Having a morning routine is CRUCIAL to your self-care, personal development and well being.
It’s not only about taking care of your body, but it’s also about taking care of your mind.
I’ve always been a morning person. It’s my time to be alone and get some work done before the rest of the world wakes up.
I’m not always up early, but I aim to be up by 5:30am most days and it’s made a HUGE difference for my mood throughout the day.
It’s not just getting up early that makes a differece. It’s what you do during that time that can make or break your mindset for the entire day.
It’s about doing “maintenance” on yourself so you can jump into the day being present, available, and successful.
So what can you do to create a killer morning routine?! Check out the 9 steps below!
1. Prep the night before
The first thing you can do to have an amazing morning is to start before you fall asleep! In order to eliminate distractions and avoid decision fatigue (yes, that’s a REAL thing!) have everything planned out the evening before.
Finish your “to-do” list and check off the little things so you can start every morning focusing on your goals for the day ahead of you.
What should you prep the night before?
- finish any cleaning that needs to be done (laundry, dishes, etc.)
- pick out your outfit for the following day
- prep the coffee or tea
- finish the kid’s homework and lunches
- prep anything you may want for breakfast
- pack your gym bag
2. Turn off blue light on your devices
In a perfect world, you would stop looking at cellphones, computers and televisions by 7pm. But, honestly, is that realistic?
By the time the kids get to bed and you’ve finished dinner, many of us still have emails to get to. Or maybe you just want to have some Netflix and chill time with BAE.
Either way, screen time at night is OK if you block blue light from your electronics by switching them to “night mode”.
What’s wrong with blue light?
According to a 2018 Harvard article, “…some studies suggest a link between exposure to light at night, such as working the night shift, to some types of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.”
Although the jury’s out on the exact effects of blue light from our screens, there’s evidence to suggest it can negatively effect our circadian rhythm and melatonin secretion.
In a nutshell, this could lead to poor sleep habits, tiredness, weight gain and overall poor health.
If some of your electronics don’t have a night mode option, you can get yourself a pair of blue light blocking glasses. And don’t worry, some of them are actually super cute!
All right, so we’ve prepped the night before and blocked blue light from messing with our sleep patterns, now let’s talk about some morning habits!
Mediation can do WONDERS to help you stay calm and grounded during the day.
And, remember, mediation looks different for everyone!
You can simply spend 5 or 10 minutes by yourself thinking, reflecting, or listening to your body.
Mediation is all about getting in touch with yourself and listening to subtle cues from your body you may otherwise miss during a chaotic day.
Make sure you have a quiet area away from the family to sit and be silent with yourself. If the kids wake up early and start running around, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to make sure you get the quiet time for yourself.
4. Drink water
I remember when the news broke about how Missy Elliot lost over 50 pounds (back when Missy Elliot was big news!) and her “secret” was to chug 2 large glasses of lemon water first thing in the morning and before every meal.
You’ve probably heard before that drinking water first thing in the morning is incredibly important, and it’s true! But why?
Well for starters, most of us are probably dehydrated (especially in the morning!) and introducing a tall glass of water into your morning routine will help give your body loads of much-needed hydration.
Drinking water helps to flush toxins from your body, and it can also jump start your metabolism, which will help you feel more awake and energized!
If you’re not a fan of plain water, try adding some fruit, lemons, or cucumber to make a delicious infused water treat!
Sounds like a win-win!
Journaling is a fantastic way to clear your mind, work through your thoughts and keep yourself on track for the day.
Keep in mind, your journal doesn’t have to be a vault of all your deep, dark secrets! It can be a place for you to write random thoughts, brain dumps, and things you’re grateful for.
Give yourself 10 minutes every morning to just let the words flow and write as little (or as much) as you want!
Here are some journal prompt ideas:
- what am I grateful for?
- what’s something that made me smile yesterday?
- what did I learn yesterday?
- what’s one act of kindness I can do today?
- how can I make my children’s lives better today?
- what’s one thing I can do to make my spouse feel appreciated?
6. Set goals for the day
Goal setting is an incredible way to set your intentions for the day and prioritize what needs to get done.
Tons of people never set daily goals (I know, I was one of them!) and end up feeling lost and unsure of what REAL progress looks like during the day.
You may fall into the trap of being “busy” rather than being “productive”, and this can be a dream-killer!
It’s always a good idea to know and review your ultimate goals. Examples of these would include:
- losing a certain amount of weight,
- improving your relationship with your spouse, or
- growing your buisness to 6-figures.
Of course you’re not going to lose 20 pounds in a day or grow your business to $100,000 overnight! It takes consistency, patience, and daily tasks to get you there.
This is why you should take time to write down your daily goals each morning.
Losing 20 pounds can seem totally overwhelming, but writing down simple daily tasks like, “take a 20 minute walk” or, “choose a salad for lunch” will make your end goal seem much less daunting and much MORE achievable!
7. Stay unplugged
If you’re like most people, your phone is next to your bed all night. As soon as you wake up, you’re probably tempted to reach for the phone and check emails, read the news, or go through your social media notifications.
There’s nothing wrong with doing this, but you should consider leaving the phone alone until after you’ve finished your entire morning routine.
Your reflection time in the morning is CRUCIAL! Checking last night’s emails and scrolling through Instagram is going to put you into a “reactive” state.
Instead of taking control of your day ans setting intentions, you start the day by putting out fires.
If you have to, leave the phone in a different room or in a drawer so you’re not tempted to grab it as soon as you wake up!
If you need to keep it next to you in case of emergency calls, consider keeping it in a “phone jail” next to your bed. This will allow you to access it, but the jail will be a reminder to leave the phone alone!
8. Move your body
Don’t worry: if you’re not a gym person, that’s ok!
I personally like going to the gym, but I really can’t do it in the morning! I’ve never been the type of person to enjoy a morning workout.
But moving your body doesn’t mean you have to hit the elliptical or do a one hour jog.
You can simply do a home workout video, yoga, or 15 minutes of gentle stretching. The goal is to get in touch with your body and get the blood flowing.
Moving your body (especially when you’re NOT in the mood) helps you feel more energized. It can also give you mental clarity and strength during stressful times.
9. Eat properly
Eating a proper, nutritious breakfast can’t be overstated!
Sometimes I get upset with my fiance because he’ll “forget” to eat breakfast. Then, as he’s heading out the door, he’ll end up grabbing a a snack with barely any protein, healthy fats or fibre.
Of course he’s cranky (and ravenously hungry) by 1pm!
You can’t have a nourished mind without a nourished body. Your first priority above ANYTHING else should be to take care of your body by feeding it wholesome foods.
When you wake up in the morning, your body is in a fasted state. This is ok for a couple hours (and some people feel much better not eating until later!) but one of your top priorities should be to nourish your body with all the nutrients, vitamins and proteins it needs to be able to feed your mind.
Not sure what to eat? There are plenty of quick, nutritious breakfasts you can enjoy! Skip the Captain Crunch and try to choose whole grains, sugar-free nut butters, oats, and fruit.