Starting your day with a solid morning routine is considered to be one of the backbones of self-care practices. Many studies prove that following a morning routine helps you feel better and can make a noticeable difference in your mental health. A calm, stress-free morning routine is known for setting the tone for the rest of the day.
Morning Routine Benefits
Not only can a fixed morning routine help you feel better, but it can also help you feel more focused throughout the rest of the day. As soon as you wake up, the decisions you make are saved into the brain’s willpower. Although an incredible organ, the brain has its limits too, and its willpower is also a limited resource. As the reserves run dry due to distractions, it gets more and more difficult for us to remain focused. However, a good morning routine can help with this. An automated morning can help us to develop other healthy habits as well.
So the question you may be asking is, what is the perfect morning routine? It is important to note that morning habits can be different from individual to individual. You must find what works best for you. However, some tips can help you incorporate a set of appropriate and doable habits into your morning routine. Experiment! Find out what works and what doesn’t work for you. Be creative! However, remember your goal: you want your morning habits to aid your mental and physical health. For this to happen, consistency is vital.
Start Your Day by Planning Your Day
Imagine you are about to paint a room in your house. Would you just grab a paint bucket and start painting? Of course not. You first have to prepare and plan, perhaps by moving and covering furniture, sanding down and preparing certain areas, and so on.
Although it might seem like a chore, planning each day can be a small and straightforward way creating a positive internal feeling that can last the whole day. Why? The reason is that it can make space in your mind, allowing you to feel less cluttered. You won’t feel overwhelmed with the unknown, but each day will be mapped out, you will know what you need to do and when. This practice also promotes good sleep hygiene and has various psychological benefits.
Keep Your Schedule Balanced
Word of warning: do not be a perfectionist. If you pack each day with too many tasks, you will either feel like a headless chicken or (even worse) you’ll feel upset when you realize you didn’t meet your daily goal. Just plan a few meaningful and realistic tasks. And don’t forget to add something fun to your list.
Additionally, a balanced schedule can give you a drive and a sense of purpose. For example, something as simple as making your bed as soon as you get up in the morning makes you feel a sense of accomplishment because you’ve completed the first task of the day. Even if you are not conscious of it, this positive morning feeling can encourage you to pursue further tasks throughout the day.
Make a Daily Bucket List
As mentioned above, your first step is to plan. Now your next step is to make a list. All of us typically have a mental bucket list of things that we want to accomplish in our lives. But it’s also good to write a modest list of objectives for each day. Writing this list down can save you a lot of time. You won’t have to waste mental energy trying to remember your next assignment because it’s all down in writing.
It might seem as if the tasks listed are only micro-decisions. However, throughout the day, they add up and can be quite time-consuming. So approaching them systematically is vital. At the end of the day, review the list and give yourself a “thumbs up” for all the completed tasks you took care of. But do not punish yourself for failing to accomplish a task. We have to be realistic and flexible.
DO NOT Start Your Day by Looking at Your Phone
Many of us have made a habit out of checking our phones the first thing in the morning. However, this is an invitation for early morning stimulation and potential stressors. The morning routine is a way to slowly prepare yourself for the day ahead. News notifications, emails, text messages, and so on will force you into “work mode” too early.
So, before you start putting out fires and responding to the next emergency, have some morning “me-time.” This will help you be better prepared for the stresses of the day. Therefore, when you wake up, do your best to delay looking at your phone for as long as you can. Keep the phone far away from your bedroom and other relaxing areas of your home to avoid temptation. Be strict with yourself. Many smartphones now have a handy feature where you can set a specific time in the morning for notifications to start buzzing, allowing you to hold off the avalanche of messages and giving you a period of peace before you start your day.
Add Stretching Exercises to Your Morning Routine
What is the first thing your cat or dog does in the morning? A nice big morning stretch! You might not be someone who enjoys working out in the morning or working out at all. However, stretching routines can help get your blood flowing and allow you to feel good and in touch with your inner self and your body.
A couple of minutes of stretching every morning can also be great for your overall health. However, don’t overdo it; a few simple stretches are all that’s needed to get your day started off the right way. Again, consistency is vital. Make stretching a daily habit.
There are many benefits to drinking plenty of water, and starting your day with a big glass of water can positively affect your health. Nevertheless, we must drink good quality water. To find out more, check out this video:
Consistency is the key. To make sure your morning routine is not a hit and miss, add fun and creative tasks to your list of habits. For example, some have little rituals they like to do when making their morning coffee. Others enjoy reading spiritual or inspirational books to make them feel more centered, connected, and focused. For example, many have enjoyed a book written by Lloyd Jenkins Ph.D. entitled, “Courage and Wisdom in a Time of Need.”
You can download a free copy here.
Others still like to try new breakfast recipes or even dance around to pump-up music to get motivated.
Whatever activity you add to your morning routine, small or big, can help you feel good and give you something fun to look forward to on the next day.
Make the Most of Today By Planning Tomorrow
We started this article by talking about the merits of planning your day. While some people find it relaxing to strategize in the morning, others view it as work, and that’s understandable. So another suggestion is at the end of the day plan tomorrow’s activities. Then in the morning, briefly review what’s on your schedule for the day ahead.
Planning is essential, and being on top of what’s to come can help you get structure in your day. When you’re prepared for the things ahead, whether you look forward to them or dread them, you automatically feel better because you’re mentally prepared. It can also be of help as it can allow you to decide where we want to focus your time and energy on for the day.
You and Your Morning Routine
So, why exactly is a good morning routine good for your health? For one thing, It improves our sleep quality. When each day is mapped out, you are more likely to go to bed and wake up at an appropriate time because each day has a goal and purpose. Going to sleep and waking up at the same time can help you reach a better sleeping pattern, allowing you to feel more rested and energized throughout the day.
For tips on getting better sleep, watch this video:
By adding exercise and stretching to your morning routine along with a healthy breakfast (such as the Budwig Mix), your mornings can provide you with long-lasting benefits.
Healthy morning habits can reduce stress and boost your confidence, as it allows you to feel motivated and in charge of your day. Increased confidence is excellent for your emotional health and your self-image!
Research and countless examples of productive people give testimony to the numerous benefits of a healthy and consistent morning routine.
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