It’s early, our bed is still so comfy, we just wanna stay in a little longer. Maybe check our phones for the latest posts on IG or if we have gotten any messages, mails or snaps. It is already hard enough to get out of bed and now we should also have a healthy morning routine? Why???
I know that not everyone is an early bird. That partially lies in our genes. Still, mornings are the start of a new day. Meaning they set the foundation of the day. Mornings have such a big impact on the way the remaining day will be. If you start it productively, you will want to be productive for the rest of your day. If you do not believe me try it out.
With this blog post I do not want to tell you what you have to do, or the only way that you will have an amazing day is if you stick to this routine. By no means I am trying to do that. I want to share the tipps and tricks with you that have helped me a lot to have a healthy, not stressful, productive and nice morning. They should be more of a guideline of what can help you if you are struggling to have a peaceful and healthy morning.
Don’t hit snooze
This might be the hardest one to start with, I know. More than half hit the snooze button at least once, and more than a third hit it three times. While it is very nice to stay in bed a little (or a lot) longer, it is not very good for us. Hitting the snooze button messes with our sleep cycle. The first time it rings, we wake up. Whenever we hit snooze our body thinks it has time to rest and with every time hitting the snooze it actually has a harder time waking up and getting up (this has something to do with the REM and NREM sleep, which I do not want to go into more detail but you can read it here). So getting up the first time you hear the alarm does not only safe you time in your morning but it also is healthier for your body.
Read & don’t look on your phone
Is your alarm on your phone? If the answer is yes, then you will probably be very likely to check what has been going on in the past hours as soon as you stop your alarm. But this honestly is not a very good start into the day. Oftentimes, the first thing you see or the first piece of information you receive in the morning is negative. Maybe it is because of a negative event, which a newspaper wrote about or you saw a post somewhere and now feel you have been missing out on something. I mean think of it. If the first thing you experience in a day is negative, how will this set up your mood for the remaining day. I feel like, straight after waking up, our mind is still very vulnerable and therefore easily influenced by bad news because we still are tired and do not have the energy to stay above it or not let it get close to us.
Try reading a few pages of a book instead of checking your phone right away. This way you can stay in bed a little longer (but you are awake, because you did not hit snooze) and you start the day educating yourself. This does not have to be much. Even 10 minutes do just fine. I always enjoy reading more scientific book in the morning from which I can learn something. By reading a few pages of a book, I have new information and knowledge that I can use in this day.
Make your bed
„If you want to change the world, start by making your bed“. I have heard this sentence a few years ago in a speech from an admiral. The meaning and power behind it is tremendous. Of course, this does not only apply if you want to change the world, but if you want to be productive or plan to achieve something big. We always have to start out small. By having this one simple task done every morning, we have feel a little proud of ourselves. And this pride and feeling of accomplishment, encourages us to do many other tasks this day. So one fulfilled task turns into many fulfilled tasks.
Workout or stretch
To be fair, not everyone is a morning workout person. But working out in the morning is something worth trying out. Why is this so beneficial in the morning? In my blog post about „Why working out is more than getting in shape“ you can read about various benefits working out has on our physical and mental wellbeing. But what I think is amazing about working out in the morning is what it does to you for the rest of your day. It gives you energy, makes you happier (and gives you a happier and more optimistic mindset), and boosts your creativity. Considering this, it is amazing what it can change throughout the rest of your day. Each day, we make thousands of decisions. Conscious and unconscious. And whether you are happy, creative and energised has an enormous influence on these decisions. More than you think it does. So working out in the morning has the power to change the way your day will be.
Plus, it is similar to the task of making your bed, you will be proud that you have already accomplished something in the morning and will be encouraged to do more throughout the rest of the day. You do not have to do an hour long workout. Just 15 or 20 minutes will make you feel as if you have done something good for yourself.
This is something very important to me and it can actually change the way I see the day. For me, taking 5 minutes to meditate, helps me SO MUCH to get my thoughts in order. When meditating, I can set my focus and decide on how I want to make the day be like. It helps me to remind myself of things that are important to me, to see a chance in every loss or failure and to accept certain things as they are. Plus, or most importantly it makes me be in peace with myself, which is essential (to me!) for having a positive day.
If you have never tried out meditation before, please do not except all of this coming the first time you practice it. This needs time and practice. Nothing comes overnight. But it is worth practicing.
Plan the day
These are both things I only started in Quarantine. But now they are an essential part of my morning routine. Why?
Planing the day out can help you get more organised throughout the whole day. Always in the mornings I like to write down what I would like to do or get done this day On a piece of paper or a note-book. I can tick everything I have done off. This does not only give one a nice and proud feeling of having something accomplished and being productive, but it also helps to get an overview of what you want to do that day. Otherwise you may start the day with a thousand things in your head you want to do and by the time you leave the house you feel super stressed because you do not want to forget about anything or are not sure if you can get everything done. By simply taking 3 minutes and writing everything down, you will know exactly what you want/ need to do, your do not forget about anything and you do not have to stress out. It is such a simple habit that has such a big impact.
Another thing to do that takes time? Yes! But seriously, this might take 2 minutes, if even, and it has the power to change the whole way your day is going to be.
Try to write down 3 things you are grateful for, 1 good gesture you want to do to someone else today and a positive self affirmation. You might wonder what this helps, and I understand you doubt. Focusing on good things in the morning, primes you for good things throughout the day. If you take just a little amount of time in the morning to make you brain concentrate on the positive aspects of life, it will automatically look out for the more positive things throughout the rest of the day (I have learnt this in the book „the happiness advantage“ by Shawn Achor). And it actually works wonders. Even after the first time doing it! But of course, the longer you practice it, the more beneficial it is!
Healthy breakfast & Hydrate
Last tip on my morning routine list is start your day with a healthy breakfast. When you start your day with a healthy breakfast you are actually going to be more likely to stay healthy through the rest of your day. First of all this is because if you know you started your day healthy, you do not want to make the rest of the day unhealthy. Additionally, when your first meal of the day is full of all the nutrients your body needs, you will also be far less likely to have cravings throughout the rest of the day! On my recipe page you can find a lot of healthy breakfast options! Or simply klick here )
Drinking water also is very important in the morning because your body has been without any for several hours. Probably somewhere between 6-9. To rehydrate it, it is very important to drink water when you wake up. This will also get your metabolism going.
Getting up even a little bit earlier is not easy. But once you are into it, you know how worth it it is! When you stick to a healthy morning routine you will feel the impact it has on your whole day immediately and you will be surprised by how immense they are.
Just one really important note:
If you have been always getting up super last minute lately, do not try to get up an hour earlier from one day to the other to fit everything of the list below in. You will be tired and frustrated after a week. Start with incorporating one thing at a time into your daily routine. That way you can slowly adapt and change your habits. Remember: change needs time!
So now you know a lot on how to get the most out of your mornings and it solely is up to you to stick to it or not! Anyway, I hope that I could give you some inspiration to start your day the best way you can!
Katie // Une Petite Cuisinière