We all know it: what we do in the morning can set the tone for our entire day. But how many of us often struggle to get out of bed, grab a quick coffee (if that) and run out the door...or now settle into our home offices?
It pays to set up a healthy, workable and rewarding morning routine. By doing so, you create more productivity, less stress and better overall physical and mental fitness.
Let's look at what you should be doing. In other words, the top ingredients for an enlivening morning routine.
1. Set aside the time for yourself.
The first step is to give yourself that extra time for your routine. And yes, this means setting that alarm a little bit earlier. Even half an hour can make all the difference in the morning.
Start with an extra 30 minutes, and see how you get on. You may find yourself wanting to extend it!
2. Get your body moving.
Find a pleasant way to get your blood flowing, something that you enjoy. You could:
- Go for a quick walk.
- Do yoga or pilates (with or without resistance bands, depending on how much of a full-body workout you want).
- Do some gentle stretches.
3. Take time to be still.
Having some quiet time could be in combination with the above movements. You could:
- Finish your walk by sitting quietly outside.
- Relax in child’s pose after your yoga routine.
- Sit and meditate after doing stretches.
You get the idea. Most of us are always rushing, and part of good overall health is to take time each day to quiet the mind.
There are many benefits of taking the time to be still, including increased focus, decreased stress and even improved memory (this one’s for you if you're an over-achiever!)
4. Feed yourself properly.
Your body needs food to start the day. Granted, you may be someone who prefers a light breakfast, but even then, you can prioritize nutrition.
Here are some examples of easy, quick breakfasts:
- Wholemeal toast spread with avocado, coconut oil or nut butter (almond, hazelnut, any kind).
- Green juice. If you prefer a light breakfast, this option could be life-changing for you!
- Overnight oatmeal. Soak your oats overnight in your preferred milk. You can have it room temperature as there’s no need to cook oat flakes, or you can heat your oatmeal quickly. Sliced fresh fruit on top is optional but delicious!
- Yogurt with granola or sliced fresh fruit on top. There are many types of yogurt available, including non-dairy.
- Chia seed pudding (soak a tablespoonful of chia seeds in your preferred milk overnight). You can keep your creation in the fridge if you prefer a cold pudding. Add goji berries or fresh forest berries for extra deliciousness!
- A fruit smoothie or protein shake. If you want to sip it throughout the morning, take it with you in a reusable container.
Things to remember here are to plan your meals. You can make it a game: Add one new breakfast idea to your repertoire each week. You’ll have a wide selection before you know it!
5. Plan for the day ahead.
As you sip your smoothie, dig into your oatmeal or munch on your pudding, you could think about the day ahead. Notice I said think about it, not stress about it! Planning the day is good practice for staying focused, but keep it simple.
For example, what are the top three things you want to remember or accomplish that day? What can you do today to leave you with a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day?
Start small, and keep it simple. It is better to integrate one new practice and do so consistently than try to change everything and give up after a week!
Congratulate yourself each time you implement this routine. You may want to journal or just keep notes on how your days are evolving now that you are taking this time for yourself in the morning.
Enjoy your mornings, and make the most of them for some joyful days ahead!
About the Author
Barbara Fernandez is a freelance health and lifestyle writer and voiceover artist. She writes about all aspects of health and fitness, wellness and nutrition. She also voices narrations and podcasts—everything from a character voice giving math lessons to children to a friendly voice for SaaS instruction videos.