Almost 3 years ago, my life changed. It wasn’t a big, dramatic event that was the catalyst, nor a realization that my life was on the wrong path. I simply started a morning routine. Small, micro efforts daily add up to huge results. Morning routines can have huge benefits on your mental and physical health. I hardly changed anything — I was simply spending the first 50 minutes of my day in a different way. Here are a few things have helped me:
Sleep well –
1 hour of extra sleep leads to many hours of productivity. Sleep is a priority. I am also obsessed with tracking sleep efficiency so I bought an Oura ring to see how efficient my sleep is. The ring provides useful insights through our journey of slow travel as our sleep environment changes with each country we visit.
Make Your Bed –
It might be a small accomplishment, but making the bed sets the tone for the entire day. “Wait a minute,” you might be asking, “How is making the bed going to increase my productivity?” A fair question, and you’ll find the answer in the book, “The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg. According to the author, daily bed-making becomes a keystone habit, something that kickstarts a chain of other good decisions throughout the day, and gives you a sense of taking charge.
So what better way to start this routine than with meditation? I started listening to guided meditations as soon as I woke up. This practice allowed me to have a few minutes of purposeful silence before the chaos of the day took all silence away. It gave me a few minutes alone with my thoughts, the feelings in my body, and any emotions.
It is so important to drink water in the morning. Dehydration is not good for us, and is definitely not a productive way to start the day. During the night you sweat and breathe, and lose a surprisingly large amount of fluid. Drinking water as soon as you wake up will rehydrate the body and start to flush toxins out.
Walking or running in nature in the early morning provides so much clarity. I don’t know if there is any other practice that makes me feel as much joy within myself as a morning run or walk before anyone else is awake.
Positive input –
Filling the mind with positivity starts you off on a positive note and leaves you feeling more positive for the rest of the day. It’s really important to pay attention to your input in the morning.
My absolute favorite part of the morning. Coffee is me time — time to sit in stillness, to read, to just be. Having these sacred spaces of time always helps me to stay mindful throughout the day. They bring me back to the present moment and help keep me on track for the rest of the day.
Aligning my actions with my values has been one of the most transformational experiences of my life. I choose to exercise the power of choice. Almost everything is non-essential. Distinguishes the vital few from the trivial many. Ask what is the tradeoff to make. What can I go big on?
How you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have. You don’t have to be an early riser to have a morning routine; you just have to be conscious of how you spend your time when you wake up. As we start building a routine that allows us to feel more confident, productive, and resilient, we might find that our relationships feel closer, more connected, and positive as well. Experiment with what works for you, and remember that the key is consistency.