If you’re like many Americans, you wake up to the unwelcome sound of a smartphone, feeling tired and unrested. You rush through the bare minimum of a routine without eating as much as a bowl of cereal. You’re just trying to head out the door as soon as possible. Jump-start your morning with these 7 great ideas.
Does it have to be this way?
It may feel like you’re using your time efficiently by living this way, but there are costs to starting your day the hectic way. Alternatively, if you invest in yourself from the time you wake up to the time you leave your house, you’ll be setting yourself up for a happy, productive day and long-term success.
So, give these self-loving and healthy ideas a try. Live the life you want to live and treat yourself to the standard that you deserve. Reinvigorate your day every morning.
Wake Up Early (2 Hours Early)
First things first. If you’re going to create your ideal morning routine, you’ll need to have time for it. Wake up at least two hours before you need to be somewhere. (Keep in mind that it will take about 30 minutes to simply get ready.)
That might mean you’ll shift your work schedule to start a little later, or that you’ll go to bed earlier. Don’t worry. Once you give your new morning routine a try, you’ll see how enjoyable and important it is, and the motivation will take care of itself.
Perform a Mini Stretching Routine
Even for those with a sedentary lifestyle, 10 minutes of stretching will be well worth the time, without making you feel overwhelmed. The beauty of yoga and similar mind/body systems is that they adjust to your needs and level. Simple stretches and exercises feel good, yet can be adjusted to be as challenging as is beneficial for you.
Find an online routine to quickly overcome that morning stiffness and grogginess. Put yourself in a calm, energetic state of mind.
Review Yourself: Your Plans, Goals, Beliefs
Of course, you can never overlook the daily planner, but a thorough review of you will focus on the long-term and exactly how it impacts your short-term plans and actions. What are your top 3 values? Where do you see yourself in 3 years and what can you do today to move closer to that goal? Revisiting these questions daily will force you to be honest with yourself and be creative in how you overcome the obstacles to your goals.
Are you unused to preparing breakfast at home? The easiest, most flexible, most nutritious solution is the smoothie. Even if you don’t give the rest of your meals the same thought, you’ll have already given your body its healthy treat: fruits, greens, and (hopefully) a healthy protein source. Try using a plant milk base, and the possibilities are endless. A simple Google search will yield more recipes than you’d ever need.
Brain and Heart
It’s important to have some active leisure time at the beginning of your day. Dedicate a little time to reading a book — even 10 minutes. Reading has been proven to increase memory, reduce stress, and boost overall mental health.
Beyond reading, ask yourself what creative pursuits interest you? Have you been meaning to start a blog, do you enjoy playing guitar or drawing? Making one of these things a dedicated part of your day will teach you to value yourself and will dispense with the commonly heard statement, “I used to love doing that, but I just don’t have time for it anymore.” Take little steps daily, simply because you enjoy them.
Cleaning is an easy way to give yourself the feeling of accomplishment. It’s unavoidable, so tackle it head-on. Pick one small area for light cleaning or organization. It won’t take long but will reconnect you with your living space and save you time later on.
When you start your day with accomplishments, no matter how small, you make everything else in your life feel that much easier. It will also save you time: Taking care of your health will keep you from sick days; keeping your life organized will eliminate careless errors, whether forgetting your car keys while in a rush or wasting time on an activity that isn’t really what you want.
By making a practice out of self-care and self-reflection, you ensure that you’ll be moving your life in the right direction. You’ll enjoy the journey as well.