Mornings. The sun filters through your blinds, you wake, you stretch, you take the first sip of coffee for the day and breathe in the crisp morning air. Mornings are my happy place – I’m a morning person by nature. So when it comes to creating a productive and healthy morning routine, you best bet I’ve got a lot to say.
“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.” – Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book
Why do you need a healthy morning routine?
Well, as Lemony Snicket has just so eloquently put, mornings are the foundation for your day. Having a morning routine will help you feel more motivated and ready for the day ahead.
If you jump out of bed and spend your morning rushing from one room to another, fretting about outfits and lunch, whether you’ve got everything in your bag and making breakfast – it’s not the nicest start. It sets a tone for the rest of the day. Before you’ve even begun to tackle anything, your brain is stressed and ready for a break.
Alternatively, if you rise slowly, stretch, breathe, take a few moments to do something you enjoy, make a breakfast you love, and take time making your decisions for your day, you’ll feel accomplished, calm, collected and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. I know which one I’d choose.
How to plan your healthy morning routine
Prep the night before
This is a great tip – get everything you can ready the night before. I spoke about this a lot in my blog about becoming a morning person, but in short, we’re tired in the morning and we’re looking at a big day ahead of us. So, the more decisions we have to make in the morning, the more stress we’re exposing ourselves to.
Imagine waking up to do a workout, you have to pull yourself out of bed, find your clothes, your headphones, your keys, fill your water bottle. They seem like small actions, but they’re additional steps that just might put you off working out, or make you do it more begrudgingly. Take those steps away and you’re more likely to see the intention you set the night before, honour it and get straight into working out.
I guarantee this will make your morning feel smoother, calmer and you’ll get more done.
Know how much time you have
Work out vaguely how much time you’ll need to get ready in the morning and what you’ll need to get done. Try different routines, mix up the order of your tasks, and make sure you wake up with enough time to get it all done (at a calm pace!) before you need to head out the door. You’ll learn how long it takes with time, but for now, give it your best guess.
Set your intention
Like we said with preparing the night before, setting your intention is going to put you in good stead for starting your day on the right foot.
Your intention is a short phrase or word to guide you throughout your day. For example, you may choose ‘say yes’, ‘relax’ or ‘be slow’. These phrases will be something to consider whenever you make a decision. It will help incorporate the value into your thinking processes and will eventually become habit. It’ll help you keep a more positive, optimistic outlook through the day.
If you’re into horoscopes, tarot or anything of the like, you can take those daily insights as inspiration for your intention. I don’t live by my horoscope, but I do like to check it to give me thinking points for my intentions. Sometimes my horoscope will remind me to be kind, or to say yes, or to be confident in who I am. And I’ll take that reminder to focus on it throughout my day.
Alternatively, there are many books, social media accounts and places you can find inspiration for this.
Have a good breakfast
One of my favourite Virginia Woolf quotes, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” sums up the reason I will always advocate for breakfast. There are hundreds of studies promoting the benefits of breakfast, but I’m no nutritionist. I just know that for me, at least, having and enjoying, a fuelling, healthy breakfast is a great way to start the day and ensures I have a load of energy throughout the day. It’s also, I find, a great way to connect with your body in the morning.
And I generally just love breakfast – I get a little hangry if I don’t eat in the first few hours I’m awake. Breakfast foods are the best foods and nobody will convince me otherwise. I get a sense of peace from sitting down with a steaming bowl of porridge and eating it whilst the world outside is still quiet. See what works for you.
Make time for the things you enjoy
Your morning routine is just that – it’s your morning routine. So make it your own. What do you want to get done in the morning? What makes you feel the most refreshed?
I like to spend my mornings just focusing on waking up and feeling refreshed going into the day. Walking Barkley, enjoying breakfast, taking my time getting ready and sipping on the biggest mug of coffee possible whilst sitting down to plan my day.
Mornings, to me, are the time of day where you make the little things important. And, doing this can do wonders for your wellness, as well as your sense of peace and gratitude.
Make sure you move
If you can, get in some time to move. Whether it’s a stretch, a short walk or an exercise session, moving your body will wake you up and benefit your body, especially if you spend most of your day sitting down.
I find it pretty difficult to workout in the morning, my body just never feels up to it. So I stick to a little stretching and a walk across the park with the dog, and workout in the evening instead. Find what works for you, but try to do something to wake your body up.
Take a moment to reflect
Your morning is a great chance to try and be present. By taking a moment to do a meditative action (it doesn’t have to be meditation!) in the morning, you’ll be able to evaluate how you’re feeling, when your thoughts and emotions are at their rawest. And then deal with them early on in the day.
When we wake and rush straight into our days, we can bring with us harboured emotions and thoughts that will, accidentally of course, go ignored and suppressed throughout the day, causing discomfort.
The more present you are in your morning routine, the more likely it is that you’ll remain conscious and aware throughout your day – you’ll also feel the benefits of doing positive actions and will take that positivity with you too. Turning autopilot off is difficult, but by keeping your routines refreshed and varied and trying to soak up every second, you’ll be more likely to appreciate the actions you’re taking.
Have something to look forward to
Like we said earlier, this is your morning routine. So make sure you have something to look forward to. Not only will this make it easier for you to get up, but it will make it easier for you to reflect back on the morning in a positive light, and be excited to wake up when you head to bed.
As I’ve said, there’s lots of reasons to start a morning routine and lots of ways to make it your own. At the end of the day, it’s about being healthy and happy, calm and motivated, and ready to start your day. And your healthy morning routine should be there to set you up for that.
A million happy mornings to you. Love, Ella-Rose xx