I’m a firm believer in starting the day right. When you start the day right, you will be and feel more productive and have an overall sense of well-being.
After doing loads of research on starting and morning rituals, I have found that the following habits I’ve adopted leave me feeling empowered and fulfilled. Of course, things don’t always go according to plan, and you may have loved ones to take care of as well, but for the most part, if you incorporate these rituals into your morning routine, you will see amazing results in how your day pans out. It’s important to spend some time taking care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone and anything else.
You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.
1. Start the day without rushing
Wake up early. Set your alarm away from your bed and use soothing music or your favourite song to get you going. Don’t snooze! Let in natural light, if possible. During the warmer months, the first thing I do is open my drapes and windows to let in some light and fresh air, it’s so refreshing.
2. Set your intentions for the day
Spend a couple minutes in the morning to set your intentions for the day – it can be as little as 2 or 3 things. These can be items you have already thought about the night before when you’ve created your TODO list for the next day.
3. Take a time out
Take some long and deep breaths, meditate (if this is hard, you can download some amazing guided meditation apps like Calm, Headspace and H*nest Meditation), listen to soothing music with your eyes closed while breathing, or do some stream of consciousness writing in your journal – let your thoughts flow onto paper. Do this for as little as 10 minutes each morning and you’ll be amazed at the change in your state of mind over time.
4. Avoid screens
Resist the temptation to turn on the TV or look at your phone first thing in the morning. If you work during the day, rather do this after you’ve had breakfast or before you leave the house.
5. Kickstart your metabolism
Drink a glass of water or some warm lemon water or a cup of tea to kickstart your metabolism and to hydrate. I usually opt for a smoothie during the warmer months and I use frozen zip lock smoothie bags that I have prepped in advance.
6. Move your body
If you have the time, exercise! Get your blood flowing. Do some yoga or light stretching, or if you have the time, go for a walk outside for some fresh air – better yet, take your furry friend along with you.
7. Have a healthy and hearty breakfast
Be mindful as you eat, or you can do what I like to do – listen to a motivational podcast or watch an inspiring video on Youtube while having your breakfast. Be careful not to get stuck on your phone. Perhaps create a playlist of videos to watch and limit yourself to just one and pay attention to the length of the video.
8. Prep your lunch and your snacks for the day
Do this so that you don’t end up binging on unhealthy foods or making rash decisions on an empty stomach later. It’s even better when you prepare these the night before.
9. Do a quick tidy up
Clear clutter off all surfaces, make the bed, pack away clothes that may be lying around and clear the dishes before leaving the house so you can come home to a clean space, especially after a long day at work. Be sure to time box this so you don’t get too carried away – maybe play a song or two and tell yourself if the songs are done playing, then you have to be done too.
Optional: Work on your passion project
If possible, spend 20-30 minutes actioning tasks/working on a passion or side project – that way you will already have done something for yourself before the rush and activities of the work day gets hold of you. This may require you to wake up earlier than you usually do, but trust me, it’s worth it!
I know what you must be thinking… where in the world are you supposed to find the time to do all of these in the morning?
If you pace yourself, the above can all be done within a ONE HOUR timeframe if you leave out the optional passion project part. All it takes is to set your alarm to wake up one hour earlier than you normally do. Start small, if you have to – just pick one and do this everyday and slowly work your way towards incorporating more. If you don’t have the luxury of being able to practice these every day, find a way to incorporate it on a day that it can work for you. Perhaps it’s a Saturday and Sunday morning. It’s important to take the time to reset, even if it’s only once a week. That’s better than doing nothing at all, right? If you have to travel to work every day during week and you’re using public transport – you could use this time to read, listen to podcasts, write or even meditate during that time. You could go for a walk and get some fresh air during your lunch break. If you pack in your breakfast, you could take some time to eat your breakfast mindfully at work. There are ways that you can fit this into your lifestyle in a way that works for you, you just have to think creatively about it.
What is your favourite habit in the list above? Or better yet, let me know what you do to reset and start your day right? Let me know in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Carli Jeen on Unsplash