Mornings aren’t for everyone. In fact, they’re not for most people. But for those who wake before the sun or even 15 minutes before they need to, it’s life changing.
You can’t just be a morning person. It’s all about changing your mindset and creating a day-to-day that feels good for you.
The world’s most influential people swear by a morning routine. Oprah says a morning routine is the space in your day where you can “create your best work and your best life.” Consistency is ultimately the only way to reap the benefits; entrepreneur Dan Martell never sways from his morning routine of “workout, green juice, meditate...no matter what.”
Speaking of benefits, even the deepest of sleepers will be convinced to set that alarm 30 minutes earlier: increased productivity, improved concentration, lower stress levels, better memory.
It’s enough to say you will create a morning routine, but how? What does a good, healthy morning routine look like?
Here are five tips to help you create a healthy morning routine and redefine your day.
5 Tips for Creating a Healthy Morning Routine
1. Focus on your sleep
In order to create a morning routine, preparing for the next day is a non-negotiable. Don’t expect to be jumping out of bed, ready for a routined morning after a broken sleep,
So many of us fail to prioritise our sleep. We do things we know we shouldn’t and wake irritated, for the price of a few extra minutes scrolling Facebook before bed.
There’s a few simple rules (or rather, commandments) to a good night’s sleep that will have you fresh in the morning:
- Forget digital devices 30 minutes prior to sleep.
- Wear ear plugs and an eye mask to promote sleep and hormone balance.
- Invest in comfy sleepwear to set the scene for an epic snooze
2. Sweat first
Get yourself into a pair of comfortable and stylish leggings and workout first thing in the morning. Make it part of your routine, and it’ll become second nature to head to the gym or go for a jog.
Sarah Wilson, Founder of IQuitSugar, starts her days with a sweat sesh' – and she says, it’s not as hard as you may think. If you prepare, you will naturally feel compelled to get the job done. She lives by two outfits as part of her exercise kit (shoes, sports bra, shorts, togs, goggles) and mixes up the style of exercise depending on the weather.
And as a bonus: if you do it first, the rest of the day is yours to enjoy (guilt-free!).
3. Stretch it out
Photo by @Roshi
Just as we neglect sleep, stretching our bodies before or after a workout is essential to living a healthy life. Ease any stress from the day before or a bad night’s sleep with an energising stretch session.
Whether you have just 10 minutes, 20 minutes or an hour, stretching in the morning is a great way to start your day – and you can even do it from your bed.
Try these 30 second stretches to prime for a stress-free day:
- Spinal Twist: a lower back stretch, lift your knee to your chest and move it over the opposite side of your body for a soothing extension.
- Calf Stretch: jump up out of bed, hold on to the nearest surface (a wall or chair will work) and lean into the stretch, leaving your heels on the ground and legs straight.
- The Hippie: with a heavy head, bend down and touch the ground. Bend each knee and hold for 15 seconds.
Want some more? Checkout our Top 5 Yoga Poses for Morning Motivation.
4. Be still
It only takes a moment each day to create transformational change in your life. So many of us are put off by the idea of meditation. So much so that we never even dare to try it or fail to make it part of our routine.
We’re too busy for meditation, yet as soon as we wake we’re scrolling Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and we’re consumed by it throughout the day – on our commute, at the coffee shop, during work, at lunchtime, before bed.
Next time you’re tempted to check your emails when your alarm goes off, take a moment. Find your stillness. Whether that’s five minutes or 20, a consistent morning meditation routine will redefine the way you live your days.
Meditation comes in many forms, and according to author of How to Live A Good Life, Jonathan Fields, starting with a five minute guided meditation is the best way to begin. “It will set up your day in a very different way. Over time, you’ll find the calming and focusing effect will increase,” says Jonathan.
Download a mediation app to help guide you through your new morning routine (all free via the iTunes App Store). Checkout Headspace to learn how to meditate in just 10 minutes a day or Calm for more guided meditations and achieving a calmer mind.
5. Mind dump
Ever heard of the simple act of Morning Pages? A term from artist Julia Cameron, Morning Pages is a ‘life hack’ that anyone can practice to prioritise, clarify and provoke the day’s thoughts.
Said to boost your productivity, every morning take out a notebook with lined paper and write out three pages about anything. Dump your thoughts on the page, and figure out where exactly you’re at for the day ahead.
Loved by Kristina Karlsson, Founder of stationery store Kikki.K, morning pages are her go-to while drinking a warm glass of water with lemon.
“I don’t worry about spelling mistakes or if it makes any sense,” she says. “I never read it again. I find it great to just get things out of my head.”
So now it’s up to you: your morning routine is yours. Whether it’s just a ritualised big glass of water when you wake or a 45 minute yoga workout, make it part of your day today and every day.