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It is no secret that what you do in the morning will set the tone for the rest of the day ahead. The influence that a good, consistent morning routine can have is extremely powerful! It can impact your mood, stress and productivity for the short term, and is the building blocks to achieving greater overall health and well being long term.
There are several benefits to having a good morning routine, including:
We have all heard the sayings ‘the early bird catches the worm’ or ‘you snooze, you lose’. Although it is shown that early risers are often more productive, it does not mean that night owls or midday bloomers can’t also have the perfect morning routine. To optimise your day and start your morning with your eggs sunny side up, you need to find a rhythm that works for you – by waking up at YOUR right time! Once you find this, set yourself an alarm with a more calming alert tone and wake up at this time each morning. Waking up at YOUR right time will also make it easier for your natural circadian rhythm (your natural sleep regulation clock) to adjust and be consistent.
It goes without saying, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It helps to fuel and nourish our bodies after a long night of peaceful rest so we can conquer the day ahead. To avoid food boredom or time restraint issues, have a set of 3-4 different breakfast options available that vary in preparation time and taste. This will give you an array of choices and ensure you are never left wondering what to eat each morning.
Okay, okay, I can hear all the groans now. The thought of morning exercise makes some people literally want to be sick. But did you know, by simply moving your body in some form each morning before starting your day, it can significantly reduce stress, boost your energy for the day and improve your upcoming night’s sleep. If the idea of an early morning workout or jog does not take your fancy, I recommend walking a few laps of your hallway or staircase, followed by a gentle yoga workout. There are some great free morning movement sessions on the FitOn App – available on Android, Apple and other smart phone devices.
Re hydrating your body in the morning is crucial for your overall health and well being – you have just spent the last 6-10 hours without any food or drink! Hydrating your body properly will help with brain and body function throughout the day and will also help to wake your body up. You should aim to drink a full glass of water or lemon water as soon as you wake up (and before you reach for that delicious cup of coffee).
To optimise productivity for the day, it is great practice to write out everything that is on your mind. I call this ‘Morning Pages’. Write down any jobs that need to be accomplished for the day, list your daily goals (personal and professional) or create a schedule for your day/week. This small, simple task should only take you 5-10 minutes and it will help you to clear your mind and focus your efforts for the day ahead.
As you start to incorporate some new habits into your daily routine, it is important to remember to keep it simple and set yourself a realist routine you can achieve each morning. I recommend you ‘test drive’ your routine for at least three weeks, as this will give your body and mind time to adjust and for these new, positive practices to become habit. Always remember: YOU control your day, the day DOES NOT control you.