The Morning Routine Makeover You Need
How you choose to spend your morning will determine the rest of your day. If you have trouble staying consistent with a morning routine, look no further than this article. I know how hard it can be to stick to a routine (especially if you have kids AND especially before 7) but with the tips in this article, you can personalize your perfect- most accessible and most effective- morning routine.
Your Morning Starts the Night Before
The secret to keeping with your morning routine is keeping with a solid night routine. Think about this: if you drink a coffee at 3 pm to get over your midday slump, the caffeine (regardless if it even helped) is still lingering in your system way past your bedtime– resulting in an inadequate sleep and inevitably–a sluggish wake up! And if you choose to stay up late to watch just one more episode of your new show, that blue light will affect your sleep as well.
What you do the night before will determine what kind of morning you will have. That’s why it’s important to set yourself up for success. Here’s how:
Avoid drinking coffee after 2 pm
Caffeine has a half life of 8-10 hours meaning that it will stay in your system whether you feel it or not. While your “sleeping”, caffeine is negatively affecting the depth of sleep you fall into (1).
Sweat once a day
Daily exercise improves mood, reduces the risk of disease, and will help you sleep like a baby. Exercise increases body temperature so later in the day when your body’s internal thermostat drops it can help trigger feelings of drowsiness and help you fall into a deep slumber (2).
Don’t eat a heavy meal right before bed
This topic seems to be a huge controversy. The bottom line here is that if you eat a big meal right before bed, your body will be trying to do two things at once: 1. Digest what you just ate and 2. Fall into a deep sleep. To get a good night sleep- allow your body to just work on that.
Avoid blue light 2 hours before bed
Blue light decreases melatonin production. Artificial light also interferes with our natural circadian rhythm. Either avoid television or phone use 2 hours before bed or invest in blue light blocking glasses for a good night’s sleep.
Plan your morning the night before
Planning your morning the night before will eliminate unnecessary morning stresses. Instead of feeling overwhelmed and scattered when you wake up, you will have a list of 3 things you must do before you do anything else work related ie. call your son to check up on him at college, make a dentist appointment, throw laundry in. Wherever you plan your workday (iphone notes, an app, an agenda book) make sure everything is penciled in — the most important or most difficult task being first.
Keep a journal by your bedside. Journal one thing you enjoyed today, one thing you are excited for tomorrow, and one thing you are grateful for. Leading gratitude researcher, Robert Emmons conducted multiple studies on the link between well-being and gratitude that confirmed gratitude increases happiness and reduces depression (3). Consistently journaling will allow you to stay present and focused, ultimately leading to better mornings and essentially- better days.
Put your phone on airplane mode
After you set your alarm, put your phone on airplane mode. This will this reduce dangerous sleep disturbing EMF’s and since you won’t be paying attention to your phone for the first half hour of your morning tomorrow- you can leave it on airplane mode.
After you’ve mastered your nightly routine you’re ready for a killer morning routine. Below are steps that you can personalize to make your most productive morning.
Don’t touch your phone. Shut off your alarm and then don’t touch it again until I say. Get up, go to the bathroom and wash your face. Splash yourself with cold water, give yourself a good look in the eyes and remember the one thing you journaled last night that you are excited for today!
Implement a quick self-care routine whether that is rubbing wild orange essential oil and peppermint essential oil in your palms and inhaling to wake yourself up or taking 5 minutes to do a quick gua sha session to de-puff your face–whatever it is, do it. It will keep you present and boost confidence.
Fire up your digestion
Give your insides some immediate loving with a healing tonic. Try one of these tonics below for a healthy jumpstart
Go to “church”
Whatever your church is (religious or not), go there. Your church is somewhere where you cultivate a peaceful environment to be mindful and grateful. Walk your dog, flow on your mat, read a book, meditate, pray– whatever your holy ground is– show up. Here are some options:
- Get some fresh air by taking a walk outside. If you have a furry friend- bring him along. The peaceful sounds of nature and the quiet morning will allow you to be present. Plus, it will get your blood flowing and muscles loose.
- Flow on your mat. Stretching your muscles will flush out emotions and get you energized for the day. Try these apps:
- Exercise. If you like to work out first thing in the morning (or think you might like to) all it takes is 30 minutes. Exercising will boost happy neurons and provide you with mental and physical stamina. Try these apps:
- Meditate. Listen to a 10 minute guided meditation. Try one of these apps:
- Meditation Timer Pro
- Stop, Breathe & Think
- Listen a chapter of an audiobook. Try these:
- 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works– A True Story
- You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
- The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Self-Freedom
Make a healthy breakfast you’re excited about
Your first meal sets you up for the rest of your food choices for the day. Making a healthy breakfast you’re excited about will help you make healthy choices throughout the day. Even making a delicious breakfast the night before (chia seed pudding, gluten free oats in the slow cooker) will make you jump out of your bed that much faster. And if you make them the night before, it will save time in the morning. Check out our favorite healthy breakfast recipes here!
What we put in our bodies has a direct impact on our energy and mood. If we are mindful of what we put in our bodies (what we eat and why we’re eating it) then we can create balance for the rest of the day.
Dress for success
It may be a cliche but it has research to back it up. What you wear can influence your thinking and negotiating skills, hormone levels, and heart rate (4). Even if you work at home- put something on you like. Staying in your pajamas and sweats all day is a shortcut you don’t want to take. Wearing something that makes you feel good will make for a more productive day (and it’s reason a to go shopping).
Start with your hardest task
After the kids are off to school and you’re ready to go to work/get work done, start with the hardest thing. You haven’t been stressed yet and you’ll get a sense of accomplishment before lunch. After that- everything else will seem easy breezy.
Plan your morning the night before and the cycle starts again.
If you have any tips or tricks that help keep you in the swing of things, I want to know! Comment below and let me know how your mornings usually go.