You don’t have to be a morning person to establish a morning routine. It’s summertime. The sun is up early, and the cool morning air in Illinois feels refreshing on the skin. The benefit of getting into the habit of establishing a routine this summer is to master it by the time the winter scaries roll around.
Morning routines very well could be a cringey trigger word for anyone on social media whose TikTok or Instagram feed is filled with vlogs from influencers bragging about their “perfect” morning or daily routine. It can be draining to sit and watch someone else do more from 5 am to 9 am than you do in your entire day. But establishing a morning routine that is right and reasonable for you can change the trajectory of your day.
A good morning routine should incorporate things that will wake you up, prepare you for the day, focus your mind, body, heart, or soul on the day ahead, and get the ball rolling. Your time spent in the morning should prioritize wellness and not be stressful.
Start with setting goals
Maybe you want to train yourself to wake up two hours earlier, or perhaps you need an extra 30 minutes. Whatever it is, start by assessing what you want to accomplish during your morning. Roughly allot how much time you want to spend on each thing. Ensure you set your alarm with enough time to get these things done without feeling rushed and stressed out.
Mourning routines start with good sleep
The best thing you can do for yourself tomorrow is to get good sleep tonight. Sleep health is so important, and getting enough sleep, 7-8 hours, will make you a different person. Maybe you’re like me, and you need five alarms on those days it is hard to get up a little earlier, or perhaps you are Superman and get up after one. Whatever it is, set your alarm to work for you, not against you!
Try practicing mindfulness when you wake up. Focus on the breath in your lungs and the gift that it is to be breathing and alive. Reflect on the fact that a new day is starting, and breathe deeply. Focus on how you are feeling as you wake up.
Let the light in
One of the best things to do when you get out of bed is to open the blinds or pull back the curtains and let the sun in. Natural light is proven to boost our immune system, and I always feel at least two times more energized and less like a trash monster just by opening the blinds.
Make your bed
Making your bed first thing in the morning does wonders for you. In his book Make Your Bed, Admiral McRaven discusses that just by making your bed, you already accomplish one of the first tasks of a day, and you feel compelled to get more day because you start your day off with getting things done.
Drink a full glass of water. Hydration is essential to your well-being, and hydrating your body in the morning will get the juices flowing and help to wake you up! Do this before you drink your coffee or tea, and once you’ve done it, if you are someone who leans on that warm cup of coffee or tea in the morning, give yourself time to enjoy it! Practice mindfulness as you slowly sip and take in the smells.
Eat! Start your day off right with some fuel for your day and eat a breakfast that is filling and full of things that will make you feel good. Maybe you’re not like me, and your stomach doesn’t growl the second your eyes open, but start small and get in the habit of eating to fuel your body and get your metabolism going.
Take care of you
Whether you are looking to work out or sit and be still, it is important to do something that will be helpful for you. Go for a quick walk, hit the gym, or do some morning stretches. Throw on a load of laundry or unload the dishwasher to help out future you when you are feeling drained later in the day. Or maybe take time to pray, journal, or read and allow your mind to wake up, and allow yourself enough time to get ready for the day without feeling stressed.
One of the most helpful things you can do for the rest of your day is to try and remain calm and thankful. Practice gratitude and reflecting on the things you are grateful for. Say positive affirmations if you need to hype yourself up for the day ahead. Tell someone you love that you love them. Give a hug or a kiss. Take deep breaths.
Give yourself grace
Getting into a routine and habit can take time. If you hit snooze a few times, ditch the workout, or don’t have as much time as you hoped, don’t stress. Do what is most important and try again the next day. The best thing to do in the mornings is to be kind to yourself and do what will benefit you.
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