Want an Amazing Day? Harness the Magic of Mornings with these 10 Tips
We’re not all morning people. Some of us don’t actually have to wake up at the crack of dawn and tend to feel miserable when we do. If that’s you, just consider ‘morning’, whenever you usually start your day. We aren’t going to harp on the benefits of aligning with the circadian rhythm and try to convert you (although yes, it’s beneficial).
What we are going to talk about is how your morning is the easiest point in the day to carve out time for yourself before priorities and distractions set in. Not only that, but choosing the beginning of your day to carve out this time actually serves the purpose of radically defining how you feel for the rest of your day. Let’s call this carved out time a morning routine, and a routine which helps focus your mind and ground you for the day. It lets you be proactive and not reactive.
The important thing about a morning routine is to make your changes gradually. You’re creating a new habit, and this requires intentional, steady, repetitive building blocks to stick to it. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself. So add one thing, then once you’ve stuck with it for 3-5 days IN A ROW, add another. If you think the maximum you can manage is waking up an extra 15-30 minutes earlier in the morning, pick one physical, one mental, and one emotional thing to do for yourself in that time. We’ll give you a freebee before the list that you should stick to no matter what though:
Don’t. Hit. Snooze. Ever.
1- Preparation is Key
Okay, fine, this isn’t actually done in the morning, but it’s for your morning. Make things easy for yourself. Have your clothes set out the night before. And most importantly, create your to do list. Write everything down, and then pick your 3 most important things to accomplish. Get rid of everything else. Visualize how you are going to organize your day achieve them. Have the list ready for when you wake up.
2- Keep Airplane Mode On
Yes, seriously. Set it before you go to bed. This shouldn’t interfere with your alarms. Keep your phone on airplane mode, if not until the end of your morning routine, at least for the first 15 minutes after you wake up. This helps avoid unnecessary distractions of emails and social media, and allows you to have some real time to be present with yourself before the rest of the world rolls into your consciousness. It’s the biggest time suck and so easy to end up scrolling until you have no time to get any of the things you’ve planned done. Trust me, I know this trap all too well!
3- Start In Bed
It can all start when you are still wrapped up in your sheets with your eyes closed.
First, Breathe. Take 3 deep, slow breaths. This helps reset whatever energy you woke up with and the immediate flood of thoughts that threaten to engulf you.
Then, think of 3 things you are grateful for. Just 3. Yes, 3 is our magic number. And gratitude has been proven time and again to just plain make people happier.
4- Meditate, Meditate, Meditate.
If you don’t already do this, you are probably sick of people talking about the incredible effects of meditating and how its changed their life. The best way to have to stop being on the receiving end of this? Just start doing it.
Honestly though, meditation isn’t something only special people can do. It doesn’t require a perfect quiet mind and ironclad concentration. There is actually no right way to meditate, not really. It just requires sitting with yourself in a comfortable position for a few minutes, and drawing your thoughts back to your breath every time they wander.
You don’t even have to manage this process yourself. There are plenty of wonderful, and short, guided meditations you can use. Here’s a 10 min one you can test out, but if that’s too long for you, you can find a 5min one too! Pick one that resonates with you content wise and the voice of the guide matters more than you think.
5- When Your Feet Hit the Ground, Hydrate.
Make a beeline to a glass of warm water and lemon. You’ve just spent somewhere around 8 hours without hydration. Your body is parched. Drinking this first thing gets your whole system going, not just digestion. You can make the choice even simpler for yourself by putting hot water and lemon in an insulated bottle by your bed. It should be the right temperature by the time you wake up (this takes us back to Tip #1)!
6- Be Inspired
While you are sipping on that warm water and lemon for 5-10 minutes (if you’d like), listen to some uplifting music, an inspiring audiobook or podcast, or read a positive and creative page of something. Whatever you choose, let it be something that makes you feel light and happy. It will feed and activate your mind and also bolster good feelings in yourself for the day.
7- Free Your Thoughts
If you only have 2 minutes to spare, use those. If you can put aside 5 or 10, then go for it. Open a fresh page of a notebook, grab a pen, and let your thoughts tumble out uninhibited. It serves as a mental, emotional and creative clearing, and it can be pretty interesting to look back on these at the end of the week or month!
8- Get Your Blood Pumping
Ah, the goal of the daily workout that’s constantly evaded you. Look, we know that the idea of dragging yourself to the gym every morning or to an exercise class can be daunting. So daunting that it either ends up never happening or lasts for a few days before a particularly rushed morning pushes you off the wagon.
Forget about all that. You don’t need equipment, and you don’t need to go anywhere. You don’t need to even put aside those idealized ’30 minutes’. You can find 5-7 minute or less scientifically proven exercise videos and 5 minute or less stretch routines on Youtube or a workout app of your choice. This get your cardio pumping and all the right muscle groups moving. Still too much time for you? Don’t worry about it! Just do a few jumping jacks, crunches, push ups and squats, or do a quick run up and down your street. Even with just 1 minute to spare, you can get your blood pumping. Make it work for you! And put out those workout clothes the night before
(Again, see Tip #1).
9- Don’t Skip Nourishment
Without breakfast, your energy will dip in just a couple of hours, or you will binge on something sugary to curb your hunger and end up with a sugar crash. That’s no good for anyone. If you have only a couple of minutes to prepare, just make a smoothie!
Pick something from our previous blog post ‘5 Smoothies to Boost Your Morning‘. You can save even more time by having the ingredients bagged and prepped in daily portions for the whole week. This is the final time we will refer to Tip #1! Still too much time? Fine, grab a banana or apple, and head out the door.
10- Give Yourself Validation
People can feel strange about this one, but it really has shown to activate positive emotional responses. After your shower, or before heading out the door, look in the mirror, smile (even if you have to force it), and say something affirming and validating to yourself. Send yourself out the door feeling like you gave yourself a warm hug.
We hope that at least a couple of these work for you! Let us know how it goes, or if you have something special in your morning routine you think should have been on the list, tell us in the comments!