When I decided a few years ago that it was about time to get my life together, I was searching to find how the most successful people in the world are able to get such outstanding results. I was fascinated with the idea of improving my mediocre self. I came across something that all successful people out there seemed to have in common, they all had a morning routine.
What we do when we wake up in the morning has a monumental effect on the rest of our day.
This article is about the things we can do to significantly improve our mornings, which will, therefore, improve the rest of our day and just like that, our lives.
Changing my mornings, changed my life.
For years I started every morning pretty much the same way, I would wake up, and reach for my phone. Checking your phone gets you out of your bed and out of your head, and into somewhere else. In retrospective, I knew that wasn’t doing me well. I knew that looking on social media the minute I woke up just made me depressed. Looking at other people, at times strangers, or people that are not in your life anymore, and for some reason, even looking at people that were having it “better” at that moment.
-It’s been said that “comparison is the thief of joy.’’-
Right after, I would check my messages and get completely thrown off by one that I wouldn’t want to deal with… same with a work email; it only gets you stressed, and that’s the last thing you want to look at when you wake up. And to add the cherry on top, nothing like some negative news headline to ruin the potential that a beautiful morning can have.
Every morning when we wake up we have an opportunity to dictate how the rest of our day will turn out. It is that big a deal.
There are a few things we can do during our morning to boost creativity, positivity, and energy into our entire day.
Here are a few things we can all easily do.
- Make your bed. (2 minutes)
Making your bed first thing when you wake up sends yourself a message that accomplishments will be made that day. Once you get that first accomplishment you get a sense of fulfillment. Doing that sends a signal to your brain that this day is about getting things done!
2. Take a cold shower. (5 minutes)
Starting your day with a cold shower changes everything. Cold showers create a radical shift in your mood as immersion in cold water facilitates radical physical and mental wellness. Taking a cold shower sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which can result in an antidepressant effect. Studies show that taking cold showers routinely can help relieve depression symptoms. This is because cold water triggers a wave of mood-boosting neurochemicals that make you feel happy.
3. Meditate. (15 minutes)
If you’ve never meditated before, you might think meditation is a spiritual practice. I know I did. However, that is not necessarily the case. Meditation is simply an exercise for the mind, like lifting weights for your muscles. Meditation is a great way to relieve old stress, not just current stress but the stress we’ve been accumulating for our entire lives. Meditation has been used for centuries to heal both the body and the mind and science has proven many of its benefits. The benefits of meditation start with stress-relief, but there are many, many more. Meditation has been shown to increase creativity, lower the risk of depression, reduce chronic pain, lower the risk of obesity, binge eating, emotional eating, improve sleep quality, aid recovery from chronic illnesses, and much more.
4. Move your body. (15 minutes)
Your body, the machine that holds you together has over 600 muscles, 200 bones, an incredible nervous system, immune system and they are all dependent on your movement. They thrive from it. It can be a simple walk, practicing yoga, a gym session, riding a bicycle or whatever works for you. We live in a world where moving is less and less needed. We have transportation to move around and we sit most of our days on a chair. Moving our bodies, especially when we wake up ignites our systems, lubricates our gears and allows for optimal physical condition. Getting your body moving in the morning will improve the rest of your day. both physically and mentally.
5. Eat a nutrient-dense delicious breakfast. (12 minutes)
What you put eat in the morning affects the amount of energy you will have for the rest of your day and your mood. When we eat sugars and grains for breakfast (like most people do) we send our blood sugars through the roof. This creates a similar effect to getting high as you get a quick supply of energy but which then also quickly crashes down soon after. This is why you feel tired by the time you are in that second meeting of the day.
Eating natural foods high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats will keep you satiated, with high levels of energy and in a good mood for a lot longer.
6. Dedicate time to yourself (7 minutes)
This is the final and the most important one. Now that you are refreshed, focused and well energized, take a few moments to write down your goals, some of your ideas, how you will accomplish them, make a plan. Something you can go back to and follow up on. Something that will hold you accountable.
Try it for a week, go to bed earlier so that it becomes easier for you to find 56 minutes to spare that will not make you compromise on your precious sleep.
Enjoy your new life.