Let’s face it; not all of us wake up with our lives altogether. Some of us have a toxic relationship with our alarm clocks, and the bags under our eyes show it.
Unfortunately, we don’t always put our sleep first. Lack of sleep can lead to a rough start to our day filled with many missed opportunities. It’s no surprise that the experts were right; being a morning person can increase your chances of success.
Many entrepreneurs take waking up early very seriously. Take note of Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post and notorious early riser. She makes waking up early a priority to ensure she has time for her morning routine. “Ninety-five percent of the time, I get eight hours of sleep a night, and as a result, ninety-five percent of the time, I don’t need an alarm to wake up. For me, waking up naturally is a great way to start the day.”
People who wake up early are generally more proactive. This typically leads to better job performance, career success, and even higher wages. Extra time in the morning allows you to organize your day without rushing around. It is important to note that each of these morning routines listed below is structured to improve your mental health. Try following these healthy morning routine tips below for a sound body and mind.
Set the tone of your day with meditation and breathwork in the morning. Studies show that meditation can rewire your brain by bringing it back to homeostasis through the conscious practice of silence.
A study showed that individuals who meditated in an 8-week program developed more grey matter in their brain. This is the area responsible for regulating learning and memory. These scientific findings further prove why mental health and meditation are interwoven in one’s overall success.
The brain is the keeper of all our thoughts, emotions, memories, neurotransmitters, speech, and movements, to name a few. Allowing ourselves to sit in silence will enable us to self-repair from toxicity and emotions. In making this a daily habit and routine, we allow our body, emotions, and minds to regulate and recalibrate.
You can start by practicing for just 5 each morning. By making this a daily practice, you may gradually work your way up to longer sessions. Remember, much like any other sport or activity. It is about stamina. Set yourself up for success, not failure, with small and realistic increments (i.e., 5, 10, 15, and eventually 20 minutes) once a day.
Ideally, adding a second session at the end of your day or evening would be stellar, causing an undeniable shift in alignment and awareness throughout your days.
Avoid Social Media
Avoid making your way to your phone first thing in the morning after opening your eyes. This needs to be deliberate or a conscious effort. Perhaps we can find other self-care techniques to set the tone for your day first thing upon awakening.
Once you’ve taken care of yourself, then maybe allow yourself permission to indulge for just a limited amount of time before continuing on your self-care morning routine.
This can also be allotted during your day for very brief periods, or maybe after you have completed an important task, project, or deadline.
If scrolling is your way to connect with the outside world, let’s make sure to put limits on this, just like anything else that provides immediate gratification in life. This way, you’re still in control by not allowing social media to take over.
Also, make sure to purge often and delete accounts that no longer align with your interests or what you are trying to create or accomplish in your life.
Try to be mindful of these morning habits and, more importantly, your TIME. Your time matters. You matter. Add accounts that lift and inspire you, not break you down or have you negatively comparing yourself to others.
Remember that “all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold.”
This healthy habit needs would be a wonderful addition to your daily routine—medicine for the mind and body. Yoga can influence major transformations. It is euphoria for your body. With so much time sitting at a desk or in your car, your posture can suffer. By incorporating yoga and a full-body stretch, your body is given the opportunity to open up and improve its mobility.
It can also improve your concentration by allowing you to maintain focus and sustainability during lengthy meetings that can be difficult to get through at times.
The discipline and practice of yoga also positively influence a harmonious state of mind. This is achieved through the practice of breath and movement; and also through the gift of discipline, silence, and community. Commit to a certain amount of classes every week and observe what type of positive changes this practice will bring into your life.
Create a To-Do List
There’s one big reason you need to start waking up in the early morning; you need to make sure you have enough time to tackle your to-do list. It is essential to create goals and maintain organization for each day.
Writing down deadlines, goals, errands, etc., on a list each day (and reviewing it before bed the night before) will help you keep track of your thoughts and time management that evening and the morning thereafter.
Try to keep everything in one place under one calendar (or in a notebook) to avoid getting confused or missing something because you looked in the wrong place (even if it’s color-coded). I’ve tried it both ways, and I have found it much easier to contain everything by seeing it all in one place.
There is so much gratification in crossing off tasks on your to-do list as you accomplish them throughout your day. Observing that list shrink in size can be quite satisfying. Moreover, you create and free up space within yourself when you write things down on paper, which in turn helps to reduce any feelings of anxiety or overwhelm.
Make Your Bed
This healthy morning routine is not for the lazy. According to author William McRaven, making your bed every morning will help set the tone of your day.
By conquering this task which may appear so simple, it will reinforce the concept of staying organized throughout your day. The day that your environment is a direct representation of your mind, so if your space is messy or untidy, your mind may be scattered or overwhelmed. A clean and tidy room can lead to less stress and more productivity throughout your day. The opposite is also true. This is about discipline and creating healthy habits.
