Morning Habits for Enhancing Your Whole Day
Developing a consistent morning routine has been the core of my self-care/self-love practice. I’m one of those go-go-go people, which can be a good thing, but comes with flaws, too.
The #1 worst thing my high-energy persona threw at me over the past few years has been anxiety. Getting anxious and up-tight over the tiniest things was becoming normal for me, and whenever something happened that threw me off course even just a little bit, I would let it completely sabotage my entire day. THE WORST.
It honestly took me a pretty long time to even realize that I had anxiety. I just assumed it was normal, but after going through some 'events', if you will, over the past year or so, I did some soul searching, went to therapy (yep, that's probably news to you reading this), and lo and behold, a lot of my 'issues' & 'bad habits' stemmed from anxiety.
I'm super into personal growth and trying to be the best version of myself, so I did all the things I could think of to try and find ways to lessen the anxious feelings that would, at times, totally take over me. I got a little nerdy, did my research, talked to different people, went to therapy, listened to experts on different podcasts, etc.
I found that a solid, controlled morning routine was discussed and emphasized in everything I read/listened to to combat anxiety. A proactive morning will help you feel like you control your day, not the other way around.
I was convinced to give it a try.
Fast forward to today and I have a morning routine that I consistently follow pretty much every day. I’m not saying you should do the same exact things that I do, because no one's mornings look the same and everyone has different schedules, but these tips below are meant to serve more-so as ideas you can build off of to incorporate into your own morning ritual.
Try out different things and see what works for you. Then be consistent with it. Don’t get lazy and give up on it…trust me, it’s completely worth it and will set the tone for the rest of your day. We don’t get an infinity amount of days, so making the most of them is important!
Set the cell aside.
Do not check your phone first thing. So many of us are in the habit of turning off our alarms and checking our social channels or emails/texts immediately after. It’s the first thing we do. That’s a HORRIBLE way to start the day, especially if you’re watching someone’s stories that make you feel envious because they’re on some glamorous vacation, or they have the best life ever. Remember, Instagram especially, is someone’s highlight reel. Checking social media, or email, etc. first thing in the morning is almost guaranteed to raise your cortisol levels (aka stress levels) and that’s a crap way to start the day. Try to put off checking your phone for at least the first 30 minutes after waking up. Do something instead that will increase your happy hormones, like stretching, drinking some coffee or tea, meditating, etc.
Make your bed.
Making your bed is more than a childhood chore your parents forced on you when you were a kid. When you make your bed right after you get up, it gives you a small sense of satisfaction because you already accomplished something, which then in turn will lead you to wanting to accomplish more and more. Formula for productivity—and who doesn’t love being productive?! Plus, your bed is your ‘me space’, so keep it clean & tidy.
A messy bed=a messy head.
Stretch it out.
This doesn’t have to look like a full-on yoga situation, but just some light stretching to get your blood flowing and help boost your mood first thing. Stretching right after waking up feels SO good, but just be careful not to overdo it and try getting too bendy if you’re stiff. That’s cause for injury, so try to be in tune with your body while stretching.
Just a simple 5-minute stretch can be so beneficial for your body AND your mind.
This is one I’ve been working on the most, because, if I’m being honest, I’ve always been TERRIBLE at drinking water. It’s never been uncommon for me to get to the end of the day and not be able to recall even having a sip of water. That’s so bad! I’m up early training clients, so I’ve made it a habit to bring the same water bottle down to the gym with me in the morning and will drink a liter of water throughout my morning. To be completely transparent, I made the commitment to myself that I can’t eat until I drink the whole thing…even wrote it down and stuck it to my fridge to remind myself of my ‘commandment’ every morning and hold myself accountable. I made that promise to myself, and I like to eat, so it does the trick! Maybe it doesn’t take my psychotic method for you to make sure you drink enough water, but do what ya gotta do to make sure you get that H2O in the morning, because staying hydrated keeps you more awake, alert, and energized, amongst many other benefits.
Create a motivating ‘To-Do’ list.
Set yourself up for success by writing down a daily to-do list.
Try to make a “Top 3” list of the three things you REALLY want/need to get done by the end of the day. That could be anything work or personal related, ranging from tasks like getting a workout in, to something like completing a presentation for a work meeting. Going over your to-do list has the potential to get you excited for your day, and can help give you the satisfaction of completing what you set out to do.
I hope these tips are useful for you & that if you don't yet have a consistent morning routine, you change that and make one.
You don't need to have anxiety to benefit from this practice. It's beneficial for so many aspects of your life, and it just makes you feel like a badass when you're in control of your day.
You can't win the day if you don't win the morning!