Having a morning routine sets the day and determines the level of productivity one is ready to commit to.
Even with late night work and tasks, some people never fail to get up early and stick with their regular morning routines.
Morning persons always seem to be energetic, more powered and inspired the entire day. They are the first ones to wake up and the first ones to hit the bed as well. To think about it, they are also the ones who accomplish more tasks and are genuinely happy about it.
If you find yourself struggling to maintain a routine and be proactive during the day, here is the 12-step guide to hack your everyday schedule. This best morning routine will help you kick start your day and get going with such grace.
1. Wake up before sunrise
Having 7-9 hours of restful sleep at night and waking up just before the sunrise is said to offer more benefits to human bodies. Waking up early allows you to have more time for yourself to prepare, to plan out the day, and do anything that pleases you before everybody else wakes up. Syncing one’s body clock to the setting and rising of the natural light is better as the human body is naturally wired to do so.
Aside from that, the brain usually takes it time to actually wake up and be functional. That is why people tend to feel disoriented and groggy when first getting up.
This sleep inertia is a regular part of the waking process. It can last about an hour or more, making it harder to concentrate and get things done if one is up and out of the door too quickly. Waking up earlier gives the brain time to fully wake up so that you are more focused, alert, and energized.
2. Make your bed
One might wonder, does making the bed after you wake up really do something? As it turns out, it does!
Making the bed after getting up is not just about tidying it up and being organized. In fact, it poses possible benefits to people who habitually make their bed. It is one way to start fueling your day before going to work or running errands.
True enough, William H. McRaven, a retired Navy four-star admiral and former chancellor of The University of Texas System, even wrote a book about the key mental health benefits of making the bed entitled “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World” (2017).
In the book, McRaven asserts that making one’s bed in the morning sets up for success. His theory is just by making your bed, you’ve accomplished at least that one thing. So, the simple act of tidying up your covers lets you begin your morning with a small success that will encourage many more throughout the day. Besides, starting out the day with a clutter-free environment helps the mind to be cleared up as well, resulting in feeling productive, more focused, more relaxed, and more inspired to tackle the day.
It seems too little but making the bed is already one of your accomplishments for the day!
3. Skip the phone
It has become a habit to immediately check our smartphones right after waking up. Checking inboxes, emails, social media feeds – all these even come first before actually getting up .
Facing electronic devices in the morning is not helpful in attempting to have a proactive and fulfilling day. It only prompts our mind and body to just scroll up and down, refusing to get things done. That is why staying disconnected until you are done with your morning routine and feel powered is an important step.
Instead of reaching for your phone, go outside and catch some Vitamin D from the sun; check your plants, read a magazine, moreso, have a cup of coffee or tea while you take your time on your own or even with a loved one.
4. Plan ahead
Laying out your goals and plans for the day help you feel more focused. It gives your day a structure on how you should spend it wisely and worthwhile.
If it is a working day, you can make plans to meet up with friends after work or have dinner with your family. If it is a weekend, your plan may include paying the bills, grocery shopping, hanging out with friends, visiting a family, going to the park with your pet – it is all up to you!
Listing down the activities you aim to accomplish for the day keeps you motivated and focused on achieving those. Ending your list with some “me” time or quality time with loved ones keeps you moving forward throughout the day. Having something to look forward to at the end of the day encourages us to perform well in whatever activity is planned out for the day.
A systematic plan of tasks also increases one’s efficiency.
5. Keep your core tight
To really kick start your day and be active the whole day, doing some exercise would greatly help.
Brisk walking, yoga or meditation, running/jogging, aerobics – whatever you prefer, exercise helps in maintaining the strength and flexibility of the body. It also aids in activating the brain so that you feel more fueled and alert during the day.
Other than that, exercise initiates a surge of endorphins – a type of hormone that makes one feel-good, that can improve your mood, lower stress and anxiety, and increase energy levels.
6. Listen to music
Similar to exercising, music is also great to incorporate in your morning routine to give you a headstart. Music is proven to have an impact on one’s overall being.
According to Harvard Health Publishing (2020), “music has been shown to activate some of the broadest and most diverse networks of the brain. The parts of the brain involved in emotion are not only activated during emotional music, they are also synchronized. Music also activates a variety of memory regions. And, interestingly, music activates the motor system. In fact, it has been theorized that it is the activation of the brain’s motor system that allows us to pick out the beat of the music even before we start tapping our foot to it!”
Therefore, if you want to start your day rocking and dancing – feeling good and alive, put on some music and just let yourself jive to it!
7. Take a warm bath
After rewarding yourself with endorphin-releasing activities through working out, the next thing to do is to take a shower.
Showering in the morning after a session of exercise refreshes both the mind and the body. It improves the blood circulation all throughout the body and clears the mind of negative thoughts. Starting the day in a positive light boosts your confidence and mood, making you feel ready to face the day!
Morning showers shake up the feeling of tiredness and muscle restrictions as well. It relaxes and relieves muscles causing you to feel less tense and even more comfortable in starting your day.
8. Maintain a mind and body rituals
As you have an ample amount to prepare and take care of yourself in the morning, you can perform the mind and body rituals you have.
This includes your skincare routine, glamming up, fixing your hair, and even having some time for introspection. Either you are going to work or would go to run errands, looking clean and presentable is a must.
How you dress and present yourself affects the way you are perceived by others, which also contributes to your self-esteem. Thus, looking good and clean makes you stand out and face the day with a positive outlook.
9. Prepare a hearty meal
Definitely, mornings would not be complete without a healthy breakfast.
As the first meal of the day, your breakfast should be nutritious enough to give you more energy and strength as you carry out your planned activities for the day. Whole grains like oats and cereals, protein-rich foods, fruits and vegetables – these are great sources of nutrients you will be needing to have a productive day ahead!
Eating a nutritious meal to start your day leaves you feeling full longer which makes you able to last the day especially if you are expecting a day with lots of tasks to accomplish.
10. Prepare comfy outfits
Thinking of what to wear, specifically for women, can take a lot of time. Choosing an outfit that best suits you and makes you feel comfortable at the same can be a hard task sometimes.
Once you are done going over your wardrobe and picking clothes to wear, ironing them and making sure that no wrinkles are visible is the next step. Wearing clothes that make you look and feel good certainly impacts how you project yourself outside. Dressing up is one way to show others how confident and powered you are to move throughout the day.
11. Take a morning walk
Many people underestimate the benefits of walking even if it is just around one’s backyard.
Taking a morning walk is equivalent to taking an exercise. It puts your body at work, allowing the muscles and nerves to be stretched. It also particularly helps boost energy levels by releasing certain hormones like endorphins and delivering oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, resulting in a feeling of refreshment.
Even if it is just a 10-minute walk, it does wonders to lift one’s mood and promotes proper breathing which helps in tackling the day more energized.
12. Always wear your smile
Finally, once you complete these steps, there is nothing more left to do but to smile and be grateful for another day!
Starting the day with a smile tricks the mind and pushes away negative thoughts that are trying to distract you. Besides, smiling is said to be contagious, thus, creating a more positive environment. That means, the activities you plan to carry out would be so much lighter and fulfilling.
Stick to these steps until your mind and body fully adapts to it. Doing the steps regularly will gradually be formed into a habit. Thus, allowing you to have a more purposeful, productive, and fulfilling day everyday!
Not only does it let you spend your day with such organization and system, both your physical and mental health is finely accounted for as well!