Many people live by the old adage “I am not a morning person.” While many of us grumble about mornings and use clichés as the above as an excuse, it is only going to make things worse. Many people hit the snooze button a few times, rush through the shower and wolf down a poor meal or skip breakfast altogether. Many of us check our emails while chugging down a strong cup of coffee or two. All that is doing is setting you up for a bad day.
This can easily be avoided by establishing a morning routine. It is not difficult and you will quickly adapt. Before long you will wonder how you managed before. The right routine will make you calmer and more productive. It is important for your physical and mental health as well as your relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. Life is busy and stressful enough already without compounding the problem with a poor morning routine.
We will explore the importance and benefits of a morning routine in more detail and give you a few tips and tricks to make it easier and more beneficial.
Why a morning routine is important
Your actions and emotions in the morning will affect you for the rest of the day. Some people might try to deny this but once you have established a morning routine you will be amazed at how much better the rest of your days goes.
It does not matter what sort of work you do or what the day has in store for you. A good start will result in a better day. You will be more relaxed, less hurried, in a better mood and more productive.
Starting off rushed and stressed will set the mood and pace of the rest of the day. You are unlikely to escape that early mood and you will probably have a less than perfect day. A morning routine will equip you to cope with the stress and challenges the rest of the day present.
What are the potential benefits of a morning routine?
There are numerous benefits to establishing a peaceful and relaxing morning routine.
The pace of life is fast and getting faster all the time. There is not much you can do to change that but a quality morning routine will better equip you to deal with the pace and make the most of the challenges that come your way. It will give you great control and clarity and improve your focus. You will find that you have accomplished more in the day which will improve your happiness and quality of life.
You will do more and do it better if you start your day in the right way and you will have a good frame of mind. Stress is also a big productivity killer so managing this will also make you more productive.
This is an important skill to master and establishing a regular morning routine will improve your self-discipline. This skill will reflect in many other aspects of your day and improve many areas of your life.
By now, most of us are aware that our health is directly linked to stress and our moods. Stress is extremely dangerous and a poor morning routine will add to your stress levels exponentially. Most of us have a fair amount of stress most days, some more than others. This applies to all people including stay at home moms. You don’t have to be a lawyer or heart surgeon to experience stress.
It affects cortisol levels, compromises the immune system, and causes one to feel tired and lethargic. A decent morning routine goes a long way towards reducing stress in our lives and will improve your physical health.
Mental and Emotional Health
Emotional health is just as important as physical health and poor emotional health will often lead to physical health problems. A good morning routine will improve your mood and lead to more happiness and better mental health. This is essential for good physical health.
This is another important aspect of a well-balanced life and your morning routine can have a significant impact on the strength and quality of your relationships. This applies mostly to your immediate family, your partner, and children, but extends to friends and people at work.
Stress will put a significant strain on relationships and anything you can do to reduce stress will have a positive effect. A morning routine is the first step in this regard. Once you have established a quality morning routine you will find that your relationships are better and stronger. You will have more time to listen and talk to others and you will be more positive and connected in your interactions.
A morning routine does not necessarily mean going to bed early and getting up early. Starting your day with a quiet and peaceful routine will, however, give you the sense of more time. You will find that you are less rushed and able to accomplish more in a day. It will allow you to be more productive and make better use of the available time in each day. Time is a valuable asset and utilizing it better is important for a rewarding successful life.
Some people, many people in fact, lack confidence. Some hide it better than others but it is a fairly common issue. Giving yourself time to think as part of your morning routine will improve your confidence. Better moods, improved relationships, and increased productivity will also help to boost confidence levels.
This might sound a bit wishy-washy but inner peace is important to our physical and mental wellbeing. Stress will destroy inner-peace and cause things to spiral out of control. A quality morning routine can help you find and maintain peace in your life. Look at some of the tips we talk about later to further improve your inner peace.
Elements of a successful morning routine
Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of a good morning routine, here are a few important factors to incorporate:
Take your time
One of the main concepts of a morning routine is to avoid the stress and rush most people experience each morning. Part of the solution is in the term itself — routine. Start by going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time. Try to maintain this even on weekends or when away from home. The ideal amount of sleep is a whole new conversation and differs from person to person but needless to say, it is important to get enough sleep.
One of the important ways to achieve this routine is to avoid the snooze button. If you are guilty of hitting it several times each morning you have to force yourself to get up immediately. Once your routine is well established you will probably find you no longer need an alarm. That is already one stress out of the way as a blaring alarm is not a great way to start the day.
You obviously have to be practical and realistic. Some people will have more time for a morning routine than others. There are no hard and fast rules but try to give yourself enough time to incorporate a good number of the ideas below.
It is important to drink some water, lemon water or a diluted juice when you wake up. You have been sleeping for a number of hours and the body needs to be hydrated.
A very common practice is to check e-mails and social media accounts early in the morning. Try to avoid this and avoid technology altogether. It is not conducive to a peaceful and relaxing morning and there will be time later in the day.
Get up, stretch and move around. Once you are awake, don’t lie around in bed but get up immediately. If you have time you might want to do some low-intensity exercise such as walking or yoga. This will give your metabolism and energy levels a boost that will sustain you throughout the day.
If you are so inclined you can do a more intense workout and build up a bit of sweat. Running, weight training or cardio exercise is often good in the mornings.
Get some natural light
Spend some time outdoors if you can or at the very least open the blinds and let some light in. Your brain will respond to the natural light and make you more awake and alert.
Take some quiet time
Find a gap for stillness. You might want to read something, meditate, journal or simply reflect for a short while. This will still your mind, reduce stress and improve your focus.
Eat a healthy breakfast
It is essential to have a decent meal in the morning. You don’t want anything too heavy so try to avoid a large greasy breakfast. There are a number of good health options that will not spike your blood sugar and will give you good sustenance until your next meal. If you find you can’t eat early in the morning at least have some fruit or a healthy smoothie. It will be good for the body and the mind.
This time can also be spent with your family so that you can all share a moment each day to share and bond.
Plan your day
Take a bit of time to think about your goals and objectives for the day. Having a structured plan will make it flow more smoothly and improve productivity. You will have a good sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. Setting goals for the day will give you direction and purpose.
Tips for establishing a successful morning routine
Many people are conditioned to believe that they are “not morning people”. It may be challenging and uncomfortable at first but it will not take long to get used to. Soon you will love the idea and be better for it. Have a goal and stick it out for a while. You need to give your body and mind time to adapt.
As we said above, routine is important. This requires consistency. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. The routine will soon become a habit and become easier. Don’t stress if it is difficult at first. You are changing years probably decades of habit.
Keep some flexibility
As much as routine and consistency are important you still need to be flexible. You don’t want to make the idea of a morning routine hard work so don’t be too hard on yourself. If you try to be too strict on the idea and set unrealistic expectations the concept of a morning routine will stress you out and have the opposite effect of what it is supposed to achieve. Give yourself time to adapt and accept it if you slip a few time in the beginning.
One way of making the transition easier is to plan the night before. Give some thought to how you want to start your day, taking note of the factors mentioned above. A bit of planning and preparation will take the pressure off you in the morning especially when you are starting out.
People that have mastered their morning routine swear buy it. To some, it may be natural while others may have had to work at it. Either way, you will generally find they lead less stressed lives and are healthier and more productive. There are far too many benefits to the idea and it is certainly something worth trying. Give it a go, you won't regret it.