Today was one of those days that just starts off roughly, and then. Perhaps you could say that I woke up “on the wrong side of the bed”, perhaps you could say “it’s just one of those days”. From forgetting my key to forgetting to lock the back door as I stumbled out of the house, everything just started off roughly. Needless to say, I still arrived at work thirty minutes late-panting and sweating. It was terrible, and I don’t want to ever experience that again. As I reflect back on this morning, I realize that my day had a “domino effect” because I did not follow my morning routine closely. In fact, I jumbled everything up. I realized that it was Friday, and I would be a little more flexible so I snoozed my alarm for extra sleep, threw in the laundry, and it set the course for a disastrous morning. My point here is that if you’re reading this, you have probably experienced the same thing at some point. Sometimes, it’s simply just life taking its course, and other times, we engineer our own bad days, like I did today. No matter what your profession is, having a morning routine is an effective way to make sure that your day stays organized and flows smoothly. It doesn’t just keep you calm and levelheaded, it also helps you to have the peace of mind knowing that every other thing will fall into place at work, school, or wherever you need to be. Here is a list that I compiled which features seven amazing morning habits, which you can do under ten minutes, for a stress and drama-free day.
Wake up Early
It’s time to ditch the “snooze” button! I understand that the term “early” is subjective as people’s schedules differ, but to start your day bright-eyed and ready to take on the day, it’s important to wake up at least two hours before you have to leave the house to go to work, the gym, class or any other engagement that you may have. It is important to stretch out your body fully when you wake up as well. This helps to give your body a natural boost to get out of bed and start the day. It is also important to wake up consistently at the same time every single day. This helps you to keep up your momentum.
Because of the nature of my job, and the fact that I am an extremely fast-paced individual, I hardly have much time during the day to sit still and just be. I am always thinking about what the next project to do is, and how I can get it done in the shortest time. You may have this problem as well, but taking ten minutes (or less) in the morning to sit somewhere quiet and just meditate, pray or simply be, allows you the time to rationalize, strategize and be content. For me, being still boosts my creativity so much more and I am able to write sharper articles and contribute more intelligently to my work. In some ways, this habit is deeply satisfying and cleansing to the mind. Being still also gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself.
We all know the health benefits of drinking water, but drinking a glass of water early in the morning is incredibly beneficial. If you do not start the day with the adequate hydration that you need, you will likely be dehydrated for the rest of the day. Drinking water early in the morning helps you with mental clarity, focus, increase in overall energy as well as improves your mood. Today, I didn’t start my day on the right foot, and that was partly because I didn’t do any of my routines, and what made it even worse was that I was dehydrated, and still sweating and panting as I tried to hurry to work. Do not do that! Your body needs the necessary nutrients to perform at it’s highest capacity.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
This is kind of a no-brainer because doctors and nutritionists have done a great job of educating the world on the importance of breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it is what gets your body up and running for the day. What you eat in the morning determines how your body’s metabolism will run for the rest of the day. When you are eating, eat healthy food, not a bunch of chocolate chip cookies. A simple, yet healthy breakfast can include scrambled eggs, organic orange juice, and a fruit. While you are eating, eat to enjoy the meal. Do not rush, as this can be potentially damaging to your body as well. It doesn’t have to be anything heavy. In fact, it is advisable to stay away for carb-loaded foods early in the morning as they can make you feel heavy, bloated and sluggish throughout the day.
Take a Shower
Taking a cold shower in the morning is effective because it will help you feel clean, clear your mind, and give you a smart start to the day. Bathing with cold water also helps to give a sharper focus, and can actually improve your memory. Studies show that warm water, however, while nice and all, may not be specifically as effective to start your day with, because warm water increases melatonin in the body which is a neurotransmitter that the body produces when the temperature drops; this leads to immediate drowsiness, and while it is great to take a warm shower before bed as it will improve your sleep, it is not something you would want to begin your day with. If you have a health condition such as pneumonia or any other ailment, then you can choose to skip this option.
Almost everyone that I know has some sort of book around their house. It is either on their bed, their table or in the living room. Wherever your book is, find it and read it for ten minutes before you head out. It could be the newspaper, it could be a bible, a magazine or a novel. You can read while you eat your breakfast, or read right after you wake up. The time doesn’t matter, just make sure you are improving your mind every morning by reading something. It will help you to be mentally strong, and will also sharpen your mind with knowledge.
Show Love and Gratitude
Relationships are very important and we all have loved ones, friends, family, and co-workers. If you live with your loved ones, say, your significant other, your child, or even your friend, take a few minutes out of your morning to let them know that you appreciate them and are happy to have them in your life. If you live alone, send out text messages to the most important people in your life, let them know you love them and are thinking about them and they will appreciate that more than you know. Do not forget to also appreciate yourself. You need to know that you are smart, beautiful, capable and wonderful. It will do amazing things for your mental health so tell yourself that as well.
If you are new to having a routine for your day, you’ll find out that you are better with some morning activities than others. It is okay, just be patient with yourself and get a hang of it. You’ll love your life in three months because you did so.