Having a consistent morning routine is important because it sets you up for the day, ensuring that you’re ready to tackle any challenges that arise and puts you in a good mood so that you look forward to waking up. A morning that is rushed is unlikely to result in a productive and focused day. I encourage you to rethink your usual habit and turn it into one that leaves you feeling energised yet calm at the same time, happy but focused, with clear intentions for the day. Before we get to the ‘creating our perfect routine’ part, I want to take you through my current daily ritual. Of course if you prefer, you can skip right over this and go straight to the creating section of this post.
My morning routine
Lately, as I’ve tried to build a good habit centred on what I do in the early hours of the day, I have found that my morning routine has evolved to include important things that keep me productive: such as journaling, deep breathing or meditation (whatever you like to call it) and light exercise.
The very first thing I do when I wake up is obviously brush my teeth, then I have a shower followed by some sort of breakfast. I’m usually not that hungry first thing in the morning so instead of eating breakfast straight away, I’ll have a cup of coffee, hot water with lemon or green tea.
Then I will open up my diary and write down my intentions for the day, what I’m grateful for, my daily mantra as well as my motto in life (so that I am constantly reminding myself of my goals as well as working towards them), what my exercise and diet plans look like for the day and any other notes I need to make to keep me focused. Once that’s done, it’s on to my very short meditation ritual.
For meditation, I simply sit and breathe deeply. Breathe in for two seconds and breathe out for two seconds. Breathe in for three seconds. Breathe out for three seconds. And repeat. I do this for about two minutes which is not long, I know, but I feel that it’s always good to start off slow and build up. As I get better at it, I will make these solo sessions lengthier.
I’m not one of those people who can exercise intensely first thing in the morning so the hardest thing I’ll do is either go for a long walk or do some basic yoga stretches. Somewhere in between, I will try to eat something healthy like cereal with milk or some sort of eggs. And to be honest, a lot of times my breakfast choices aren’t healthy at all. Croissant, anyone?
I really enjoy the early hours of my day and try to keep to the same ritual as much as I can. Of course, it’s not always easy, especially when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. On those days, when I just can’t do my morning routine for whatever reason, I find that the day just isn’t the same. I don’t feel happy, I don’t feel grateful, I’m extra grumpy and I don’t get as much done (if anything at all) as I would have had I completed my morning routine. So I think it’s really important to build a habit and stick with it, regardless of what kind of day you’ve woken up to, because as soon as you do you’ll find it’s much easier to cope.
With that in mind, let’s see how we can turn our daily morning practice into something special…
How to create the perfect morning routine
- Start off right. Before you get out of bed, smile and greet the day. What do I mean by this? Well, try to mentally prepare yourself for a nice and productive day by thinking positive thoughts and looking forward to your morning routine. Be grateful that it’s a new day and you get a second chance to improve your life.
- Blast off or slow it down. If you love music and find that it pumps you up, why not blast some music as soon as you get up to put you in a good mood. Choose whatever music makes you smile and feel empowered. If on the other hand, this is not possible, or you’d rather a quiet morning then why not tune in to your breathing for a few minutes. You don’t have to do anything but sit cross-legged and close your eyes, breathing normally. You’ll find it will instantly relax you.
- Let the fresh air in. Now that you’re up and pumped up or relaxed, open the windows and breathe in some fresh air. You can literally stick your head out and inhale the fresh air, which should make you feel more alert. Then, make your bed, brush your teeth, have a shower and brew some coffee or go for a walk.
- Drink up. If you’re like me, then you probably look forward to that cup of something warm as soon as you get up. As much as I love my coffee, I would suggest you opt for tea or hot water with lemon pre breakfast. Remember: no sugar. Take your time to really enjoy the drink and don’t rush. Unless of course you’re running late for work! To avoid this from happening, set aside some minutes before you need to get ready for work for some quality solo time.
- Write. It’s now time to get your thoughts onto paper. What you write is up to you but here are a few suggestions. Write down 3 to 5 things that you’re grateful for. It could be anything from your morning cup of coffee to the loyal partner that you have. You can also write down a daily mantra or your motto for life – something you promise to stick to no matter what. For instance, a very common life philosophy many people follow is ‘seize the day’. This will act as a reminder for you to always do your best to make the most out of life and stay present.
- Exercise. You may choose to do this before you have your breakfast or after. You can choose from anything you like, be it yoga or running. You can pick the intensity that you’re comfortable with, from light to intense. Always remember to start off slow and build up. And of course you can do a few minutes like I do (and still benefit from the workout) or a longer session. It’s up to you.
- Eat. Now that you’ve taken some time to exercise, journal and meditate, it’s time to whip up some delicious, healthy and energising breakfast. I love eggs in the morning in the form of an omelette, scrambled or fried. I also love smashed avocado on toast or some good ol’ oats with cinnamon and berries. For some breakfast ideas, just click on this link. When you have your breakfast, make sure to really savour it. Food tastes better when you slow down to appreciate it and do nothing else.
So there you have it. This should create the bulk of your morning routine. But if you want to add some extra sparkle to your morning, then please read on…
If you have some extra time or want to make your morning that extra bit special:
- Listen to a podcast. I love podcasts because not only do they provide useful information on topics you’re interested in but you can listen to them while you do other things. So instead of sitting on the train doing nothing while you travel to work, pop in your headphones and gain some insight.
- Browse. Yup. Browsing your favourite website (as long as it’s not overdone) can be a great way to add to that quality alone time.
- Read a book. If you can, spend a little time every morning reading a chapter or a few pages (whatever you can afford of your time) of a book. It can be a fiction or non fiction book. I generally prefer to read non fiction in the mornings but you can choose whichever one you like.
- Write down some positive thoughts. Use sticky notes to put down some words that will motivate you if you feel run down at any given time of the day. You can also look for some quotes that will motivate you to do your best.
- Hum or play a little tune. It’s amazing how singing releases those feel-good hormones. Sing a little tune to make your mornings that extra bit special. If you like to play an instrument, schedule some time to practice a little as part of your early ritual.
- Light some candles. This isn’t part of my morning routine but some people find that lighting candles helps them to meditate or relax.
- Pamper yourself. After you shower, lather on some moisturiser over your face and body. If you have some time to spare, you can also do a face or body scrub pre shower and doll yourself up with a bright lipstick for that added boost of confidence. Paint your nails if you’re feeling extra bold and dress for the occasion.
- Have a big breakfast. On Sundays, spending time with family for a lot of people is a must. To show your appreciate for your loved ones, you can get up extra early on those days and cook up some big breakfast. A few ideas include a big English breakfast, French toast with berries, pancakes or muffins.
That’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful. Remember the secret to the perfect morning routine is to adjust it to your liking. Whatever has you excited to get up in the morning, include it in your daily ritual. Your daily practice might vary from day to day but try to keep the bulk of your morning routine the same as this will help you form a habit.
Have a great day!