Becoming a morning person is about as easy as hating to wake up early in the morning, very easy! But there is good news, all it comes down to is your morning routine.
What does it mean to have a morning routine? Don’t we all pretty much have some things that we do in the morning anyway?
Well yes, and no, the problem is that we all want to sleep for a little bit longer and be able to take our time in the morning before leaving home. Have you thought about what you are doing to help yourself get there? Or is it just a wish upon a star?
What does it mean to have a morning routine?
You don’t need to go to work to have a solid morning routine. The way you start your day will play an important role in the way the rest of it is going to pan out.
Especially when you are working and you need to wake up early. Not only do you need something to set you up for success, but also something that doesn’t feel like a chore.
A morning routine is a set of activities you do when you wake up to start your day. Some people say that making your bed in the morning is great because very early it gives you a sense of accomplishment that will motivate you to be productive. Something commonly practised in the army.
Parts of your morning routine could be dressing up, getting a shower, brushing your teeth and cooking breakfast. Your morning routine is going to depend on your needs.
Why should You have one
Your mornings define your day. Whether you are working or not you need something to set a dynamic tone early on and help power through for the hours that follow. You don’t need to be doing something extremely specific later on to set the tone early on. But if you do, a plan is going to benefit you massively.
When you are working:
Let me paint the picture here. The alarm goes off and oh no! It’s morning already and I need to be up and running. Let me grab another 5 minutes of sleep before storming out of bed and running for dear life to get ready.
No one should start their day like that.
Waking up rested in the morning is reason 1. Your morning routine starts the minute you go to bed at night. Don’t we all want to get enough sleep and wake up feeling rested? Flash news, you can do that even when you have to wake up early.
Reason 2, is to make weekday mornings feel like weekend mornings. This is actually far more simple than you think, the first thing to know is what makes you feel relaxed on a weekend morning, probably not being rushed!
Lastly, reason 3, leave the house in a brilliant mood! You can do that, most of the jobs I have worked required really early mornings and long journeys. None of these affected how rested I was feeling when the alarm would go off, how relaxed my mornings where and how brilliantly I felt when I was leaving the house.
When you are staying at home
Look, we are going through a tough phase, the chances of you being stuck at home are not few. That does not mean that you should do nothing all day other than watching Netflix and sleeping.
It is definitely a good opportunity to relax and unwind, but just how much unwinding can you really do? You must have noticed that at some point, no movie or tv series seems to be enough. Nights become restless and all of the sudden stress seems to creep back into our lives.
Now I am not saying that a morning routine is a solution to all of that. But putting things in order, starting from the ones that we can control the easiest, is a big part of fixing problems.
A morning routine with a fixed wake-up time, whatever suits you best, and a set of activities that you would do anyway throughout the day, can help you feel that you are taking control again.
It will also help you feel a sense of accomplishment that you might want to expand for the rest of the day.
Set up your morning routine
Getting enough sleep is not a luxury only to be enjoyed on the weekends. Setting up a sleeping pattern is the first and most important step when you want to kick ass in the morning. That counts for both working and staying at home categories.
The trick with the sleeping pattern is that you have to maintain it every day, not only when you want to wake up early for work. The point of that is to calibrate your circadian rhythm to work for you.
Step 1 Sleep earlier
You cannot just want more sleep when you are on your phone until 2 am and have to be up at 5 in the morning. The best way to do that is to reduce as much dead time as possible. Usually, the hours after 8, unless you are doing something else, are dead hours.
Watching TV, playing video games or being on your phone is not a crucial part of your day. Try to stay away from screens as much as possible before bed. Instead, start getting ready for bed earlier. Brush your teeth, have a shower or read a book. If you need help on how to sleep better and solidify a healthy routine, check my other post on “How To Sleep Better“.
Step 2 Prepare for the day before bed
This is not only going to be good for your morning routine requiring less preparation, it is also forget-proof as most stuff do not need to be done on the spot and can be prepared beforehand.
An example of that might be to get your clothes ready, I eat overnight oats in the morning, so I prepare it before bed. Prepare a lunch that is real food and not chips and a cereal bar.
Why do all of that the night before?
So you can wake up like a KING/QUEEN!
Take your shower, eat your breakfast and drink your coffee stress free.
