Does this sound familiar?
Your alarm sounds; you’re tired. We get it. Work, family, life…. It’s stressful. It’s demanding and most importantly it’s time consuming. You feel exhausted, you snooze your alarm for an extra 9 minutes of sleep and you’re probably already craving that first cup of coffee which you use to wash down your overly sugary breakfast (if you even eat anything at all).
You lazily get washed, dressed and head out to work about 20 minutes after waking up only, to repeat that cycle every single day…..
Having a morning routine isn’t a magic pill and certainly won’t fix anything but it can set the tone for the whole day. Most of what we do or think are habits and it provides momentum, direction, and clarity to drive production and energy through the rest of your day.
Be ruthless. Cut out the non-essentials and really think about what you want out of life.
Your physical and mental health could be drastically improved by ritualising a simple morning routine.
Time for a change!
Step One: don’t snooze your alarm. It’s pretty simple, once you’re up, you’re up. Set your alarm or your phone away from your bed and force yourself to leave it there. Your 6am self is a bit of a wimp and it’s going to want to stay in bed.
EVERYTHING seems too hard that early. So you need an environment that promotes getting up.
Step Two: move. Before you check your phone, emails or social media get the blood pumping. Now if you have time for a full workout, run or exercise regime, then great!! If this is your first early start however then begin slowly; bodyweight squats, push ups and or crunches.
A few sets of 10 or more reps will work wonders for waking you up, mobilising your joints and initiating that rush of endorphins!
Step 3: warm water and lemon. Pour a medium to large glass of water with some boiling water to bring the glass to a relatively warm temperature and squeeze half a lemon in it. Consume and enjoy – lemon water is a fantastic way to hydrate the body upon waking and before you consume any other beverages.
Lemon water has a multitude of other benefits such as;
- Aiding digestion by facilitating your first bowel movement.
- Potentially assisting weight management due to the polyphenols contained within the lemon.
- Improves the quality of your skin.
- Helps freshen your breath.
Reach for water before you reach for anything else!
Step 4: see ya later stress – it’s time to meditate. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can’t meditate, or it doesn’t work on you or you think it’s a woo woo. 5 minutes is all you need on a consistent basis. Not only could this be the only time you get to yourself in this day, but the benefits of meditation are no longer anecdotal.
Research has shown that it can improve a while host of issues (self-awareness, lowers stress, improves concentration etc).
How to do it; find a quiet space where you won’t be interrupted – sit comfortably in a chair or on the floor, close your eyes and start with some big deep breaths (see HEADSPACE). Failing that, try yoga.
This isn’t about ‘clearing the mind’ it’s about setting intentions and focussing on yourself. Allow some space between each exhale for relaxation and peace (this could be the game changer in this list).
Step 5: plan your day. This may sound simplistic but simply listing your jobs in order of priority will not only make you more time efficient, but it will refocus you on days where you become distracted.
Step 6: good quality coffee. Not instant, we’re talking good quality organic coffee. The key is to have it as the finale to a well-executed, simple routine. It shouldn’t be the reason you get out of bed and try to avoid consuming multiple cups in quick succession however the benefits can be numerous;
Coffee lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s, Type 2 diabetes and can improve mood as far as positively impacting people suffering with depression.
A morning routine doesn’t have to be complicated. It just needs to be easy, effective and replicable. Apply some discipline and consistency and you’ll start to see the benefits within a few days/weeks.
Tips to ensure a good night sleep to follow!