I have never really been a morning person, or even a morning routine person (although I guess hitting the snooze button and rolling out of bed an hour later can be considered a routine). Okay that’s putting it mildly. For most of my adult life I have DREADED mornings, especially those weekday ones. Look, don’t judge me okay—mornings were just never my thing. It was only until my 40-something year old body started feeling slow and sluggish on the daily, that I knew I had to get it together and change the way I approached the day.
My mornings used to start with me hitting the snooze button a dozen times, before reaching for my phone and immediately plugging in to the drama of social media. I would then drag myself out of bed way past the time my alarm went off; struggle through showering, finding something to wear, possibly ironing, and scooping my hair up in a puff. Then I’d finally stumble out of my apartment on an empty stomach, only to nap again on the train to work. Needless to say, after getting to the office at a too late hour, and not fully functioning until my first cup of coffee, I was always playing catch up the rest of the day, which drained the living daylight out of me.
Revamping my morning routine has truly made a difference in my daily life. So here I am sharing what has worked for me—with you. The first step was changing my attitude, then everything else adapted. Too many times we connect our early morning rising to long nights, stressful workdays, and endless to-do lists. Now I look at my mornings as pure and hopeful, uncluttered, blissful periods of alone time. It is truly the best time of the day to rejuvenate your mind, body and soul—and to just BE.
“I love early mornings when it feels like the rest of the world is still fast asleep and you’re the only one who’s awake & everything feels like it isn’t really real & you kind of forget about all your problems because for now its just you, the world & the sunrise.” ~Anonymous
Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
Carve out enough you-time in the mornings after your alarm goes off. And by all means DON’T hit the snooze button. It’s the worst possible habit and brings nothing but sluggishness to your day. Start your day off with purpose, that includes waking up at the time you’ve chosen without giving in to the snooze button. That extra 10 minutes you take to snooze, will turn into another 10 minutes, and then another 10 minutes, until you find yourself rushing to get out the door. Believe me, there’s nothing worse than starting your day flustered.
Start With Gratitude
When the alarm goes off, instead of reaching for my phone, I take a few minutes to think about 3 things I’m grateful for. There’s always something in your life to be thankful for, it can be something as simple as waking up to see a new day. After reflecting for a few minutes (I use a gratitude journal), I follow-up with a positive affirmation and try to stay mindful of it for the rest of the day. Gratitude and positive thinking not only reprograms your thought patterns, but gets your day started on a high note.
Breathe Deeply or Meditate
If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know Meditation is now a must for me. Spending 10-15 minutes breathing and just being in the moment, prepares my mind for the day ahead. Think of meditation as the ultimate gift to yourself each morning. Start with just 5 minutes of deep breathing if meditation is not your thing and set your intention for the day. The important thing is keeping your mind uncluttered and enjoying a few peaceful moments without the normal stresses. It really makes a difference mentally, I promise.
Do Some Yoga or Spend a Few Minutes Stretching
MY BODY IS MY TEMPLE. You don’t know how many times I’ve had to repeat this to myself. The truth is, I haven’t always treated my body right, and neglecting it in the mornings definitely started taking a toll. I can of course list all the benefits of yoga, but they won’t be my words. What I can say from experience, is that my body feels different and more energetic when I practice it regularly. I love yoga in the mornings simply because it is my quiet time, my time of reflection, the period when I can really focus and be in tune with my body. Some days if I’m feeling a little more energetic than usual, I pick up my dumbbells and do some basic strength training exercises. My body thanks me for it.
Sip on Your Favorite Tea
I would love to say that I’ve sworn off coffee, but I haven’t. However, I do start my mornings off with a cup of herbal tea. My favorite is green tea, because of its antioxidant benefits. I usually take this time to start thinking about my goals for the day, and everything I intend to accomplish. After this, I’m awake, alert, full of energy and ready to tackle the day ahead.
What about you? How do you get your mornings started? Do you have a morning routine?