Resources from Lifehack & The Hollis Co.
Even if you are not a morning person…there is a perfect morning routine that will make YOU happy and productive all day – you just have to find yours.
A morning routine is said to boost happiness, increase productivity, reduce stress levels and get you grounded and settled for the day. It’s about getting started on the ‘right foot’.
A morning routine also allows you to start your morning with intention, rather than letting the day run away from you. You control the day; the day doesn’t control you. This positive feeling of being on top of things has results in a positive feeling and effect on your entire day.
I can’t possibly make time to create and execute a morning routine.” That’s not true! We all have the same 24 hours in a day and how we use it is up to us. Feeling doubtful? Check out Rachel Hollis’s morning routine example. She is a mother with many responsibilities and paints a motivational picture of what it’s like to live a chaotic, crazy life with a blissful morning routine.
“Focused, productive successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life.”
How to Create Your Ultimate Morning Routine
Let’s look at the morning routine through the lens of Integrative Wellness principles, which take into account the four aspects or ‘systems’ of you: Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual.
Put simply, this has to do with your mind, including thoughts, beliefs, values, goals, hopes, dreams, desires and plans.
Some options to create a positive mental space in the morning include:
A great way to set some goals is to focus on the three most important goals you have for the day. This gives you something to focus on – and makes sure you have a sense of achievement throughout the day. And because it’s only three things, it still leaves room for other things that come up – so there’s built in flexibility too.
Make a list.
Get it off your mind. Sometimes in the night we worry, waking up thinking about what we need to accomplish. This means we wake up already feeling behind. Instead, if there’s something you know you need to do, write it down. Make a list so you can free you mind for more important thinking.
Create a plan/schedule for the day.
When you know you’ve got a hectic day ahead, a little planning can go a long way. Have a look on your calendar and see what’s there – integrate your goals and your list of to-do’s so you have a plan of action.
This is all about your feelings, emotions and relationships. You can think of it as all things related to the heart.
Some things you can do to help your emotional well-being and have a happy morning include:
New research continues to surface on the science and benefits of gratitude. Studies have now proven a multitude of benefits from expressing gratitude; ranging from how it improves relationships, physical and emotional health, sleep, mental stamina, energy and overall happiness. Rachel Hollis is a fantastic influencer that provides many tips and resources on gratitude journaling, and even sells a journal called the “Start Today Journal”. But to keep it simple – when you wake up every morning, write down three things you are grateful for.
hug someone! or something.
Hugging boosts your oxytocin levels (the love hormone), increases serotonin (elevates mood and creates happiness), strengthens the immune system, boosts self-esteem, lowers blood pressure, balances the nervous system and releases tension. Put simply, hugging makes you feel good. Find someone – or something – to hug. It only takes a few seconds and it can put you in a positive mood for the day.
Identify what makes you feel good.
What brings you happiness, joy or excitement for the day ahead? What makes you feel grounded or connected on a deeper level? Meditation, yoga, breathwork? Get more of that.
All those things we think about that we can do with our body or physical space. This might include what we eat or drink, how we move and anything that has to do with our physical selves.
Here are some options for increasing your physical well-being in the morning:
Get the blood flowing. We all know the benefits of exercise. This might be a run, hike, trip to the gym, yoga, stretching or finding your own short workout. Remember, what works for one person will not work for everyone.
Check out the post Tips for working out at home on The Breathe Blog!
Before you reach for that first cup of coffee, reach first for something that hydrates you.
Eat a good breakfast.
What does that mean for you? A protein smoothie? Great. Avocado Toast? Awesome. Oatmeal? Fantastic. Eat a healthy, ‘real-food’ breakfast to get you going.
Clean your physical space.
When our physical space is cluttered, our minds often feel the same way.
What works for you? Tidy up your workspace. Get the clothes in the hamper. Make your bed. Whatever makes you feel more settled in your physical space, it is worth the effort.
Read this article if you aren’t sure how to declutter.
This can be anything related to you and a feeling of inspiration, which means, ‘in spirit’. While it doesn’t have to convey religion, it may for you. It’s more about what you need to feel connected to something deeper, bigger, higher – and what makes you feel most connected to yourself.
While some of you may be reading this thinking, YES, I love my morning meditation practice, others might be feeling a sense of stress or trepidation reading yet another article about meditation.
If you’re feeling hesitant but want to try it out, there are a ton of great apps (The Mindfulness app, Headspace and Calm) and other resources out there for you. Take a look at this guided morning mediation for something short and sweet.
Short for time? Even reciting some positive affirmations to help keep your motivation going is helpful. Check out this post on Breathe Blog on Positive Affirmations.
Be in nature.
Find a place you can sit or walk and just be. Notice the colors of the trees and the sky, the smells in the air. What do you hear if you listen closely? Take a moment to feel the earth beneath your feet or the breeze against your face.
Take a walk in nature you’ve got physical and spiritual needs covered all in one go! If you don’t have time to go for a walk outside – spend part of your morning while you write in your Gratitude Journal on your porch, deck, or in your backyard.
What to Keep in Mind
1. A healthy morning routine starts the night before.
Getting quality sleep is essential to starting your mornings off right. Make sure you get the recommended 7-9 hours (or whatever works for you). If you’re going to get up earlier for your morning routine, you need to go to bed earlier.
Here are some basic ways to get a good night’s sleep:
- Get off your electronics at least an hour before bed
- Make sure you have a comfortable pillow and mattress.
- Set a consistent sleep routine, reduce outside noise and sleep in a well-darkened room or wear an eye mask.
2. Keep it simple.
Find one or two things (three max) that you feel will work for YOU to get you on a roll. Start with a quick win and work your way up from there.
It’s not recommended choosing eight things and then giving up – or beating yourself up because you couldn’t make it work. If you put too much on your plate, you won’t do anything. Eventually, you’ll want to have at least one activity from each of the four categories, but you can start small and work your way up.
3. Take a test drive.
Once you’ve settled on a few concepts that you think will work for you, try them for a few days before you decide if it does/doesn’t work. Like with any habit, you need at least 21 days to create something that sticks.
4. Set a reminder.
Put something in place that reminds you of your morning routine, like a reminder on your phone, or a note on your fridge or mirror etc. etc.
Find ways to integrate your morning routine into what you’re already doing, rather than adding more on your ‘to-do’ list. You can also double up, finding activities that covering a couple multiple ‘systems’ of your body.
You’ve been given the tips and tricks, now it’s time to take action! Grab yourself a notebook or use your phone and start creating! Need some more guidance? Click here for tutorials on creating your morning routine through planning, writing, and motivational videos. Also, here are some quick examples: