If you’ve read any of my other blogs, you’ll know I’m pretty into routines. I love creating space to really enjoy life, to do the things I love and focus on one thing at a time. And that’s what routines provide for me, inspiration to make everyday as good as it can possibly be. Over the years I’ve been doing this, I’ve learnt what makes a great routine and what, for me at least, is essential to kicking my day off well. Today, I wanted to share those morning habits with you. Shall we?
“Have you ever seen the dawn? Not a dawn groggy with lack of sleep or hectic with mindless obligations and you about to rush off on an early adventure or business, but full of deep silence and absolute clarity of perception? A dawning which you truly observe, degree by degree. It is the most amazing moment of birth. And more than anything it can spur you to action. Have a burning day.” – Vera Nazarian, The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration
– Get moving
Exercising isn’t one of those morning habits that suits everyone. I find I don’t perform that well in the morning, but everybody’s different. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another. So find what works for you. I like to do some yoga in the morning and take a walk with Barkley. This gets my body moving and allows me to get out and connect with the world. It shakes me out of sleepiness and gives me a little energy boost (and that’s science speaking, don’t just take my word for it).
– Have a good breakfast
There are a million articles arguing for and against breakfast, but it’s always been my favourite meal of the day and I feel slow and sluggish if I start trying to function too hard before I’ve had any food. Try out different recipes to find what works for you and make this one of your morning habits.
After a night’s sleep, your body needs hydrating in the morning. This can help to make you feel more awake and will set you in good stead for going about your day. The specific health benefits are debated, but it’s clear that this one of the best morning habits to have.
Something for your space
– Tidy something
This one might just be me, but I like to go into my day with everything in its place. I work at home, so keeping my space tidy helps me better concentrate and feel more inspired. But this can also have the same effect if you’re the type that actually leaves the house – returning to a clean space means you can get on with relaxing in your evening, rather than cleaning up or worse yet, trying (and likely failing) to relax surrounded by clutter.
– Make your bed
This is much a continuation of the above point, but making your bed is also a good sign for your brain to recognise that it’s now ‘awake’ time. No more crawling back into the sheets. It’s a little achievement first thing, you’ve already climbed your first hurdle.
– Water your plants
Taking care of something is a great way to start your morning. It’s slow and a simple action that grounds you. Maybe you’d think I’m strange for talking to my plants, but it makes me feel more connected to the world and more appreciative for the little things. Not to mention, how much a little plant can make a huge difference to your space.
– Open the curtains
Again, this is going to make you feel more grounded. Open your curtains. Let the light in. Appreciate how it glows in your room, how it filters through the blinds. Morning light can help to regulate your sleep schedule and feel more awake in the morning. It’s a great signal for your brain to realise that it’s daytime now. If you can, getting outside or sitting at an open window for a few minutes is even better.
– Play some music
You might be a quiet morning type – I know I am. But sometimes having some music on in the background can help to steer your mood when it’s at its most malleable. This can help you get up easier, feel more motivated and appreciate your time in the morning. Romanticise your morning – everything’s prettier when you do.
This of course, doesn’t have to be traditional meditation. You might just want to take five minutes to sit with your coffee and stare out of the window. You might zone in on your walk. Or journal. Taking some time in the morning to see how you feel can be really beneficial to make sure you give yourself the best chance for the day. When we rise and rush, we can smother feelings, thoughts and emotions left over from the day before or from an uncomfortable sleep or dream. Taking those few minutes will put you in good stead to be truly connected and aware through your day.
Equally, it’s important to connect with your body. Our bodies are constantly speaking to us, but they can be pretty quiet about it. Taking some time to check in will help you better steer your body to help it – you might notice you’re really tired, hungry or that you have an ache or pain you may not have noticed otherwise. Give your body a chance to speak. If you’re not into yoga, dedicating a couple of minutes to stretch can have a similar effect. (I also find yoga to be a great way to connect with your emotions – I have many-a revelation in the strangest of poses.)
