Your alarm rings on the nightstand, and just like that, a new day has dawned. For some, there can be a sense of dread that follows. Heck, that’s basically why the snooze button was invented. But this is no way to start a day if you want to be positive, productive, and healthy. Starting your day off right with a methodical (and totally doable) morning routine can help elevate your mental and physical well-being to new heights—and we have the right steps to achieve it.
1. Wake up earlier. Someone who says “I’m just not a morning person” also happens to be a liar. Being an early riser isn’t some genetic predisposition. It’s solely about establishing the habit and sticking to it. That’s it. Getting up even a half hour earlier will allow your mind and body to ease into the day and will make time for some of the below changes to your morning routine.
2. Pick up a glass of water instead of your phone. Your brain was just resting for like, 6-8 hours—the last thing it needs is ALL THE CONTENT IN THE WORLD before you even pick your head up from the pillow. Instead, drink a tall glass of water to hydrate you back up and kickstart your metabolism.
3. Speaking of metabolism…eat a legit breakfast. A filling, nutritious meal will spark your energy, improve your short-term memory, and can keep you in your ideal weight range. All you need to do is find the time to make it happen. A great breakfast idea, and one of my staples, is overnight oats, because they’re delicious, healthy, and are already ready to eat by the time you wake up. See how simple they are to prepare.
4. Stretch. Incorporating exercise into your morning routine is certainly encouraged, but even setting aside five minutes to stretch is very beneficial. Activating your muscles via stretching will work out the aches and tightness and help increase blood flow. After all, your body was just horizontal for several hours—it needs a little TLC. Didn’t I mention it takes literally five minutes?
5. Limit your decisions. Any way you can use less mental energy first thing in the morning is worth doing—and reducing decision making is at the top of the list. I’m not saying be Mark Zuckerberg and only wear the same color tee shirt every day. But if you plan out things like your day’s outfit, breakfast, and what you’re going to listen to on your commute, you’ll be able to conserve your brain power for the day’s bigger, more pressing decisions.
6. Find your inner quiet. At this point, you’re probably going to have the impulse to answer an email or see what’s cooking on social media. Don’t. There is always time for email. And Twitter. Instead, try incorporating a little mindfulness before the day gets busy. Meditation, yoga, or even simple breathing exercises can all be done in mere minutes and will help you find peace and focus for the day. Namaste.
7. Visualize the day. Before you open the front door, give yourself one last moment. Think about the tasks, priorities, and goals you have for the day – and see yourself doing them. This type of envisioning will help you achieve them and determine the significance of each.
Whether you add to this list or choose the steps that work best for you, be consistent. It’s a routine, after all. And if you find your focus slipping throughout the day, look to nature. Here’s what we mean.