Self-care is an essential part of any successful lifestyle. Before you can commit to productivity and all of the things that life demands, you must nurture your physical and mental health. A consistent daily morning routine is the necessary foundation of any successful self-care practice.
Mornings can be intimidating. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all of the tasks you have yet to accomplish and all of the problems that need your attention. However, developing an effective morning routine can help make your efforts during the day more effective. Your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day, and a successful morning can lead to a successful day. When we make time for ourselves and prioritize our needs, it becomes easier to tackle our daily obstacles.
Consistency is key. Trying a habit once and then never revisiting it is useless. Develop long-term habits. So, if you skip it, you’ll feel the difference. Here are 10 habits to adopt for a successful morning routine.
Upon waking up, the mind is restless with thoughts. Journaling in the morning can help cleanse the mind of the mental clutter, allowing you to enter the day with a calm, unhindered mind.
Your journaling can take on any form you wish. You can plan what you want to accomplish for the day. Writing down your tasks in list form can help organize the mind. Trying to remember everything adds unnecessary stress and can easily become overwhelming. Write down everything, large or small, that you need to accomplish that day. When you revisit your journal, you can feel proud of all the things you crossed off your list.
Journaling can also be used for emotional catharsis. You can write down your feelings going into the new day or shake off any ill feelings from the day before. You can practice mindful positive thinking and self-reflection, or let the expletives fly. It’s up to you! Harboring your emotions all day can be unhealthy, and putting them down on paper may be just the emotional cleanse you need.
Once you get into the habit, you can add journaling in the evening before bed to decompress, release pent-up emotions and thoughts from the day, and go to sleep with a clear mind and body.
Meditation is a great addition to any morning ritual. With the constant stress and fast-paced nature of our lives, it is important to take time for yourself. Taking time to practice mindfulness before the stresses of the day have crept in can give you the energy and headspace to tackle those stresses. A relaxed, positive mind can benefit your productivity.
Allowing your thoughts to pass through without attaching to them. It’s a practice to gain control of your thoughts and determine which one’s to devote your energy to. It can also help release any lingering grogginess from the previous night’s sleep.
You’ve created a space for yourself free of deadlines, emails, and other obligations; essentially a stress-free zone. Focusing on your physical attributes, such as your breathing or heartbeat, doesn’t allow space for stressful thoughts to manifest. You can now take a break from daily chaos to ground yourself in the stillness. Worries about life and the future are more harmful than helpful, and meditation provides perspective. Live in the moment, not in the ‘what-ifs’.
You can also add meditation to your evening routine as a way to decompress after the events of the day.
A morning stretch routine is a perfect way to get your blood flowing before school or work. By stretching first thing in the morning, you relax your muscles and release any tension or stiffness from your body. It can also improve your posture and increase your heart rate. Contrary to popular belief, your stretch routine doesn’t need to be long and complicated to be effective. A few simple stretches are all you need to wake your body up for the day. You can utilize guided stretches or freestyle on your own.
Exercise in the morning, like stretching, is a great way to your blood flowing after a good night’s sleep. It shouldn’t matter if you are someone who doesn’t particularly care for exercise. Your exercise doesn’t have to be running a mile or lifting weights. If that’s something you enjoy doing, that’s great too! However, a simple 30-minute walk in the morning is all you need to wake up the body. Some fresh air and a quick walkthrough nature can also be beneficial. A walk can boost your energy and decrease any lingering fatigue.
After a full night’s sleep, a drink of water in the morning helps rehydrate the body. It also kickstarts your bodily functions. Drinking water in the morning cleanses out toxins and stimulates the metabolism. About sixteen ounces is recommended for a healthier, more energetic morning. It is also important to keep up your water intake throughout the day.
Not only is skincare essential for healthy skin, but it is also an effective self-care method. Dedicating time and attention to yourself can be therapeutic. If you spend most of your day caring for others, taking some time for yourself in the morning may be a positive mood booster.
Don’t think of making your bed as a chore. Rather, think of it as your first accomplishment of the day. Making your bed signifies that your day has officially started and sneaking five more minutes of sleep is no longer an option. Not only does it tidy up your room, but it also gives you a small sense of pride. You accomplished something today. Now you have the confidence to accomplish something else. Besides, nothing feels better than returning to a perfectly-made bed after a long day. Think of it as a small gift to yourself, from yourself.
Breakfast is often deemed ‘the most important meal of the day. There is some truth to that! Having breakfast in the morning can kickstart your metabolism and give you the energy to get started on your daily tasks. Skipping breakfast may leave you hungry and fatigued by midday. If you’re rather busy, breakfast doesn’t need to be a full 3-course meal. Some fruit, yogurt, or even a smoothie are perfect on-the-go breakfast options.
Morning affirmations promote intentionality and positivity at the beginning of your day. You can keep a list of affirmations in a journal, or you can put affirmations on sticky notes around your home. These are pleasant little surprises for yourself as you move throughout your day. By utilizing affirmations, you take control of your thoughts and elevate your confidence. Believing in yourself is the first step to accomplishing your goals!
Your cellphone holds a lot of potential stressors. As soon as you open it, you’re overwhelmed with information. Some emails need answering. Some text messages demand your attention. The news broadcasts tragic events from the day before. Before you know it, you’ve lost yourself down a Twitter hole from the night before.
Essentially, phones are distractions. Once you pick it up in the morning you’re unlikely to put it down again. If you’re taking the steps to create a relaxing morning routine, using your phone could essentially undo all of your work. Simply delaying reaching for your phone in the morning can help maintain your relaxed state and benefit your morning routine. Allow yourself some time away from the information overload. Therefore, when you do have to plug in, you’re in a better state of mind.
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