Better than coffee (nearly): Perfect your morning routine with just 30 minutes
Do you want to create effective routines?
This is part 2 of the series Building An Effective Daily Routine. Find part 1: Hacking your Habits here.
I never considered myself a morning person. I would feel grumpy and stressed every morning trying to get everything done before I had to leave.
As I sat on the train on the way to uni or work, I would feel frazzled. This set the vibe for the day. It was time to rethink my mornings.
So how did I turn this around? I began to allow an extra 30 minutes for myself in the mornings.
I bet you’re asking, why should I give up an extra 30 minutes of precious sleep?
Obtain heightened focus, creativity, focus and problem-solving; Before you answer messages, emails or wake the kids up for school, you’ve got time to focus on yourself. People who consistently practice a morning routine notice that they gain higher self-esteem and set stronger boundaries because they're reminded of the need for self-care every day.
Use your morning routine as a reset button; No matter how stressful yesterday was, you know that you’ll have a reset button in the morning. The morning routine becomes a ritual to start every day.
Create a better mood and more positive outlook on life; When you wake up every morning and consistently strive to improve yourself, you reduce stress, gain confidence, and learn persistence.
Now the actionable part. It’s actually what you do with those minutes that make a difference.
Here’s my current routine to give you some ideas…
Wake up (obviously.); Don’t hit the snooze button - it means you end up in a manic rush to get ready. And since you don't want to be late, you end rushing through your morning arriving at your destination emotionally (and maybe physically) a hot mess.
No looking at your phone; Try to spend the first 30 minutes phone free. If you can’t, perhaps you should look into a digital detox.
Open up the blinds and get some natural light; this will increase your Serotonin levels ( a neurotransmitter which regulates mood, appetite, memory, sleep).
Create a nourishing ritual;
Make your favourite tea, coffee or lemon water
Try intermittent fasting.
Accomplish at least one activity where you focus on yourself: This could be meditate, practice gratitude, read affirmations, journal, read a book or all of the above. See below for more details.
Meditate; This is your time to get calm and centered. Even if you’re a beginner and find it difficult to keep your mind from drifting in thoughts, just sitting quietly for 10 minutes and breathing can have great benefits. Stay focused on your breath, and if thoughts keep coming up, become aware of them and bring your attention back to your breath.
Practice Gratitude; This is an emotional well-being exercise. Nothing makes you feel happier than counting your blessings, and there’s always something to be grateful for! You could utilise this whilst journaling or practice separately.
Positive affirmations; This is a mental self-improvement exercise and is another great way to set positive intentions for the day. You can visualise what you want to happen, write out your dreams and goals, or use positive affirmations that you repeat like a mantra.
Then the usual activities; shower/clothing/makeup etc
Before leaving, tidy the space; just for a couple of minutes. It’s the best feeling coming home and walking into a tidy and calm space.