Not everyone is a morning person. Even those early birds, myself included, have been struggling to find the motivation to get out of bed lately.
I don’t think I’m alone in feeling demotivated and unproductive lately, with the constant yo-yo-ing of social restrictions making it difficult to plan even the slightest thing. However, instead of letting negativity creep through the cracks and distract you from your goals, focus on utilising this extra time to nourish your mind and body.
I have taken charge of motivating myself over the last few months by putting some structure back into my day, starting with establishing a solid morning routine. It is my favourite time of the day, where I get to focus on the things I love and get focused on the workday ahead.
I believe it is imperative to start the day by nourishing my mind, body and soul.
How you start your day can determine your mindset for the rest of the day. With many of us currently working from home, it is easy to get into the routine of hitting snooze and rolling out of bed moments before we are on the clock. Waking up late means you are less likely to get a workout in, more likely to reach for a quicker, less nutritiously dense breakfast (or skip it altogether), and it will leave you feeling like you are trying to catch up for the rest of the day.
It is amazing the impact a few productive hours in the morning can have on the day’s outlook — I am less stressed, more productive and even getting more shut-eye. As my lengthy to-do list begins to diminish, I can feel myself moving closer to achieving my goals, now achieving more in one day than I previously was in a week.
Health benefits of waking up early
If you need a little more motivation to stop hitting that snooze button and get yourself into a routine, then look at the amazing health benefits that come from having a solid morning routine:
- Improved sleep
- Decreased stress levels
- Take better care of yourself
- Better health
- Time to exercise
- Healthier eating
- Increased energy
- Increased organisation
- Increased productivity
- Helps you feel in control
- Quiet time
- Better mental health
What does a healthy morning routine look like?
It is a well-known fact that a healthy morning routine is a crucial component to many famous individuals day, including Ariana Huffington, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Anne Wintour, Gwyneth Paltrow and Oprah Winfrey.
Maybe you like to take your mornings slowly like Oprah Winfrey, who enjoys walking her dog’s first thing in the morning, or perhaps you wake up with a spring in your step and would better suit Anna Wintour’s daily habit of playing tennis for an hour at 5:45 am!
Like many things, one size does not fit all. Or, in this case, the one-morning routine does not suit all. These successful women do not follow one “miracle” routine for success but instead focus on the things that make them feel good and help them take charge of their mammoth to-do lists. Taking inspiration from these women is one thing, but copying their routines word for word is another. The latter will most likely end with you throwing in the towel after only a couple of days.
We are all different, and what might work for Gwyneth Paltrow might not be compatible with your body or lifestyle. Creating your tailor-made morning routine means making the morning your own. It is a time without judgement, where you can focus on yourself, powering you towards your goals.
Whether you have a spare 30 minutes or two hours, make sure you take a moment to just breath and be present in the moment. If you are struggling to know where to begin, try implementing three of the things below into your morning routines – one thing to nourish your mind, one for your body and one for your soul.
Mind & Soul
- Read a book
- Get creative
- Quiet your mind
- Learn something new
- Stay clear of electronic devices
- Read your affirmations
- Organise your day
- Diffuse essential oils
- Get some fresh air
- Take a moment to breath
- Listen to a podcast (even whilst working out)
- Be grateful
- Do creative work
- Do an act of kindness
- Process emails
- Stay off social media
- Make your bed
- Listen to music
- Do a short exercise routine
- Drink Water
- Eat a nourishing breakfast
- Loosen your muscles with a foam roller
- Dry brush
- Take a cold shower
- Go for a walk
- Take your dog for a walk
My Morning Routine
I hope that my morning routine can offer you some inspiration and helps you in your quest to create your very own tailor-made routine that’ll have you jumping out of bed with a smile on your face.
6:00am – Wake-Up
I am not a heavy sleeper, often woken by the slightest sound. This is problematic as the master bedroom is street-facing, and I share the bed with a heavy snorer. The solution – earplugs. They took some getting used to, but have been a lifesaver, and I now can’t imagine life without them.
When I am awake, I am AWAKE.
I tend to jump straight out of bed, the second my eyes open. I then stumble to the bathroom in a daze, splash some cold water on my face and brush my teeth.
When I reach the kitchen, the first thing I do is pour myself a large glass of water and open some windows. I find the combination of cold water and a cold breeze rejuvenates my body and helps wash away that sleepy feeling. Once I am hydrated, I set up the coffee machine and pour another glass of water.
6:15am – Coffee
As much as I wish I were not one of those people who needs at least one coffee in the morning to feel remotely human, that is not the case. Wherever I am in the world, the ritual of making my morning coffee is an element of my day that I really cannot live without. I know it is a bad habit to drink coffee on an empty stomach, but I never find myself hungry until the later hours of the morning, and your girl needs her caffeine ASAP.
Now I have my coffee in-hand; it is time to have a MOMENT before the chaos of the day begins.
6:30am – Self-Reflection
What I do for the next half hour depends on my energy levels. I might sit and write (e.g. writing this article!), as my brain tends to be switched on in the morning. Alternatively, if I woke up groggy, I might curl up on the sofa with my coffee, watch some Netflix, or read a book.
It is so important to listen to your body and tune in to what it needs. I am currently trying really hard to reconnect and gain a deeper understanding of the signals my body is sending to me, (i.e. when it’s hungry or needs to rest), so I have been attempting to implement 10 minutes meditation into my morning routine. As of yet, finding the discipline to meditate every morning has been a struggle, but it is a work in progress. It is crazy how focused I am after a few minutes of calm.
7:00am – Movement
This is when I start to kick myself into gear and get my body awake. I tend to throw on some workout clothes and gather my hair in a ponytail before heading to my make-shift gym upstairs or outdoors for some fresh air and exercise.
I find that getting 30-60 minutes of exercise in the morning gets me ready for the day and often stimulates creative ideas. When I am on my period, I respect my body’s need for rest and instead of doing HIIT, I will walk the puppy or do some stretching.
8:00am – Get Ready
Time to wash that stinking body! A quick 5-minute shower usually does the job, but on the days I am washing my hair (every 2-3 days), another 10 minutes is necessary to work on those nasty knots.
Out of the shower I will start my skincare routine. I try to keep this as simple as possible.
A cleanser, toner, SPF and moisturiser does the trick. My skin has been terrible recently, so I’ve been sticking to natural, water-based products to ease the inflammation.
8:30am – Breakfast
Breakfast time! I’m usually starving by now and love to start the day with a nutritious bowl of porridge or a protein shake, depending on my mood and weather. I’ve loved meal-prepping my overnight oats for the week, giving me a grab-and-go breakfast to take to my desk. Making my oats beforehand literally saves me at least 20 minutes in the kitchen!
Getting a healthy breakfast will set you up for the day, and it is a proven fact that it will help you make better food choices throughout the day.
8:45 – 9:00am – Time to start my day
I usually sit down at my desk just before 9 am, feeling amazing as I have already ticked off my workout, planned for the day, self-reflected and had a big nutritious breakfast.
Mornings do not need to be painful. By creating a morning routine, you will wake up less stressed, knowing that the first few hours of your day have already been planned out for you. Just watch as your productivity levels sky-rocket, your stress levels plummet, and the health benefits of making time for your mind and body begin to wash over you.
What are three key components to your morning routine? Let me know in the comments below.