Much like a sprinter comes out of the racing blocks, how you start your day plays a large part in how the rest of it will go.
Everyone has experienced a hectic morning. Running around, accidentally dropping a coffee, hustling family members to school, work, etc., and leaving an important document on the printer is one of the most infuriating – and humiliating – experiences. Thoughts of ‘Why can’t I do this better?’ play in your mind as you plan on how you will make a change.
It’s no surprise that a healthy morning routine will not only start your day with less stress but help you make time for the things that are important, such as working out or spending more time with family. Sounds almost impossible, right?
Remember every journey starts with a single step, and even a morning habit with occasional ‘misses’ will benefit you more than one you don’t do at all. Here are some morning routines that help you reach your health goals:
Sleep well with consistent timing
We have all been told to sleep more and heard the laundry list of ways to do it. The fact of the matter is, that most adults need eight hours of sleep to function well and more than a third of the population doesn’t get it.
Keeping regular sleep hours will allow your brain to get into a rhythm, making the morning wake-up call a little less disturbing. Choose sleep-and-wake hours that suit you and your lifestyle. If you have an early job, adjust accordingly! There is no one-size-fits-all bedtime, but sticking to a 30-minute window will get you to sleep faster than random bedtimes will.
Make some time
It seems like a no-brainer, but planning out your morning and giving yourself enough time to execute your plans is vital. Make sure to build in some free time in case of an extra snooze, too.
Move your body
Morning workouts and stretching have proved to promote mental clarity throughout the day! Working out creates a stronger mind-body connection, making little things like balance and ailments more noticeable.
Taking as little as 15 minutes to exercise in the morning can leave you feeling focused and accomplished, giving you a launchpad for the remainder of your day.
Fuel your body
Sometimes food is the last thing on your mind as you scramble through morning tasks. But what you eat and drink in the mornings can have a big impact on your mood and energy just a few hours later.
Breakfast foods high in protein and fiber are at the top of the list with their filling and energizing ingredients. Options like a turkey-sausage breakfast scramble, Greek yogurt parfait, and overnight oats and fruit are just a few options that fit the bill. When it comes to drinks, options like green tea and coffee can give you a little extra boost while plain old water remains king in the morning beverage category.
Journal and prioritize
Journaling can help calm a busy mind, allow you to practice gratitude, and make a plan for what’s next. At least 10 minutes of journaling lets you get any negative thoughts out onto paper and reset for the coming day. At the end of a journaling session, make a small list of things you’d like to do today and how you’re going to accomplish them.
Making a meaningful morning routine can not only simplify your day but improve your health. Choose one or two habits to take on and commit to for 30 days!
Morning pages are the brainchild of Julia Cameron, the author of The Writers Way, initially intended as a daily writing exercise to help writers and artists unblock from any mental resistance they may be facing. The idea is to grab a pen and paper upon first waking in the morning and write down every thought that comes into your brain completely uncensored.