My routine in the morning used to be sporadic; it changed at the whim of my sleep from the night before or the contrast of the temperature outside to under my covers. But over the last few years, I’ve developed a routine that allows me peace, productivity, and appreciation all before most people are getting started with their day. Here are a few of the things I’ve found helpful when starting my day.
Getting Up Early
What time you get up is relative to your schedule; however, the benefits I believe can be tremendous. Personally, I get up at 5 am every morning and enjoy the silence and alone time before the chaos of the day ensures. This extra time in the morning allows me not to feel rushed or anxious. I can stop and breathe, enjoy the little rituals before getting the kids up and ready for work. I can’t impress the importance of how getting up just a little earlier can improve the quality of your thought and mood for the rest of the day.
Make My Bed
I know everyone says this needs to be part of your morning routine, but it’s true. This is a chance to start your day by accomplishing something right away. It also is a signal to your brain that you’re prepared to begin. I can’t say that I personally acknowledge this part of my routine as much as I should because it’s become such a habit. But I know what it feels like when I see my bed undone, and it makes me feel like it needs tending to.
I never used to eat breakfast or appreciate eating earlier in the day, but the fact is that this is the foundation of your day and where you will pull your energy. When I prepare breakfast, I think that this is the meal that will help me carry out all the activities and work I have to do. Therefore, when preparing my morning meal, I make it balanced and fresh.
“One consequential change is that people used to get most of their calories at breakfast and midday, with only the evening top-up at suppertime. Now those intakes are almost exactly reversed. Most of us consume the bulk — a sadly appropriate word here — of our calories in the evening and take them to bed with us, a practice that doesn’t do any good at all.” ― Bill Bryson
Reflect On The Good
It’s so valuable to stop and appreciate what you have in this life. I used to write in a planner each morning and focus on productivity. This was helpful but, at times, rigorous. So, I’ve been keeping a journal regularly for almost a year now that focuses on appreciation. The value of getting your thoughts out and realizing the good in your life can increase your happiness exponentially. What we focus on is what the universe tends to give us more of. Whether you’re sitting and drinking coffee, going on a walk, or writing it down, take the time to reflect on the good. Everyone has something of value to acknowledge; find yours.
I’ve previously written an article about meditation and the benefits I’ve received from it. Sitting silently and focusing your attention on the current moment rather than the busy day ahead is such a relief. I love to start my day feeling grounded and focused. Mediation is the key to this feeling for me.
“Your mind, emotions, and body are instruments and the way you align and tune them determines how well you play life.” — Harbhajan Singh Yogi
It’s important to have a thought to stimulate and invigorate you each day. I’ve used The Daily Stoic for just such perspective. Every single day is a new idea for me to conceptualize and make my own.
“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.” ― Roy T. Bennett
Connect to Your Body
Every morning do something to get your body going. I’ve switched this part of my routine up. Most of the time, I like to go for a walk with my dog, Ella. Other times I’ve done yoga or stretching, anything to get my body started for the day and get me connected with it.
“How would your life be different if…You were conscious about the food you ate, the people you surround yourself with, and the media you watch, listen to or read? Let today be the day. You pay attention to what you feed your mind, your body, and your life. Create a nourishing environment conducive to your growth and well-being today.” ― Steve Maraboli