You may have heard all the stories about how good waking up at 5 am will make you successful. No matter how hard you try waking up that early is not for everybody. Our bodies have the rhythm in which they function best. Do not forget that every day has 24 hours so you have time on your hands if you use it wisely. But your morning routine can set the mood up for the rest of your whole day. Starting your morning the right way will make your day more productive and having multiple similar days will lead to you having better control of your life. Therefore today I will talk about the morning routine that will increase the quality of your life.
Preparation The Night Before
Having a good morning routine starts the night before. You do not want to wake up and directly start thinking about how you have to organize your day. Make your morning easier and the rest of your day smoother as you focus on simple, yet important, things. Them being what you should wear, what to eat for breakfast or what tasks you should tackle first. All of that you can do the night before.
Start keeping a journal, for organizing and self-managing purposes. Journal is a strong tool to use as you can optimize different aspects of your life. Writing down your schedule and exactly in which type of way you will do things the next day will make you get into the flow and not have to answer all of those questions to yourself as soon as you wake up. Your mind will be clear as you already know what I ahead of you, leaving more time to focus on yourself in the morning.
You may even start writing down how your day was, what your felt, or what you would want to improve in yourself and how. Putting your feelings down on paper will relieve your thoughts from your head. Of course, you always choose what you want to write down.
Morning Routine: Wake Up The Right Way!
No More Snoozing
The hardest part of every day, for most of us, is waking up. Nothing feels better than the feeling of warm sheets and drifting away to sleep again. Especially if is still dark and cold outside. Am I right? That is why you need to set up yourself for success and jump straight out of the bed.
No more having that unrestful 5-10min sleep before the next alarm sets off. Now I know. This is easier said than done you must be thinking.
That is why you should give read to a book called“ The 5-second rule” by Mel Robbins. In the book, she says that you should count from 5 to 1 and get up right after. This is a rule that you should follow.
Why stop there? While you’re at it, tidy up your bed as well. There is a sense of accomplishment that you feel when you wake up straight away and make up your bed. The energy boost you get from not procrastinating is one of the best feelings out there if you ask me.
This still may be hard for some of you out there. You just have a hard time waking up, especially when done by the annoying sounds of alarm clock. Therefore you should try the wake-up lamp. A lamp that gradually turns on the light. Brighter and brighter the closer it gets to your waking-up time. Now you can wake up naturally without any stressful feeling of disturbing sounds waking you up.
The typical human need 8 hours of sleep every night.
Your body works to repair muscle and organ function while you are in deep sleep. You even fight off potential viruses and falling ill as your blood starts cycling more immune-supporting substances through your body. We don’t move or drink any water when we sleep, which causes us to get dehydrated and cause our muscles and joints to stiffen.
You wake up with a dehydrated body.
You need some water because you haven’t had any liquids at all while you’ve been sleeping for about 8 hours! Therefore drink at least two glasses of water as soon as you wake up. This is plenty to hydrate yourself and start your digestive processes. You may even lose weight by drinking water first thing in the morning. So I repeat, get some H2O in your body.
Morning Routine: Focus On Your Body And Mind
No Screen Time
You do not want to start your day by checking out your phone. Reading the latest news or going through your mail may trigger different emotions in you. In the worst-case scenario, it will be something stressful. Being under stress releases cortisol in your blood which can lead to different negative health effects, especially if it happens over longer periods of time.
Furthermore, going through your social media or other apps on your phone releases an excess amount of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that triggers feelings of pleasure in your brain. Now, if you get a dopamine kick from looking at your phone, you will want to feel that kick again. Usually, we do not notice those dopamine kicks from our screen times, especially in our society, as we are constantly on our phones or in front of the screen. This leads to us falling into a bad spiral and not getting anything done during our day, as we seek the same dopamine kick.
That is why I advise you to stay off your phone or screen for at least 1 hour of waking up.
Why not replace the dopamine kicks you get from your phone with practicing a bit of mindfulness? It is important to learn how to live in your presence and be with yourself. Get together with your emotions or how your body feels. The speed of working life gets in the way of us reconnecting with ourselves. When was the last time you took time to access how your body feels, and how your breath is flowing?
Try getting at least 10 min of concentrated breathing and meditation early in the morning. You can focus on different aspects of oneself. I usually try to breathe with my whole body, slow down my thinking and feel my body. Then I move on to repeating for myself what I am grateful for in my life. I as well try visualizing how good of a day I will have.
This is also easier said than done. Some of you may have a hard time doing all of this by yourself. That is why you can try a guided meditation. As long as you get any type of meditation in, it’s great!
I am aware that many people believe this to be practically impossible because it is not at all comfortable. But once you get into the habit of having a cold shower first thing in the morning, you’ll feel fantastic! Taking daily cold showers has great health benefits, which is why I include them in my morning routine. These are some of the benefits: Improves the immune system, lowers stress, improves blood circulation, and promotes fat loss. All of this will increase the quality of your life.
The shock of going under the cold water even releases adrenaline into your bloodstream which will make you more alert during the day. Therefore waking up and feeling sharper early in the morning will be easier.
Avoid Coffee Or Stimulants
Try avoiding drinking coffee or other caffeine drinks, energy drinks, for at least 1 to 1 and a half hour of walking up. There are arguments out there about coffee raising cortisol levels, aka stress hormone, or causing stomach problems. The arguments for these statements are not so solid so I won’t be talking about them. The reason why I would want you to try to avoid drinking coffee in the first hour or so is because of the coffee crash.
Let me be more specific. In the first hour, there is a specific neurotransmitter being released at high levels in your brain that causes you not to feel as tired. So if you take in the caffeine around the same time as your body combats tiredness naturally, you won’t get as great of an effect of this stimulus. After an hour or so the production of the mentioned specific neurotransmitter subsides.
So drinking coffee then will have a better effect, as well as you, avoid the infamous caffeine crash for a longer time.
Optional Morning Routine: Stretching
If you have time try to do some yoga or perform your own stretching routine, no matter how long it may be. Your body hasn’t been moving for the duration of your sleep. It would benefit from waking up as well with a little extra blood flow and mobility work. In the long run, your body and joints will thank you. Especially if you do not have a habit of stretching the night before.