Try making a conscious effort to get this done before leaving your place to the gym, school, or office. If you’re working remotely, I find it even more important (more than ever) to keep your place tidy and create a division between home and “work.” Besides, it feels very satisfying to get back into bed that is neat and visibly appealing after a long day (think of hotel rooms).
Movement is medicine! What better way to get a jump start to your day than getting some exercise in the morning. If you’re up early, don’t spend your time playing on your phone. Instead, give yourself 30 minutes (minimum) of exercise to get your blood flowing and wake up those endorphins!
Try taking a nice morning walk, jog, bike ride, yoga class, or a brief weight session with intervals. Or maybe you play a sport and can begin your day with a great morning session! Whichever model works for you, there is no doubt that this will create a ripple effect causing you to feel more energetic and productive throughout your day. You will be one step closer to success!
When we move and sweat, we release endorphins and neurotransmitters that lie dormant in the brain until the sweating occurs. It is also very important to keep our energy levels elevated, especially during a time with so much burnout occurring for those working from home.
If you find it challenging to get moving, try to frame your mind with thoughts of sublime gratitude for your good health and mobility. Remember that you are healthy enough to be able to do so, and so many sick or disabled individuals would do anything to trade places with you for this very reason.
If we learn to appreciate our body and our physical abilities, maybe our mindset can change. Don’t forget to reward your body afterward with a healthy meal or favorite pastime or even just a short “break” to help positively reinforce these healthy behaviors the next day.
Hydrate! Your mind and your body will thank you.
Adults need an average of 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and that’s a lot of time to go without drinking water. It is important to drink water first thing in the morning.
If you tend to gravitate toward warm liquids like coffee in the morning, try to get yourself in the habit of drinking a glass of hot water with lemon first. You can also add one-two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar first thing after waking up. Warm liquids are proven to have great benefits for your digestive system, and it also helps eliminate waste. They are also soothing and comforting to the body and can calm your central nervous system, putting your mind and body at ease.
Last but not least, it can prevent signs of aging. Staying hydrated is vital. You are already a step ahead of the anti-aging game by ridding your body of bacteria and germs that can accelerate aging.
After you’ve checked water off your to-do list, allow yourself to have your coffee if your heart desires. Just remember to be mindful of keeping hydrated throughout the day, especially after ingesting coffee.
Find what works for you, but please drink lots of H2O. The element of water is incredibly healing as it cleanses and restores harmony and balance.
It is said by many philosophers and spiritual teachers that the purest way to experience gratitude is by living in the present moment.
The past and future are alternate realities. When our thoughts are focused on anything but the present, we may experience sadness or anxiety. This changes when we are rooted in the here and now.
By living in the moment, we are fully immersed in our senses, thus creating feelings of joy and gratitude. It may seem difficult to find things we are grateful for when we are going through tough or confusing times, but that is when we really need to dig deep and find something, anything, to be indeed grateful for.
In doing so, we are training our minds to be happy by choosing to find the blessings in life. This sends a frequency out to the Universe that will attract more positive experiences to find their way into our lives (like attracts like).
If we stay in a mindset of what is lacking, we will continue attracting more of that without even realizing this at a conscious level.
Just like when you develop a new habit, your mind gets used to the new train of thought. Hopefully, you will begin noticing yourself waking up a little more grateful and excited to begin your day with this healthy morning routine.
Setting Your Intention
Wherever you direct your attention, that is where your energy flows.
Upon waking, what thoughts or intentions would you like to set? Lead with this conscious intention for the rest of your day. Learn to be mindful about your days.
These intentions can be as simple as being more patient or motivated. Better yet, maybe you would like to CHOOSE to be happy for that day.
Start by making the intention known to yourself or to our higher power. You can even write it down so that you are able to see it throughout your day (i.e., post-it notes, refrigerator, eraser board, bulletin board, front door, or bathroom mirrors). Writing it down can serve as a purposeful reminder of what you’d like to accomplish just for that day. Living with purpose and intention can help set us up for success – one small step at a time.
Developing a habit takes about 21 days to form in the brain if practiced every day. Writing down your feelings and thoughts when you begin your day can serve as a wonderful tool to “empty out” any heaviness or anxiety. This is especially fantastic for my overthinkers!
When beginning to journal, it helps to remember to start small. Remove the pressure of having to write pages and pages. Perhaps you can write down anything that comes to mind in just a few sentences or a paragraph. Maybe you can build upon that and progress slowly to one page, then two, etc.
If you need or prefer to have some morning inspiration, there are some terrific journals with prompts that can help guide you.
Whichever method you use, just start writing words down and TRY not to overthink it so much. Just get the words out onto paper, and it will all begin to flow. The most challenging part is the beginning, just as with anything else in life.
Not only will it allow you to create space for yourself by releasing things, but it will also provide you with some valuable insight later on when you choose to go back and read your journal entries. The amount of growth and reflection that this can provide will shed so much light on how we view ourselves, others, and the world.