What Makes a Mindful Morning Routine
The more you can visualise how you want your morning to look, the better. It REDUCES STRESS, SETS THE TONE for your day and also gives you a REASON TO GET UP when the alarm goes off, rather than hitting snooze. If you have kids, the school run or work to get to, then it’s pretty much laid out for you – but you can still enrich the time by establishing a few simple habits. If you have a little more freedom in your mornings, then creating a routine for yourself could positively impact your wellbeing and productivity for the whole day – not just the morning.
PLAN YOUR DAY THE NIGHT BEFORE
This is a stress reliever. As human beings, we search for meaning and purpose – whether in the short term or long term. That’s why identifying a goal, however big, leads to positive emotion in some sense. Working towards something gives us a sense of purpose. Waking up and acknowledging exactly what it is that we’re going to work towards that day sets us up in the right way. It can be a goal for the first hour or the first 4 hours, but either way, it should be SOMETHING YOU VALUE. A work goal, a fitness goal, a social goal or a mixture. Once you’ve established your goal/goals, NOTE IT DOWN and plan when you aim to do it and commit to it.
GO TO BED AND WAKE UP AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY
It’s not always achievable when personal circumstances arise, but we can certainly aim to keep to a sleeping schedule. Not only can good rest and sleep habits aid towards good physical health (helping to regulate many hormones) but it also encourages our body to function at an optimal level. This means first thing in the morning you have a better chance of being more spritely and less groggy.
EAT A DECENT BREAKFAST THAT WILL FILL YOU FOR LONGER
A HIGH PROTEIN or WHOLE-GRAIN food is the best way to go here. Not only do both of these promote good physical health (protein for cell maintenance and repair and wholegrain for lowering cholesterol and unclogging arteries) but combined they will fill you up!
Registered dietician Maxine Palmer says “Simple carbohydrates are not satisfying. You’ll eat them and eat them and it will take a long time to feel satisfied. Proteins are different, Proteins trigger the ‘fullness’ hormone quicker”.
So your breakfast doesn’t have to be huge, but if you can find some whole grains and proteins, it’s likely you’ll be fuller for longer and able to concentrate on your productivity without getting distracted by mid-morning hunger or snacking habits. A scoop of powdered protein in some wholegrain porridge is a great shout!
DRINK A GLASS OF WATER SOON AFTER WAKING UP
Maintaining good HYDRATION is vital throughout the day, but about how roughly many hours we go through at night without replenishing our body with water! That’s a long time to go without so drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up will help balance you out. If you can manage two glasses, even better! It will improve your alertness first thing by fuelling your brain and your muscles. It will also make that first cup of coffee taste extra nice!
AVOID SCREEN TIME
Whether it’s checking emails or scrolling social media feeds, your device can be a real distraction if you give it too much time first thing in the morning. It can easily stall you on starting the day and it can knock your priorities and routine out of sync. Social media especially has been linked to increased levels of stress and anxiety in both adults and children and it’s addictive nature means it can be difficult to stop scrolling once started. What starts off as a quick 2-minute glance turns into 20 minutes of unproductive time you’ll never get back. Remember, your time is important, so avoid this at all costs!
FIT IN SOME EXERCISE
The magic of exercise. This could be anything as energetic as going for a walk or jog to following a nice long stretch or yoga class. Something that moves your body and gets the blood pumping a little will do wonders for both the body and mind first thing in the morning. It sets you up for a healthier day all around and creates mindfulness with regards to fuelling your body properly too. Physical activity relieves stress and is strongly linked with improvements in self-confidence.