Mornings are arguably the most essential part of your day. According to research and experts, they have an incredible influence on the rest of the day. Consequently, having a clear and structured morning routine can boost your energy, productivity, and positivity throughout the day. But you may wonder what is the procedure that can unlock these superpowers?
While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, through this editorial we will give you our advice on how to get more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.
The best way to start the morning right is by:
- Starting the day before
If you are used to the morning rush and anxiety, try to prepare and plan ahead by laying out your clothes, preparing breakfast and lunch in advance, or getting your bag ready for work the night before. Waking up, you will feel the accomplishment of having already lightened your morning tasks and made room for other more important activities.
Speaking of tasks, coming up with a clear and short to-do list has proved its efficiency amongst the most successful individuals. As a matter of fact, writing down specific plans, actions or goals helps you to believe you can achieve it all and directs you to make more productive decisions throughout the day.
Sleep plays a crucial role in your emotional regulation, so getting to bed early is essential in making your morning more enjoyable and practicable. It is no secret that getting a full nights rest increases your ability to become an early riser, and getting a head start with your day.
- Eat a protein rich breakfast.
Whether you're a 'breakfast person' or not, that first meal of the day is one of the keys to setting yourself up for a productive morning. Research has shown that those who eat breakfast have more energy than those who wait until lunch.
Opt for a balanced breakfast that contains protein, healthy fats, fibre and complex carbohydrates. You don’t need to feast first thing in the morning but a healthy snack and lots of water is all that’s needed to start the day off right.
Whatever you end up starting your day with, it is true that you should hydrate with a glass of water, ideally as soon as you wake up. According to Lee Chambers, an environmental psychologist and well-being consultant in Britain: “It gives us increased cognitive function, allowing us more clarity of mind, can elevate our mood and energy, and promotes more balanced emotional regulation and takes less than a minute.”
- Get into a proactive mindset by having quiet time and practicing gratitude
Draw your curtains and blinds and let the natural light in, letting it energize you. Exposing yourself to sunlight in the morning can improve your alertness and energy during the day.
Light up some incense cones like the ones from VON for a calming and gentle waking environment. Go for the Mandarin Citrus scent to help energize you and awaken your scenes.
Then do some breathing exercises for ideally 15 to 30 minutes. “While we don’t have voluntary control over some of these bodily sensations, we do have control over our breathing, and we can use our breath to help induce a more relaxed state.” saysc Gina Delucca, a clinical psychologist at Wellspace SF.
Those deep, nourishing inhalations and exhalations stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, producing a sense of calm.
“To begin, try to spend a few minutes each morning sitting or lying in a comfortable position, closing your eyes and taking a few slow, controlled, deep breaths”
Whether it’s through a guided mediation or in silence, do a ‘full body scan’ so to speak:
Start at the top of your head, bringing awareness to each body part, releasing tension from that area as you slowly work your way down to your toes.
During your meditation try to visualise your day. Starting the morning with intention creates a sense of calm and confidence that makes the rest of the day seem more manageable, can broaden your perspective, and give a more proactive outlook on the day.
Practising gratitude first thing in the morning will also give you the best chance of starting off on a positive and productive note. Take a moment to reflect on all the good in your life. You can list a few things in your mind, share them with a partner or child, or write them down in a journal.
- Stimulate your body
Do some light stretching to get your blood flowing. It could be yoga, walking, running, dancing, cycling, strength-training or stretching.
Exercise increases production of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, which enhances the body’s ability to deal with stressors, improves your mood by giving you a boost of endorphins and creates a sense of accomplishment at the start of your day.
Research shows that you are more creative and productive for the two hours following exercise. It also shows that people who exercise regularly are less stressed at work and are more able to maintain a work-life balance. People who exercise during the workday report improved moods and an increased ability to deal with the demands of work and their day.
If you can: taking a walk outdoors is a very calming, grounding way to begin the day.
“It is also great as it gets sunlight into our eyes, stimulating serotonin, which boosts our mood,” Chambers said. “It also ignites our senses, as the wind hits our face, sounds of the environment fill our ears and we smell the external world. It makes us mindful and eases our worries in the process.”
After moving your body, taking an invigorating shower is a great way to complete your awakening. Try slightly colder water, for an invigorating boost. To elevate your grounding experience, use an exfoliating bar of soap like the citrus bar by TANAKA to inhale energising scents.
After your shower, using a nice deodorant like the SC.01 Ext. Orange Grove Deodorant Balm by AKT, followed by a gentle face massage with a the Guy Morgan Gua Sha stone will help you to awaken and revive your senses and take control of your body. To complete your routine and to prepare and protect your skin for a busy day in the city, use the Rejuvenating Botanical Serum by d’still and the City Screen Face Serum by AMLY.
For a successful morning ritual, try to be as intentional and consistent as possible when creating your own. Each activity will serve as a cue for the next and will become a habit that over time will become second nature and your morning routine will flow seamlessly.
Ultimately, be kind to yourself and don’t be too hard on yourself, “Expect that there will be difficult moments and connect with your internal voice that offers kind words and encouragement along the way” said therapist Lynsie Seely.
If you do manage to keep your morning ritual sustainable, give yourself some praise!