NOTE: This article was originally written for and published on Awakened Self. I am sharing it here because the information is so valuable to anyone who wants to add more power to their day. Thank you to Awakened Self for having me as a guest blogger!
In the same way that an evening routine of multiple steps alerts your body that it is time to sleep, a regular morning routine can charge the senses and stimulate the brain, creating the clarity needed to be effective through the whole day. Even if you need to be to the office early in the morning and find yourself often rushing, you can create a morning routine that prepares you for an easier commute and to show up as your most productive self.
First of all, think about what is missing from your day that you have always wanted to fit in or something that might support you during this particular time. For instance, when I was living in Bali for several months and trying to manifest a particular outcome regarding my career, I became interested in the law of attraction and decided to practice visualization exercises every morning. I began a routine that involved a 15-minute guided manifesting mediation followed by a 15-minute journaling exercise. Once I began I did it every morning until I left the island because I was so amazed at how much more productive I was each day.
The morning is an auspicious time for many to complete certain tasks, especially those with a circadian rhythm that is geared toward the early morning. Pick one thing to focus on/add into your new routine, being careful to select something that feels within reach. A 10-minute stretch before your morning shower? A guided mediation? Or perhaps you have always been a morning person and feel able to add a morning jog or writing session. Whatever it is, make sure it feels easy as well as beneficial.
Next, think about things that you are either already doing or that you know you ‘should’ be doing and consider how to ritualize them or do them in an order that becomes consistent. I’ve come to enjoy drinking water as soon as I wake up in the morning and it has become the first thing on my list, so much so that I keep a water bottle with the precise amount next to my bed to be enjoyed as soon as I hear my alarm. I then wash my hands and put cold water on my face, followed by making my bed and then a walk. By the time I’ve gone outside, my body is fully aware that it’s time for action and I find it hard to be unproductive, even on the weekends when I have nothing planned.
A few items to consider adding as you get started:
-Nature: No matter where you live, you can use nature to help awaken the body, even for a few short minutes each morning. Again, feel totally free to do what feels easy to you. While an outdoor run is an excellent way to begin the next 24 hours of your life, you may find that going out onto your balcony first thing in the morning and doing a big stretch does a nice job. Connecting with nature and having a bit of fresh air is just the thing to alert your system that it’s time to get moving.
-Hydration: Not only does water have properties that are grounding as well as calming, being intentional about drinking water in the early hours has incredible health benefits. Drinking water on an empty stomach boosts the immune system, supports healthy weight loss, quickens the release of toxins, and more.
What works for you? Some enjoy a glass of room temperature lemon water in the morning, while others prefer a larger amount of water and letting it work through the body before consuming anything else each morning. Even if it’s just drinking a glass as you think about the day ahead, adding water to your morning routine could make a huge difference.
-What you listen to: One of the easiest ways to set a mood in the morning is to select something meaningful to listen to. It is a nearly effortless way to make your morning into a routine and something you can start tomorrow. Not a morning person? Why not put on a playlist that you know you find hard to resist dancing to? If meditation is your thing, you may enjoy listening to Tibetan singing bowls or even some recorded affirmations as you get ready for your day. Or, you may simply open a window each morning and let the sound of birds and a bit of traffic enter your surroundings to connect your body with the world. Whatever it is, just make sure it is intentional and serves a purpose.
Don’t be afraid to start small. Creating and sticking to even the most simple of morning routines is going to boost will power and discipline that you can build upon later if you feel like you might want to do more. Don’t try to go from struggling to get to work on time each day to committing to a 5K run early in the morning. Habits can be extremely easy to break, leading to a loss of motivation that could be hard to undo. Instead, develop a routine that supports your morning and builds your confidence over time.
Good luck, and good morning!