Lately I’ve been reading a lot about morning rituals and how they can kickstart your day. A morning ritual is something you do every day as part of your morning (www.lifehack.org/articles/featured/morning-ritual.html). To start your day with a set or morning rituals can be a start of a cycle of results that will empower you throughout the day. And best of all, a morning routine is all about you!
Now, I’m not exactly the queen of getting up early, but I have started taking more time in the morning for healthy morning rituals. I did some research on the benefits of a good morning routine and what rituals should be part of such a routine. Here’s some suggestions.
Wake up earlier
In order to have enough time for a great morning routine, you’d probably need some extra time compared to your current routine. Prioritize waking up a little earlier. If you have a hard time doing so, wake up 10 to 15 minutes earlier every few days or even every week, to slowly build your habit of getting up earlier. Try to give yourself an hour to an hour and a half before you have to get out of the door or start working.
Keep your phone away
Many people (including myself most mornings), grab their phones immediately after waking up to browse through Facebook feeds and news applications. Studies show that these feeds will mostly just make you feel worse about yourself instead of better. Make sure to first finish your morning rituals before you get updated on your news feeds.
Drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is a good way to get your body going. It will help you rehydrate after a period of 8 hours without water. In order to not give your body too much of a shock in the morning, you can choose for (luke)warm water and add freshly squeezed lemon and honey to get your digestive system ready and to help fight off infections. According to some literature, honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are short 5-15 minutes stretching, yoga or execise routines that you can do in the morning to get your circulation going and to wake up your muscles and get them ready for the day to come. Keep theses routines short so it doesn’t impact the rest of your morning and long enough to get the blood pumping through your veins (see www.entrepreneur.com/article/230734). Be easy on yourself as you start this habit.
Breath some fresh air
Take a step outside to breath in the fresh morning air. This will remind you of a new day to start fresh and aim for the best.
Read a book or listen to your favorite music
Take some time to listen to your favorite music or read in a book that you find motivational or inspirational. This sets you to the right mindset to start your day off well and gives your mind a bit of information to process.
Take a few minutes to just sit down and clear your mind. There’s no right way to meditate. You can develop your personal style and see what works best for you. Choose a position that you feel comfortable in. Just sitting and listening to the silence can be enough. Just a few minutes of meditation is enough to benefit from its effects.
Look at yourself in the mirror, give yourself a smile and the look of determination that you’ll need to accomplish the goals of the day. Give yourself some words of encouragement.
Have a healthy breakfast
Eat a healthy breakfast that’s not too heavy. Ideal is a combination of greens, protein and complex carbohydrates to give you enough energy for a productive morning and that won’t take up too much energy to digest.
Pick your wins for the day
Think of 3 things that you’d like to accomplish for you to feel that your day is a success. Strategizing this will help you move forward.
Block your calender
Block an appriopriate amount of time in your calender for your important tasks. Make sure to add 25% more time than the amount of time you think it will take to finish the task. This will help you to hold yourself accountable and to refocus on the taks you’ve prioritized when you do get distracted.
My ideal morning routine
For me, my ideal morning routine looks something like this. I’m not quite there every morning, but making progress!
1) Waking up & saluting the day
I put an alarm after 7.5-8 hours of sleep. Immediately after waking up, I let some natural light and fresh air in the room by slightly opening the curtains and opening a window. I sink back into the pillow to just wake up slowly and daydream for another 5 minutes. Then, I’ll search for my dog somewhere on the bed and pet him goodmorning. If I’m not in any hurry in the morning, I do a short vinyasa yoga morning routine (15-20 min).
2) Showering & dressing
I get up, take a short shower, do my hair and make-up, get dressed. I make sure to drink a glass of fresh water.
3) Walk outside
I take my dog for a 15 min brisk walk.
My breakfast will be low-fat yoghurt with oats, raisins, banana and a little honey or silan (date syrup), accompanied by a cup to black coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. During breakfast I check for updates on my social networks and read the news headlines.
5) Get inspired
Before I start work, I check my personal e-mail for interesting blog posts and articles on health, fitness, happiness and productivity. I take about half an our for reading. Things I can’t finish in the morning, I save on Evernote to be able to get back to at a later moment.
I set the priorities of the day by writing down shortly what my most important to do’s are.
I’m curious about your morning rituals and how you’re building your habits to start your day off well!
Image courtesy of Feelart, Marin, Nenetus and Punsajaporn at freedigitalphotos.net.