Even if you are a ‘morning person’ you may struggle with a morning routine. When you’re facing a busy schedule and/or managing a family, it can be tough to find time for yourself in the morning but it’s worth it. You are worth it.
Take the time to ground yourself and start the day on a positive note. Instead of feeling tired, rushed and frustrated, having a morning routine will set you up for a calmer, happier and more productive day.
Here’s an example of a 30minute routine, starting with the moment you wake, that will put your day on the best possible track.
1. Wake up early with a gentle alarm.
Find an alarm clock that doesn’t startle you upon waking and set it for 30 minutes before your normal wake-up time.
2. Do not look at any electronic devices.
Many of us use our phones as our alarms. That’s fine — so long as you can resist the temptation to check your email or Facebook once you’re awake. If not, get an old-school alarm and keep your phone somewhere else at this critical time.
Our subconscious minds are highly impressionable during the first 30 minutes after waking. The information we choose to consume then will affect us, either positively or negatively, for the rest of the day. Do not look at your phone or computer until after your routine – this is time for YOU to take control and set the tone for the day.
Your first thought should be something like, ‘this will be a great day,’ or ‘I am healthy, abundant, successful and happy,’ or ‘life loves me,’ and so on.
3. Drink a glass of warm lemon water.
Every morning squeeze half a fresh lemon into a glass, add room temperature or tepid water, and drink. Your body will thank you.
There are so many benefits - lemon strengthens the immune system, aids digestion and waste elimination, kills mouth bacteria, hydrates the lymph system, aids in weight loss, clears up your skin, reduces pain and inflammation, decreases phlegm and cleanses the liver. Lemon also has an alkalizing effect on the body, making it more resistant to any kind of disease.
A few minutes of stretching will increase blood flow to the brain and loosen your joints and muscles.
Roll your shoulders forward and backward. Now reach your arms high into the air and bend to one side, then the other. Next, bend each leg at the knee and pull your knee to your chest, then pull your ankle behind you towards your butt. Finally, shake out your arms, raise them to shoulder height and twist at the waist from side to side.
5. Practice mindfulness for 10 minutes.
Clear your mind with meditation, affirmations, prayer and/or breathing exercises.
By starting the day making gratitude statements you choose to focus on the positive things in your life.
Apps such as ‘Headspace’ can take you on short, guided meditations.
Immerse yourself in words that connect you to the eternal importance and beauty of living life in the present moment.
Read affirmations aloud to yourself or listen to a recording of them every morning. When positive statements about yourself are repeated, they combat the negative beliefs that can creep in and sabotage your day.
6. Write down your intention for the day.
Using a journal, write down your intention of who and how you want to be today. For example, Today my intention is to be present, loving, centred and productive. When we practice being, the doing happens on its own. Try and write a page in your journal per day, or even one sentence – consistency is more important than quantity.
Journaling has the added benefit of continuing the creative flow from your dream life into your awake time, helping you to feel more connected and balanced throughout the day.
7. List your essential tasks for the day.
Before your mind starts buzzing with everything you have to do, take a few minutes to itemize, prioritize and be specific about what you want to achieve today. Now choose five essential tasks to focus on first.
We all have hundreds of items on our to-do lists, and by prioritizing just five essentials for the day, you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
Make sure to focus on your current priorities and identify the one task you are dreading the most and make that #1 on your list. ‘Eat the frog’ first - the most dreaded task is usually the most important one and you will feel so much better once it’s done.
Check off each item as you go so you recognize your achievements.
8. Spend 10 minutes with loved ones and/or pets
This can be a great time to connect before the business and stress of the day take on a momentum of their own.
Scheduling time with family instead of rushing around trying to do everything and look after everyone at the last minute is very calming and keeps you connected. Check in with each other as to what’s happening that day so nothing is forgotten.
Spending time with pets is a source of significant happiness so include time with them each morning – it will make them happier too.
Okay …. Now you can have your phone back
Time now to do what you usually do – exercise, shower, have breakfast etc. The important thing is that you have set yourself up to be happier, more productive, more resilient and less stressed by having a morning routine.