The way you start your day has a great impact on the rest of your day.
Has it ever happened that when your day starts off wrong, you find yourself literally getting through the rest of the day rather than really seizing it? We’ve been there too. But we’re here to tell you that all is not lost! The solution? It may all boil down to creating a good morning routine. That is, developing those healthy morning habits that will serve to reduce the stress and pressure that each new day brings from the get-go… before the day effectively starts!
To help get you started, here are some simple yet powerful, tried-and-tested techniques that may help you to create a good morning routine. See which work best for you and apply them consistently everyday… You will soon discover how your new morning routine will quite literally change your life, by setting a positive tone from the start and fuelling you for the rest of the day!
1. Getting Quality Sleep
First off, a healthy morning routine, in fact, starts the night before. While sleep needs vary between one person and another, the standard recommendation is to get roughly 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Before you dismiss this an impossible task, we urge you to try the following sleep hacks which are known to enhance the quality of sleep and help it to last longer:
Eliminate screen time before going to bed. Relieve your eyes from that unnatural light (no matter how dim!) which makes sleeping difficult, and by doing so you will also be relaxing your mind from the stress of work as well as the busyness of social media which often keeps us aimlessly scrolling for hours.
Create a sleep schedule, by committing to a regular time of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day (including weekends!). This way your body will know when it’s meant to be in ‘sleep-mode’.
Keep cool. It turns out that the air in your room can affect the quality of your sleep! Your body temperature naturally drops slightly during the night and rises again early morning as you approach waking. A bedroom that is too warm can, therefore, disrupt the body’s natural capacity to lower its temperature, making you more restless throughout the night. So if you’re struggling to remain asleep, try regulating the temperature in your room. Sleep experts recommend setting the temperature to around 65°F (18.3°C) to ensure the best sleep.
Avoid spicy or heavy foods at night as these can be difficult to digest which can affect the quality of your sleep.
Cut out caffeine hours before your bedtime. Caffeine is a stimulant that can greatly disturb your sleep –no matter how much you may think you have become immune to it! The alternative? Switch to decaf coffee or herbal (non-caffeinated) teas.
The importance of getting real quality sleep cannot be stressed enough and should never be underestimated!
2. No Screen time!
A key reason for committing to a morning routine is to have some you time and to help create space and order in your mind before the day officially commences. This again means no screen time! From the moment you wake up, it is recommended to wait at least 20 minutes before subjecting your eyes to any screentime… be it a mobile laptop, tv (… you get the drift).
But if we were, to be honest with you, we would recommend waiting even longer than that before you take to any screen, so that you can learn to appreciate the peace and silence of a mind devoid of social media alerts and unnecessary considerations. This will help you to start the day calmly and ultimately prepare you for the busyness ahead.
3. Wake up earlier than usual
The secret to a healthy morning routine is to have enough time to enjoy it! Feeling rushed or stressed to ‘fit’ your morning routine essentially defeats the whole purpose of developing a morning routine in the first place! This is why getting good quality sleep is probably the topmost rule.
After a quality sleep, everything else will flow more easily. If you have kids, we would suggest that you try to wake up 30-45 minutes before they do so that you can enjoy your own routine before the morning madness.
Meditation is a perfect way to spend some time with yourself before the day kicks off. This is not some mystical practice requiring yogic power but is simply the mental act of quietening the mind by focusing on a particular object, thought, or activity.
The result is relaxation of the mind and body, and a deeper awareness of the matter in focus. The long-term effects of the daily meditative practice are reduced stress, increased concentration, clearer focus, greater discipline, and overall healthier well-being.
Always remember that meditation is a personal practice. It can be a time of reflection, a time of envisioning your day, your person, your goals, it may even be a time of prayer. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach here.
And don’t worry if it might seem daunting at first… that’s really just until you get into the rhythm of it all. We would recommend that you start off with a 2-minute meditation and increase as and when you feel you can, along the days and weeks to come. Also, there are many guided meditations online which you may follow, or even meditation apps designed specifically for beginners. Trust the process, and give it a try.
If possible, try and get some outdoor air and soak in the sun. If you have the time to go for a quick stroll outside, that’s fantastic! If not, try and sit in your garden, or on your balcony, or open a window and stay there a while to just be and breathe in the fresh morning air.
The fresh air and natural light will help wake you up in the right way while allowing you to stop and take in your surroundings before the day’s busyness takes over. Your meditative practice can even be incorporated into your outdoor time!
6. Drink a full glass of water
Your body may naturally become dehydrated when you are asleep due to the lack of water intake during this time. So, one of the best things to do both before you sleep and upon waking up is to drink a big glass of water so that you can ensure that your body is hydrated throughout.
Make this is a habit and you will see the positive effect it has on your sleep, your skin, and your over physical state.
7. Get Physical
Get your blood flowing! Whether it is a short workout, a brisk walk, or a deep stretch, there’s no better start to the day than through some active movement after hours of lying down.
No need to commit to any long, time-consuming session - 10 or 15 minutes is great!
Developing a good morning routine can make all the difference to the way you power through the day. The goal is to keep it simple and to enjoy what you’re doing so that you can keep it up every day. There’s no need to fit in too much. See what works for you. And don’t be afraid to change it up when you need to.