A Simple Morning Routine To Make Every Day The Best
Turning your mood around at any point in the day is always possible, but there's no better way to come out of the gate with an advantage than to create a morning routine that sets you up to feel great. Dedicating just a few minutes to intentionally setting the tone for the hours ahead can do wonders for your mood and productivity — not to mention lower the needle on your daily stress meter.
Whether you realize it or not, you're already deep into a morning routine. But is it one that's truly serving you? Providing you with the proper mindset and feelings for the day ahead? Chances are there is some space to be a little more deliberate with how you spend the first hour after you open your eyes.
When I first decided to start being more mindful with my morning, I realized I was going to need to wake up earlier than I would like. Because if you really want to get the most out of your routine you're going to need to be willing to make some time to cultivate it. But don't jump ship just because the thought of hearing that alarm sound sooner than your ideal wake time makes you want to scream into a pillow. You can keep it short and sweet or modify your routine to get what you need on days when you're racing the clock.
Start by being realistic with what you have to invest. Lying to yourself about how much time and energy you have to put into a morning routine will only set you up to fail. Don't let the fact that your current situation only allows five or 10 extra minutes stop you from adding this practice to your day. You may want to start small and build up to something more substantial — it's the getting started part that matters most.
A morning routine is meant to serve two functions: to nurture and nourish you. Many things can fall into these categories depending on what speaks to you the most, but below you'll find some suggestions along with my personal morning routine. Use these ideas as inspiration and customize your morning to bring you more of what you need to have an incredible day.
Kickstart your day with some self-love and nurture that sweet soul of yours. Listing your gratitudes is one of the most effective ways to amp up the good feels. This can be done in 30 seconds while you're shampooing your hair or you can dedicate some formal journaling time to writing down all the things that make you feel thankful.
Avoid reading the news, checking emails, or dropping in on social media until you've completed your morning routine. Instead, read something inspiring or motivational. I like the Mindfulness Essentials (5 Book Series) by Thich Nhat Hanh because of its brief but oh so applicable messages. I read one page (which is usually consists of one paragraph) a day for my regular dose of deep thoughts. And the set of five books will be enough to carry you through a whole year.
If you have the time and desire: meditate, meditate, meditate. Define this time of stillness as you see fit. Perhaps you choose to pray or maybe you just allow yourself to be calm and breath. Beginning the day by quieting the mind and body creates a reservoir of inner peace to sustain you throughout your day.
Skip catching up on your DVR queue over breakfast and listen to your favorite music or inspirational podcast instead. Fill your mind up with nurturing input and save the gold mining and most dramatic rose ceremony yet for later when you're ready to wind down.
Adding in some nourishing practices to your morning will round out your routine. Even if you're not a big breakfast person, eat something — even a piece of fruit — to give your body some fuel. Enjoy a simple ritual like making a cup of coffee or tea and then sip it while enjoying one of your nurturing activities. If you have time, exercise or stretch to get your blood pumping. Make these activities intentional, reminding yourself that you're worth the time it takes to complete these tasks.
I have been using this same routine for a few years now and have seen the impact it has on my overall life. On the days I skip my morning routine, I feel off and notice that I am not as centered, focused, or happy as I am when I stick with it. Here's what my morning looks like.
Meditate (anywhere from 3-20 minutes, depending on the day)
Make breakfast and coffee
Read while eating and drinking coffee
Journal (including gratitudes)
Best wishes to you for creating a routine that suits your life!
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