Morning routines often hold the magical key to unlocking positive intentions for your day. In fact, a myriad of the most successful people in the world have this habit in common–they all take time to wake early and organize their mornings for an uplifting, fulfilling day.
For example, Oprah Winfrey is a fan of morning meditation sessions, while Julianne Hough values expressing gratitude. David Karp makes it a point to avoid emails, and, during his life, Steve Jobs enjoyed reminding himself of his dreams.
You have great potential to improve your entire mood, mindset, and goals with the right kind of morning practice. From enhancing productivity to feeling more energized, planning a quality morning ritual is essential.
Read on to discover some pointers that may help you spend your mornings wisely.
- It all starts with sleep.
Set yourself up for success in changing your morning routine for the better by ensuring you are getting adequate sleep. Try natural solutions before going to bed, such as drinking sleep-promoting tea, avoiding large meals and alcohol, eliminating electronics, and making your bedroom as comfortable as possible. If you need ideas, try incorporating some of these holistic self-care tools.
- Determine a wake-up time that works for you.
Contrary to popular belief, waking at 5AM every day is not the best choice for everyone. Experiment for a week or two to determine which wake-up time feels best for you, and then stick to a consistent schedule (yes, even on the weekends). Nonetheless, a 2021 study has shown that waking up just one hour earlier can help decrease the risk of depression by 23%.
- Step into natural light.
Because the human body uses a natural hormone for sleep, called melatonin, it is crucial to introduce your body to sunlight as soon as possible after waking. This helps your body maintain a healthy circadian rhythm and understand that you are ready to begin your day. The circadian rhythm is naturally more sensitive two hours before your bedtime, and one hour after waking.
- Set favorable intentions for yourself.
When thinking about what you desire for your day ahead, what comes to mind? By consciously taking a moment to reflect, you are already one step ahead. Repeat affirmations or mantras, take time to write down a daily objective, or even meditate to devote more purpose to your morning.
- Give your brain a gentle wake-up call.
Whether you enjoy writing in a journal, reading the newspaper, or playing a quick puzzle, providing your brain with stimulation early in your morning can make all the difference in how your day manifests. This helps strengthen your cognition and streamline your focus for other important activities later in your day.
- Replace your coffee with lemon water or herbal tea.
You may be dependent on your daily cup of java, but a glass of room-temperature water infused with lemon has proven to be even better. According to the Cleveland Clinic, making this switch can help with digestion, hydration, weight loss, supplementing Vitamin C and Potassium, and preventing kidney stones. Herbal tea boasts many health benefits for your morning as well–including a boost in antioxidants, antimicrobial properties, and assists your metabolism, to name a few.
- Move your body.
The options for exercise are endless. Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to keep it low-key and go for gentle stretching or yoga, or go all out with a fresh outdoor run. No matter how you choose to move, science agrees that your mind will feel invigorated and ready to tackle the day after some activity.
- Conquer your most difficult or important task first.
When shifting into the beginning of your working day, use the mental alertness you’ve achieved with the above morning tips to propel through the toughest part of your To-Do list. You may find that it is also beneficial to write out your To-Do list the night before–that way, your mind does not worry about this in the morning and you can jump right into what needs to be done.
Ultimately, only you can determine which of these morning tips are ideal for you. All humans are unique, with a variety of biological rhythms, personal inclinations, and methods of productivity. Make your morning routine all your own.