I’m not saying open your eyes and immediately start trying to fill your brain. But throughout your morning, as you wake, reading something – be it fiction, non-fiction, the news, some blogs or articles – will help you connect with the world, your interests and get your brain working. I hear people all too often say they wish they read more books, and it’s often credited with many, many benefits – lower stress levels, knowledge, better concentration, the lot. So make it one of your morning habits.
– Or listen!
If you don’t like reading, you could listen to a podcast or an Audiobook (you can get a free audiobook when you sign up to an Audible trial with this link! You even get to keep it if you cancel). It’s a great way to use your commute!
– Social media
Social media gets knocked a lot. And no doubt, it does have its disadvantages. But really, it’s in how you use it. I have social media accounts dedicated to accounts that truly inspire me and I love to look at these in the morning. They give me a happy pep in my step. I’m a lover of aesthetics, so an image really can set a tone for my day. I might get an idea for an outfit, or more likely, for breakfast.
– Make time for loved ones
Like I said, I’m a pretty quiet morning person, but after spending a silent bit of time by myself, speaking to someone is a great way to wake yourself up, to shake off the last veil of sleepiness. If you live alone, say hello to people on your walk or watch the news or a YouTube video, give someone a call.
– Get excited
Which leads nicely onto my next point – get excited! This is one of those truly life-changing morning habits. I read something recently that, in a few words, said to romanticise everything, to love everything, to be excited about everything. Appreciate the way your coffee smells, breathe in your space, smile at how the light’s hitting your walls, look forward to breakfast, sing in the shower, skip on your morning walk. Live your life like happy film montage – because you can make it one, if you want.
Visualise your day in the morning and as you fall asleep the night before, set your intentions and weave happy moments throughout it, then make them happen.
– Plan your day
I like to set my to-dos out the day before, to keep my evening and my morning work-free. But at some point in the morning, I check my planner to see where the day’s going. Depending on how you plan your days, or even if you do, you can add other bits to your planning. Scheduling dates with yourself and others, even if it’s as simple as a solo film night at home, will help to make it 1) just as important as your work and chores and 2) give you something to get excited about in your day. Like I always say with routines, they’re not strict rules, just an encouragement to do the things you enjoy, rather than just losing day after day to time.
– Set an intention
I like to set a daily intention for the next day before I go to sleep. It’s normally something general like ‘relax’ or ‘be sociable’ or something along those lines. Again, it helps me make the most of my time, without making me feel restricted. I have a whole guide on setting daily intentions for you to check out.
I’ve recently started journaling in the morning, rather than at night. I do it as soon as I wake up, before anything’s had time to cloud my thoughts, so I can concentrate on how I really feel. For me, that state you wake up in is the most connected and intuitive time of the day, so it’s perfect for journaling. If you don’t journal or prefer to do this in the evening, you might just want to take five minutes to think and feel as you wake. If you’re a wild dreamer, dream journaling can be an excellent way to start your day too.
I know, it’s not for everybody! But I’ve recently been getting really into tarot. I find it such a meditative, peaceful ritual to start my day with and I love carrying the insights I find into the day with me. If you’re new to tarot, check it out! I use Kim Krans’ Wild Unknown deck and I absolutely adore it.
Something that makes you smile
This, of course, will be different for everyone. Hopefully a lot of the things on this list will have already made you smile, but taking time to be happy about something every morning – be it the sunrise, a loved one, a pet or simply the fact that you’ve woken up on this crazy planet – will set your day off in the right direction.
What’s your favourite part of your morning routine? What new morning habits should I try? Let me know in the comments!
You can also check out my other posts on routines:
- How To Start A Routine: A Simple Guide
- How To Create A Productive And Healthy Morning Routine
- The Importance of Routines For Success and Your Mental Health
- And many more!
I wish you a million happy, peaceful mornings. Love, Ella-Rose xx