It can be argued that our mornings are easily the most important part of our day. For me, how my morning goes usually determines how the rest of my day is going to pan out. During my time abroad, I have had to chance to read many “self-growth” books; and one book (50 Ways to Yay by Alexi Panos) really stood out to me because the author Alexi talks about how simple, bad habits in the morning can influence and bring a lot of negativity into our day whether it be a lack of productivity, feeling sluggish, or just overall having a bad morning.
After reading, I decided that it was my time to start being conscious of how I spend my time in the mornings and I have created my routine which you will find in the following six steps. I have made an effort to do these things everyday for the past couple of weeks and my days have become much more wholesome and productive as I have incorporated these healthy and happy habits into my morning routine.
My Tips and Tricks
1. Become an Early Riser
Become an early riser by setting an early alarm for the morning each night before you go to bed. Waking up early is a simple step to making your days more productive. If you are used to sleeping in, then slowly start making your way to an earlier hour and eventually your body will adjust to your new sleep schedule.
2. When the Alarm Sounds, Turn it Off, but Don’t Check Your Phone
This was a terrible habit of mine. First thing after my alarm when off, I would always reach for my phone and begin my day by scrolling through social media, answering any texts, or just simply wasting time on google. All this does for your day is waste time. These days our connections with our friends and families are constant and we are not accustomed to disconnecting–except for when we sleep–so extend that disconnection a little longer and use the time away from your phone to focus on your day and bring more relaxation into your morning.
3. Stretch, Breathe, & Hydrate
Three simple gestures. Stretching is a great way to awaken your body and feel each muscle come alive as the day begins. It boosts blood circulation and will help to wake yourself up after a night of sleep. Practicing deep and controlled breathing in the mornings also promotes relaxation and meditation. Giving yourself time to create some “headspace” in the mornings will allow you to gathering your thoughts and supply you with the mindset to plan out a productive day. Hydrating with the right amount of water every morning will balance your body and allow it to flush out toxins left over from the day before. While you were sleeping all night, you’re body was working hard to replenish itself after a long day and by drinking water you can help to re-energize it to get it ready for the productive day ahead.
4. Get Outside
Taking in fresh air first thing in the morning can bring many benefits throughout your day. Just as you drink fresh water to replenish your body, it also needs to fresh air to serve as a natural detox. In the mornings, I love going for long walks. I love walking and smelling the fresh scents of grasses, trees, and flowers. As we all know, exercise increases blood circulation and releases endorphins which automatically leaves you with a “feel good” sense of self. If you’re looking to take it up a notch, try taking your morning workouts outside or waking up even earlier so can catch the sunrise.
5. Make a Wholesome Breakfast
They say that breakfast is the most important part of the day so why not make the most out of it. Instead of reaching for processed and packaged granola bars or cereal; take the time to build a healthful bowl of oatmeal or make a protein packed breakfast of eggs and spinach. My personal favorite is oatmeal because you can do so much with it. I always use plain oatmeal (no artificial flavors or sugars, just plain oatmeal), oatmeal milk, almond milk, or water, fresh cinnamon, and lots of fruit and walnuts. If I have it around, I also enjoy adding some Chia seeds or a small scoop of protein powder. Oatmeal is a great choice because you can add so many ingredients (that aren’t sugars) and create a variety of different flavors. Another favorite for me if I am trying to get in a lot of protein is two boiled eggs, boiled spinach, and half of an avocado.
Another way to really boost your morning breakfast is adding a small glass of warm, lemon water. Warm, lemon water is great for digestion and serving as natural detox to help keep your body removing toxins for the rest of the day.
6. Take a Few Minutes to Plan the Rest of Your Day
Now that you have completed the other steps, the most logical way to make your days more productive is planning. Planning out your day by making a to-do list or a mini calendar helps to keep you on track with what you need to get done. If you have a list at hand, you are less likely to sit on the couch all day scrolling through social media. With the earlier steps leaving you feeling energized and fresh it will help promote a more productive day.
By incorporating the steps into your morning routine you will start to see significant changes throughout your day. You will feel more energized and ready to conquer the world. I know starting my days with healthier habits has helped me from feeling tired and unmotivated throughout the day and I hope it does the same for you!
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