make sure you have the right ingredients in the fridge the night before – these days I’m all about poached eggs and wilted spinach – but it’s so worth it. Even something at *basic* as avocado on toast is a great start to the day.
5. Just add water
I know everyone talks about lemon water, but IMO I struggle to think it makes much difference whether it has lemon, seaweed, cucumber or crushed Himalayan wild flowers in it – for me it’s the water part that’s going to make you feel good.
6. Feed your soul
In my last life post we talked about mindfulness, and the morning is the best time to have a crack at meditation and set yourself up for an anxiety free day. My mum has done light meditation every morning for years, and I truly think it helped her keep work and life related stresses at bay. This is something I’m yet to master but hoping I can by the end of the year. Onwards and upwards!
What do you do to start the day right? Any other ideas for how I can improve my mornings?