Let’s get something straight. I am not a morning person. I really, really am not. Even though I wake up at 5 am voluntarily, I definitely don’t enjoy it. I do it, because I’ve decided to, not because it comes naturally. However, waking up early and spending the first hours doing what inspires and motivates me, equals a great day. Without further ado, here are my 5 morning routines to start the day off with the right note. We all have good days and not so awesome days, but I’ve noticed that when doing these routines every morning, I have significantly less bad days than before.
1) Don’t hit the snooze button!
Alright, this one you have probably heard before. Hitting the snooze and dozing off again and again doesn’t do you any good and can even make you more tired. If you snooze, in the worst-case scenario your sleep cycle starts all over again only to be interrupted after 10 minutes. Thus, you’re twice as tired the second time you reach for the snooze button. Let alone how sleepy you feel after three or four snoozes. Since I learned this, I decided once and for all to stop snoozing. You know the saying don’t you; you snooze, you lose.
I was your typical snoozer. I had 3 different alarms going off in my phone and I usually hit the snooze to every single one. This said, you can imagine stopping the snoozing wasn’t a piece of cake. However, I found two tricks that helped me adjust my habits and have never looked back since. I switched my alarm sound to a song I like and moved my phone out of my reach, so I have to stand up to turn off the alarm. When the alarm starts, I listen to my favorite song a few seconds and then get up to turn it off. The fact is, if I am already standing upright, it doesn’t make sense to crawl back between the sheets. 🙂
After seven hours of sleep, the first thing on my mind is THIRST. It feels like my body has been ditched to Sahara Desert and it is completely impossible to get myself going without hydrating first.
In my opinion, it is irrelevant what you drink in the morning, just drink something. If I liked coffee, I would probably drink that. Since I dislike the taste of coffee (even though it smells wonderful), I prefer ginger tea, chamomile tea or peppermint tea. Before infusing my tea however, I always drink a glass of warm lemon water. There are so many health benefits to lemon water that I feel like I’m giving my body a gift every time I drink it. Also, since I drink it warm, it simultaneously warms up my body and wakes me up.
After my lemon water and a glass of regular tap water, it’s time for my favourite tea from my favorite cup. There is no way my morning could start better 🙂
Have you ever heard of morning pages? Morning pages have become widely popular, at least when it comes to believing Youtubers. Morning pages are a way to do a braindump; to help clear out the mind and move all the clutter from your brain to paper. When you remove excess things, chores and clutter from your mind, it is way easier to create new things and start working towards your goals.
If you have never heard about morning pages, this is how to do it. Take three sheets of paper and a pen. Not a laptop or your phone, but old school pen and paper. The idea is to fill three pages with everything going on in your mind. Morning pages should be done as early as possible, so make sure you do this before turning on the news or social media.
Write on the paper everything you are thinking at that moment. You don’t have to produce perfect sentences or pay attention to the spelling or grammar, just write and let your thoughts flow. Even if your mind is blank or you feel it is stupid to write, write that. In no time, you’ll start to notice that actually there is more going on in your brain than you think. You might even have an awesome idea or solve a puzzle that has been bugging your brain for a long time.
For me, the very best thing every morning is a 15-minute meditation. I look forward to it so much, that I deal with other routines twice as fast, just to get to my meditative state.
When the clock hits 5.40 am, when it is still dark outside, when the neighbors are all asleep, my time with myself starts. Since my family usually wakes up around half past six, this is a moment for me to be alone. It’s quality time with my thoughts and dreams. I put on my headphones, turn on music or click to Calm app and sit down to do my morning meditation or mindfulness practices. After meditating 15 minutes my mind is peaceful, stress free and I am confident my day is going to be a good one.
5) Move that body
Did you know that most successful people work out in the morning to make sure they stay alert and energized all day? In my opinion it is not relevant how you move during the early hours of your day. The importance is to do it the way you feel fit for you.
For me, the best choice is yoga. I try to fit it in my morning routine whenever I have time, but I have to confess that there are some mornings when I have to skip this, for one reason or another. However, I clearly see the difference in my mood when I move in the morning. Luckily a yoga session doesn’t have to take too long, just enough to get my body going and stretch those muscles out. Even a 15 to 20 minutes of yoga could do the trick. Afterwards I feel refreshed and look forward going to work with a clear mind and rejuvenated body.
Working out in the morning has also other benefits. At times, days with all the rush, chores, meetings and other mandatory assignments and to-dos really take their toll. If feeling absolutely knackered when finally arriving to the front door after a hard day at work, exercising is the last thing on your mind. No need to worry though, you can give yourself a slack knowing you already did at least a small workout in the morning.
Bonus round) Don’t touch that phone!
Last but not least, here is the final bonus routine to seriously consider doing. When I started to execute my new morning routines, this was by far the hardest one. I used to wake up and after snoozing about 400 times, pick up my phone and start going through social media. After switching to 5am wake up calls, I radically changed my attitude towards my phone.
After turning off my alarm, I now place the phone back to the counter and leave it alone. Completely. For the first two hours I live without my phone, without Instagram, Facebook, email, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Messenger and all the others oh-so-important apps (excluding Calm app for meditation of course). If there is a message waiting for me in WhatsApp, it won’t go anywhere if I don’t check it until 8am. Neither will the Facebook notification vanish to thin air, even if I remember to click it open only in the afternoon.
If you find it difficult parting with your phone, just try it for a week. That’s how I did it first. It is incredible how much more space you have for your own thoughts when you don’t fill it with other people’s ideas, pictures, complaints or requests first thing in the morning.
Have a lovely day and a wonderful morning ❤