How do you start your morning? Does your alarm wrench you from your sleep? Do you hit the snooze button 15 times in a row? Do you lay in bed scrolling through Instagram leaving it till the last possible minute to get up and start the day?
What’s Your Morning Routine Like?
For many of us, mornings aren’t peaceful; we have to psyche ourselves up for the day ahead feeling more tired than when we got into bed the night before. We long to be the type of person who starts the day with a sunrise vinyasa flow and actually has the time to enjoy breakfast before leaving the house but instead we arrive at the office, with wet hair and powered solely by takeaway coffee, by the skin of our teeth.
But it doesn’t take much to elevate your morning routine and start your day off on the right foot; when you do you’ll find the rest of your day will follow suit, making even the most difficult days run a little bit smoother.
Best Tips on Making Your Morning Routine a Good Morning Routine
1. Your Morning Routine Starts With Setting The Alarm
The key to starting right is setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier. That might sound obvious, but allowing yourself an extra 15 minutes each day is all it takes to get organised and into a good mindset. The key to waking up early (and actually getting out of bed rather than wearing your finger out on the snooze button) is to get into a good sleep routine, which might mean going to bed a bit earlier than usual.
As a rule humans need anything from seven to nine hours of sleep a night. To figure out the optimal amount for you, count back 7.5 hours from the time you need to wake up (factoring in your extra 15 minutes) and if you’re not waking up naturally five minutes before you alarm, adjust your bedtime accordingly.
2. Avoid Blue Light i.e Your Phone
Once you’re getting enough sleep it’s time to put those extra 15 minutes to good use. Unfortunately for many of us, the first thing we do in the morning (before even going to the bathroom in most cases!) is to check our phone. In a word, don’t. Those emails can wait, Instagram will still be there and nine times out of ten those messages don’t need an urgent reply.
In fact, try to stay away from your phone, laptop, television or tablet first thing in the morning; studies have shown that the blue light emitted by these devices can damage cells in your retina, especially in the dark. So reaching for your phone before you’ve even turned on a light or opened the curtains is pretty much the worst thing you can do.
3. Get Out Of Bed, Immediately!
Instead leave the phone and get up before the snooze button can even get a look in. I know on those cold mornings this can be particularly hard but rip off the metaphorical plaster (in this case the duvet) because there’s a whole day waiting for you and you don’t want to miss a second of it.
As soon as you’re out of bed, make it: plump the pillows, fluff up your duvet and artfully arrange those cushions. This isn’t just to make your room look pretty, there’s proven psychology behind it; making your bed means you’ve accomplished the first task of the day and it brings about a sense of achievement, all within 5 minutes of waking up – can you get the same feeling from looking at your phone?
4. Add Practising Gratitude To Your Daily Routine
Now your bed is made, it’s time to ask yourself – ‘what am I grateful for today?’ Start a gratitude journal and begin each day writing down three things you’re thankful for; these can be anything from pets, to food to books or even the barista at your local coffee shop.
It’s easy to lose sight of all the wonderful, small things that make up our lives but a gratitude journal is a fantastic way to remind ourselves of the beauty that surrounds us and how lucky we are to live in this moment.
5. Morning Mantra
If you haven’t already then create yourself a morning mantra. This can be anything from reminding yourself you’re a badass who gets stuff done to telling the universe that you’re ready for all the blessings it has coming your way. Whatever it may be, say it aloud to your reflection when you’re brushing your hair or washing your face and believe the words you’re saying.
When you recite a daily mantra you’re starting the day by setting a clear intention of who you want to be and what you want to achieve; once this focus is clear you’ll start seeing these changes in yourself and in your actions.
6. Swap Out Your First Drink
We’re all guilty of starting our days with gallons on caffeine; we shot espressos or chug oat milk lattes to get us through the morning but try swapping your Nescafe for a freshly squeezed lemon juice and apple cider vinegar diluted in warm water. Drink this on an empty stomach making sure to rinse your mouth out immediately afterwards to protect your tooth enamel.
This helps slowly wake up your digestive system (rather than shocking it awake by assaulting it with caffeine) and studies suggest it may have a cleaning antimicrobial effect which keeps your gut happy and healthy. By doing something so simple yet so kind to your body as soon as you wake up, by the time you’re ready to eat breakfast you’ll feel inspired to continue making healthy choices and nourish your body with good, nutritious food.
7. Body Brush Before The Shower
Before you hop in the shower use a soft, bristle brush on your body. Start at the bottom and work upwards towards your heart, brushing your skin in long sweeping strokes, using a firm but not painful motion; when you get to your stomach brush vigorously in a clockwise rotation.
Body brushing is a natural exfoliant that sloughs away dead skin cells and invigorates the skin. It’s great for lymphatic drainage and helps break down and eliminate toxins from the body. It improves circulation and helps to evenly distribute fat deposits (think cellulite) helping your skin to glow and you to feel energised. If you’re feeling really brave finish your shower with one final blast of cold water to give yourself that final burst of energy you need to wake yourself up and start the day ahead.
Give Your New Morning Routine A Proper Go!
Like anything it can take us a while to adjust to new habits (21 days according to some researchers) but once you start you start putting aside time for your well being you’ll start to wonder why mornings ever felt like a chore. Instead you can look forward to waking well rested, full of energy and ready to show the world what you can do. In a world that places so many demands on us, start claiming back your mornings and use this time to put yourself first.