I get up at 5:45 every morning, Monday through Friday. I have geared my morning routine to allow for a peaceful and quiet preparation for the day. It is very important to me to start the day on the right note mentally. If I don’t start the day mentally prepared and aware, and with a positive outlook, it can ruin my entire day. I don’t know if it’s chi or feng shui or what, but there’s a certain energy about it, accompanied by a relaxed and peaceful mood; that is my goal every morning.
During my morning routine, I consciously try not to think about anything that is stressful to me.
This helps to foster the positive attitude and the mood that I want to begin the day with, and hopefully carry through the day. It is important to me to allow myself enough time in the morning that I don’t have to rush through my morning routine. Having to rush through a morning routine is stressful and counterproductive to the mindset that I want to begin every day with. Therefore a good morning routine should be structured and well organized to facilitate easy progression through it, so that as long as you allow yourself enough time, there is no need to rush.
I am going to break down my morning routine into 6 easy steps to assist you with structuring your morning. If you allow yourself enough time and avoid thinking about stressful situations throughout your morning routine, you can begin your day mentally strong, ready, and able to take on the challenges which may be presented to you throughout the rest of the day. Below is the list of steps to assist you with your morning routine.
1. Start the night before
Each night, choose what you are going to wear the next day. Pull the clothes you’ve selected out of the closet or dresser and set them somewhere in plain view for easy access in the morning. This saves you the time and hassle of having to do it the next morning. If something needs to be ironed, go ahead and take care of that the night before as well. Have anything that will go in your pockets/bag/purse prepared and readily accessible. Set out the shoes you plan to wear near the clothes you’ve chosen to wear.
If you plan to drink coffee in the morning, put the filter, the coffee, and the water into your coffee maker now. Have the maker ready to start the coffee hassle-free in the morning. If you can afford it, by a programmable coffee maker, so that you can set it to automatically brew your coffee at the time you want the next morning. That will be one less thing you have to bother with in the morning.
If you travel for work, and you’re staying in a hotel with plans to check out the next morning, pack your bag with everything except your toiletries and shower kit and the clothes and shoes you plan to wear the next day. If the room has a coffee maker that you intend to use, go ahead and prepare it for the morning as mentioned above.
I don’t drink coffee every morning, but for the days that I do, I have a wonderful, programmable coffee maker that I can set and forget the night before. It’s nice to wake up to the delightful aroma of fresh brewed coffee. I love that scent, especially first thing in the morning.
2. Let there be light!
After your alarm has gone off, and you’ve peeled yourself off of the bed, the first thing that you need is light, and lots of it. Light not only helps to convince those sleepy eyes to open (after a substantial amount of squinting, of course), but light also helps the melanin – the chemical released in the body when it’s dark in order to trigger your body to become sleepy – to begin reducing in your body, which alerts the brain (much more effectively than any alarm clock) that it’s time to be awake and begin the day. I don’t mean the weak lighting in your bathroom as you stumble toward the shower either. We’re talking the brightest light in your residence, and just for good measure, turn on several other lights as well.
Personally, the first thing that I like to do after getting out of bed is to sit down at my computer for 10 minutes and find out what’s going on in the world by reading news online. This serves a dual purpose. My computer monitor is obviously a bright light, and I’m staring directly into it, which helps me to wake up. Also, reading forces my brain into immediate action, really helping the engine to get going. As a bonus, this helps me to stay knowledgeable about current events.
Water is essential to the health and well-being of your brain and body. This is every bit as important as any other step in the morning routine. Your internal organs need water, your skin needs it, your brain, your joints, your muscles, and your mouth all need it, especially because you’ve just gone several hours without it.
On my way to the computer for my 10 minutes of news reading each morning, I stop in the kitchen and fill a tall glass with water to sip while I’m at my desk. Once I’ve finished my water and my news reading time is up, I’m mentally wide awake and ready to do some stretching!
4. Stretch and exercise
Exercise is obviously part of a healthy lifestyle. Give yourself a few minutes to do some every morning, even if you already do it in the afternoon or evening. Help your body to loosen up in preparation for the day by stretching and performing a few exercises. Take this time to clear your head as well.
After I’ve left my desk, I like to spend another 10 minutes stretching and performing a simple exercise or two. It helps to loosen up my joints, neck, and back, and gets my heart and blood pumping. I perform various stretches followed by crunches or push-ups, or even jumping jacks (or a combination of the 3). After this, I’m now physically wide awake as well. I then proceed to the shower, where I can bathe in less than half of the amount of time now that I’m wide awake that it would have taken me had I just staggered into the shower as soon as I fell out of bed.
Light? Check. Water? Check. Exercise? Check. Presumably, you’re now showered and dressed with your hair done as well, so what’s next? Food! Eat a nutritional breakfast. If you want to get the right start to have a great day, this is vital. Forget the fast food McBreakfasts, and don’t substitute some sugary cereal or pastry for a nutritional breakfast.
I won’t go into all of the various things that I like to eat for breakfast, but let’s just say that I like a balanced breakfast, spread over multiple food groups. It usually involves a couple of strips of turkey bacon, scrambled eggs, perhaps a whole grain bagel or occasionally whole grain pancakes, and it always includes orange juice.
6. Do you have kids?
If so, give them a morning schedule. Why follow a morning routine yourself if you’re not going to have your kids follow one? Children need structure even more than we do. Write out a plan of action for them that includes each task they need to perform every morning, the order in which to perform them, and the amount of time in which they have to perform each individual task. Obviously, the younger they are, the more of your help they will require. However, if they are old enough to get ready for school on their own, then help them work on on following their new schedule precisely. Once they have mastered it, it will make your mornings go much more smoothly.
Obviously, I have not included every single step that one might go through in a typical morning, such as applying makeup for women, shaving, and so on. The point of this article is not to plan out every minute detail of your morning, but rather it is to give you bullet points. The idea is to give you a few tips and to serve as an outline which you can use to develop an efficient and structured morning routine around in order to have a morning which is as stress-free as possible. Hopefully, this process will help you to get started in the right direction each morning to have a great day.
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