Step 3 Wake up in time
I applaud all of you who wake up ten minutes before leaving for work. Eat breakfast while going down the stairs and still make it on time. Honestly Bravo!
Personally, I like to spend at least 30 minutes just sipping on my coffee while watching something silly on TV. That means I have to wake up pretty early, but did you know how long it takes to become fully awake after 8 hours of sleep? 90 minutes!
It takes one hour and a half to be fully woken up! That’s nuts, most of us jump out of bed and we think we are ready to go go go!
Waking up that much earlier doesn’t really mean anything though, not as long as you go to bed on time!
Step 4 Do not hit snooze
I have talked a bit more about that in the post I mentioned earlier on how to sleep better. Not only do you not feel more rested, but it also takes away precious time you could spend enjoying a cup of coffee or getting dressed.
When you are staying at home, it is important to maintain or develop a few good habits, if you don’t already have them.
Sure you might not have to, but that is what makes it the most important. We don’t need to have to do some things when they are there for our own benefit.
Maintaining your sanity when you are stuck at home is crucial. A lack of things to do can throw us into a loop that is not doing our mental health any favours. Don’t get stuck behind a screen, on a couch or on your phone.
Set up a goal, start by building your morning routine. Set it up so the first ten things you do after waking up are planned. An example:
- Wake Up at a set time every day
- Drink water
- Make some amazing coffee/tea
- Go for a short run or exercise at home
- Stretch and try to control your breathing
- Have a shower
- Make breakfast even movie stars would be jealous of
- Tidy up your space
- Pick a subject to read about or pick a book
- Do something Fun
Have a goal what will help you feel like you are progressing. So simple but also so important. According to Tony Robbins, Happiness comes in one word “Progress”.
If you find yourself in quarantine or because of any other reason, make it your opportunity to work on the things you didn’t have the time to before. Learn how to diet and start working out if you don’t already.
Give yourself motion, a goal can be something as simple as turning to gardening to make your balcony look beautiful. It gives you purpose and the feeling of accomplishment when you spend some time even if that is to help a flower blossom.
Or maybe learn a new skill, countless online classes where you can pick anything in the world. Learn to draw, learn to dance or sing. Learn how to make a killer chocolate lava cake. Build your day up, you can do so many fun things.
Suggestions for a Great Morning Routine
Here I am going to list a few things you can incorporate into your morning routine that can add an air of productivity.
That is a good habit to pick up now by placing a water bottle next to your bed. It is important to hydrate your self as after an 8-hour sleep we tend to get very dehydrated.
Make Your Bed
Funny enough, a recent study from Kingston University showed that not making your bed may be healthier. If you want to have a further look on that have a look at “Messy bedrooms could spell end for creepy crawlies“. Now that doesn’t mean you cannot fix your bed so it is not a mess. Make your bed in a way that fresh air can still freshen it up and open a window.
Tidy up your space
On the same principle as the previous tip, a tidy space where things are in order, helps clear your mind and put things in order up there as well. Not to mention the feeling of accomplishment as early as possible in your day.
Avoid checking your phone as much as possible
Most of the times, we do not have something of vital importance that we need to check for first thing in the morning. And most of the times again, simply checking our phone throws us into a vicious cycle of “ok one more thing and then”. Unless it is really important to check your phone, don’t until you are through with your morning routine.
You don’t have to do a 2-hour full circuit workout. A simple set of exercises to wake your body up can be extremely beneficial. Go for a short run while listening to music and clear your head. Let those endorphins rile you up. Not to mention that fasted cardio is excellent for fat burning!
With only a few minutes a day, you can develop your ability to be mindful, present and thankful. This does not have to be complicated. Close your eyes, focus on you, where you are, who you are and what are the things that are currently happening in your life that you are thankful for. Feeling thankful even for something trivial such as a cup of coffee, a sunny day or even a good feeling, can create a chain reaction. Feeling thankful for something even so small can make you start noticing all the good things happening around you.
You don’t need a morning routine just so you don’t forget stuff, or just so you have something to do in the morning.
You need a morning routine, to start your day Happy! Feel energized, capable and ready.
Sometimes the most important reason to do some things is to make us feel better and to make our day great. That is not egotistic. If anything, self help is the first step before helping anyone else.