Life comes at you fast.
Everyone knows that life can be stressful, sometimes even overwhelming. You wake up, tired as always, and feel your body shift into autopilot mode, walking through the steps of your usual morning routine. Maybe you showered last night so you have more time to make breakfast. Or maybe you woke up late and have to rush to catch the train.
No matter how much time you have in the morning, it’s important to incorporate as many healthy habits as you can into your routine. The time you have before a full workday may seem insignificant, but the more you work to create a morning routine that works for you, the more you’ll get out of it.
To keep up with Community Manager Advancement Day and the theme of self-care, we’ll discuss each of these morning habits and how they can change your morning routine for the better.
Creating your ideal morning routine
Everyone’s morning is going to look different. For starters, the schedule difference between a nurse and a financial officer is completely different. Some mornings may be hard and challenging, becoming almost impossible to get out of bed. But there are times when you wake up in a great mood, ready to take on the day.
No matter how much time you allow yourself in the morning to get ready, there are plenty of habits you can add to your usual routine. You may not be able to incorporate the following eight habits into your routine every day, but taking the time to try is the most important.
1. Avoid technology
It’s easy to wake up and immediately grab your phone to check what you may have missed during the night, but doing so can stunt the morning’s productivity. If the first thing you look at when you wake up is a Twitter feed full of bad news or Instagram posts that only trigger your FOMO, you’re creating a reactive mindset instead of a proactive one.
News is rarely positive so reading an article about war, crime, or corruption just after you open your eyes will put you in a defensive mood from the moment you wake up. Instead of reaching for your phone or laptop, take that time to lay on your back with your eyes open, thinking about what you want to accomplish during the day. This way, you can wake up your body slowly with a peaceful and determined mindset.
2. Open the blinds
Sunlight is a not-so-secret weapon. It’s one of the best ways to wake your body up naturally so there’s a reason why we’ve included it on this list. If you keep your blinds shut as you get ready for the day, you may find yourself struggling to wake up. Opening your door to step into the sunlight can be jarring if you’ve been wallowing in your dark apartment for the better half of an hour.
This tip also goes for phones and computers. A phone screen with full brightness is never a welcome sight so make sure to turn it down before you go to sleep. To avoid an abrupt start to the morning, try leaving your bedroom blinds cracked open a bit. This way, the sunlight can stream in naturally and help you wake up.
3. Drink a full glass of water
It’s been at least six hours since your last sip of water so it’s time to hydrate. Aim to drink an 8 oz. glass of water at the start of your day for maximum refreshment. Feeling the water travel down your throat and chest is a great way to come into your body.
You can even practice the technique of adding some lemon to a warm glass of water. This helps to remove toxins from the digestive tract you’ve built up overnight and stimulates digestion and metabolism.
Some see it as cliche but reflecting on your day and meditating can help you refocus yourself on your goals. Even if you only have two minutes to spare, sitting in a relaxed position and focusing on resetting your mindset can improve the day’s clarity and set the tone for the rest of the day.
During this time, you can set your intention for the day. You may need to focus on completing a project or working with a new team member. When you focus on what you want out of the day, you help yourself to actually achieve those goals.
Yes, it’s hard to motivate yourself to go to the gym right when you wake up. It’s easier to blow it off and say you’ll go tomorrow but not all exercise is an intense and sweaty workout. A simple walk around the block, ten minutes of yoga, or a set of sit-ups or push-ups can get you moving and ready for the day.
No one’s exercise routine will be the same. Figure out what works for you and put it in your calendar to keep you accountable. It doesn’t have to be intense or even require you to leave your house! Just getting your body moving and your blood pumping will distract you from the worries of the day.
6. Make yourself a healthy breakfast
You’ve heard it a million times. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Just like exercising in the morning, your breakfast doesn’t have to be a lavish event. By simply making time to cook a healthy breakfast with good fats, lean protein, and whole grains, you’re giving yourself a great source of energy to start your day with a better ability to focus effectively.
7. Take time to put yourself together
When you feel good about your appearance, you can feel the confidence radiating off of you. Putting in the time to get ready will build self-confidence and help you worry less during the day. Take a hot shower, cleanse your face, comb through your hair, brush your teeth, and pick out an outfit that makes you feel good.
A handy tip to save time is to pick out your clothes, pack a lunch, and gather anything you may need to bring in to work the night before. Little things like this can reduce stress and make your morning ten times more enjoyable.
8. Start a to-do list
As your morning begins, think about the goals you want to set for the day. This can be anything from organizing a meeting you’ve been putting off, taking your dog to the groomer, or planning a date night. Try to limit your to-do list to five main goals, this way it’s less daunting and more realistic.
Once you’ve come up with these goals, write them down in a notebook or in your project management app (wherever it’s more convenient). Rank them on priority so you can tackle the most important tasks first. Writing them down instead of keeping them inside your head helps to create physical goals rather than keep them as abstract thoughts. You’ll have a sense of purpose as you leave the house and set off for the day.
Plus, you get to cross them off once they’re done which is always satisfying.
So go on, take the day by storm! No matter if you adopt all eight of these habits into your morning routine or just a few, you’re already winning. The morning should be a time for reflection and motivation. A good start to the morning will boost your productivity throughout the day.
Now that you’ve taken time to revamp your morning, you’re headed to work. Learn how to prioritize your time when it comes to meetings, project management, or building out your schedule for the week and learn how to incorporate time management to boost productivity.