The truth is, without a morning routine, you are probably setting yourself up for a chaotic morning. Rushing around in frustration and disorder is not the way anyone wants to start their day.
When I finally implemented a morning routine and stuck to it, I found myself happier, more organized and more productive.
Here are my recommendations for nine easy ways to upgrade your morning routine, so that each morning leads to a great day.
Choose your outfit and prepare your things the night before
The success of your morning largely depends on how you prepare the night before. Try to get as much planned and organized ahead of time so that when you wake up in the morning everything is pretty much ready to go.
I like to check the weather forecast the night before and prepare my outfit, shoes, and accessories for the next day.
I also like to pack my work bag the night before, charge all work-related electronics (phone, iPad, and laptop), organize any loose papers and business cards, and refill on mints and tissue paper if I’m running low.
Once my work bag is organized, I start to prepare what I will eat at work the next day. I prepare my lunch and pack it in a Tupperware container that I take with me to work.
For snacks, I like to munch on vegetables, so I cut as many as possible into bite-sized pieces. I also take fruits with me to work, depending on which ones are in season. Other snacks I like is lightly salted seaweed and protein bars. Having my snacks prepared and most of my lunch bag already packed saves me so much time in the morning.
Wake up at least 30 minutes earlier
I know it’s hard to resist the temptation to hit that snooze button, but try to set your alarm clock at least 30 minutes earlier than your usual wake up time.
At first, it’s very difficult to wake up earlier, but you can train your body to adapt to an earlier wake-up time. You just need to do it for 2 weeks consistently and your body will adjust.
Instead of sleeping, use that extra half an hour to focus on feel-good activities that will set your day up for success, like working out or repeating positive affirmations (we’ll get to that later).
Drink a glass of lemon water
Skip the coffee and have a big glass of lemon water instead. There are many benefits of drinking lemon water. It cleanses your organs, refreshes your thirst, supports weight loss, aids in digestion and gives your body a nice dose of Vitamin C. When it comes to beauty and wellbeing, hydration is everything!
Stretch your body and exercise
Morning exercise has numerous benefits. It lifts your mood, speeds up your metabolism and improves your physical energy.
Performing some gentle stretches in the morning is an excellent way to release tension and increase your overall flexibility.
If you ever get kinks in your neck or back from sleeping in weird positions, try stretching in the morning to get rid of them and get some much-needed relief. You can do them while sitting in bed or you can put a yoga mat on the floor and perform them that way.
After stretching, try some simple strength training exercises or go a quick run around the block. I like to incorporate at least 15 minutes of light exercise before I get ready for the day.
Ignore social media and emails for the first hour of the day
It’s easy to feel stressed or anxious when you first log in to your email or social media accounts, especially when you get lots of emails and notifications overnight. Overstimulation first thing in the morning is a big no-no.
If you want to start your day on a peaceful note, get your mind right by ignoring technology for the first hour of the day. When I started doing this, my mornings became so much more pleasant.
Listen to music while getting ready
Energetic music is one of the best energy boosters there is. Listening to music always puts me in a cheerful mood. I like to play my favourite songs as I’m getting dressed and I even dance around a little bit in my bedroom to get the blood flowing.
Recite positive affirmations
Waking up with positive energy is not as hard as you think. You can actually re-wire your brain to focus on the good and positive things in life by repeating positive affirmations. I like to say a few positive and uplifting affirmations in the morning to align my mindset to mirror my positive thinking.
Some of my favourites affirmations re:
“I’m going to have a great day today.”
“Wonderful things are always happening to me.”
“I am grateful that my life is so happy and successful.”
You can say them by standing in front of a mirror, or repeat them in the shower or as you apply your makeup.
Start your day with protein
Did you know that eating protein keeps you fuller longer than eating carbohydrates? It’s true, having a protein-rich breakfast can help you stay fuller for longer compared to having a lower-protein breakfast.
I like to drink a banana protein shake in the morning because it’s easy to prepare, tastes great and doesn’t require much of a clean up. I also love eggs for their versatility (another excellent breakfast choice).
Write down your daily to-do list
Without a schedule, it’s easy to lose track of the day and feel like you’ve achieved nothing of importance. If you’re having a hard time with motivating yourself, try scheduling your day and writing down the tasks that you need to complete.
I like to write down my daily to-do list on my notepad when I’m having breakfast. This helps me organize my thoughts and tracks my priorities for the day.