For several people, the first few hours after they wake up are quite challenging. Everything appears to resemble a battle, starting with fighting with the snooze button to completing the morning chores, clearing the cerebral fog, and rushing to the office in time… phew! Given the highly stressful jobs and demanding careers, barely do people wake up to their full potential. So, how does one live life to the fullest in such a scenario? The answer is by following certain ideal morning routines.
The first few hours in the morning constitute the most valuable time of the day, and the choices one makes during these hours can either make or break the entire day’s productivity. Mornings set the tone for the remaining part of the day, and being sluggish in the morning may affect the person’s productivity throughout the day.
So, let us look into the ideal morning routines here.
Kick-Start Your Morning with a Large Glass of Water
Drinking a large glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to rehydrate the body, which has been devoid of water for many hours during the sleep. Several scientific studies have proved that consuming water on an empty stomach helps in various medical conditions like headaches, constipation, and the like. Further, staying hydrated by drinking water in the morning helps to fuel the brain cells, for a significant part of the brain is made up of water. It also helps to kick-start the metabolism and drive away lethargy. Top executives like Kate Cole, president of FOCUS Brands, and Arianna Huffington, founder Huffington Post, start their day by drinking water.
Sit in Silence or Meditate
Early mornings are serene and peaceful in the absence of any buzzing activity or phone calls. So, make the most of this time and clear your head by sitting quietly and enjoying the serenity around you. A little bit of praying or meditating can instill a sense of calmness within you and make you prepared to face the day. Remember that a significant cause behind various illnesses is stress; so, forget the rush and enjoy a few calm moments by shushing your inner self. Deep breathing techniques can also be included in this routine.
Drink Something That Makes You Happy and Energizes You
If you are a coffee lover, having a refreshing cup of coffee in the morning will be a brain booster for you. Carve out some time in the morning to sit in silence, indulging yourself with a cup of coffee (or any other drink you enjoy). This habit will make you look forward to getting up every day in the morning. Do not gulp down the entire drink, but savor and relish every sip.
Working out early in the morning helps to make the muscles active. Go out in the serene morning environment for some brisk walking or jogging. If you are lucky to have sunshine in your area in the morning, walking outdoors will help your body make enough vitamin D from the mild sun rays. If you do not have the time for a long walk, fret not; you can even do some stretches or yoga at home or just walk your dog around the building. This will also act as a social warmup.
Celebrity Tip: Barack Obama’s secret to feeling fresh during mornings is starting the day with a workout alternating between cardio and strength training and drinking green tea, water, or orange juice.
Start Your Day with Certain ‘DON'TS’
A major part of the morning routine also comprises certain ‘do-not-include’ activities, which, when avoided, will present you with some great benefits. Some of these activities include not checking out your mobile or emails or attending official phone calls immediately after you wake up.
Take a Good Shower
If one has the habit of taking evening showers, then switching to taking baths in the mornings will bring in many benefits. When bathed with hot or cold water, the brain and the body tend to get energized and spring into action. Further, a morning shower helps to open up the pores, and this, in turn, makes your shaving and exfoliating routine smoother and quicker.
Read or Listen to Something Inspirational
Another useful morning ritual is manifesting the mind with positive thoughts via any medium, be it by hearing motivational or inspirational quotes, watching inspirational videos or reading motivational books. It could be anything interesting which enables a person to start the day with a positive mindset. Exposing oneself to positive affirmations in the morning proves to be a great mind booster and sets the stage for the day to focus on the right things. Further, such optimistic beginnings will help one manage stress and handle any unpleasant situations throughout the day with ease. Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the U.K, was believed to be a natural short sleeper. No matter how late her political meetings would extend in the night, she would still wake up at 5 AM the next morning and start her day with full potential. The secret to her being energetic the entire day was her morning routine of listening to anything she enjoyed. Every morning, she heard "Farming today," a standard program on BBC Radio which deals with farming, countryside food, etc., which set the tone of her day right.
Tidy, Tidy, Tidy Up
This could become a tiny, but significant, part of your morning routine. Try to make your bed every morning when you wake up. This will give you a minor sense of pride in being organized and will also set the tone right in terms of adequately organizing the remaining activities of the day.
Prioritize Your Goals for the Day
Allocating a few minutes every morning to write down your goals is a powerful part of an ideal routine. Decide on two or three essential tasks mandatory to be accomplished in the day, jot them down in your notes, and schedule them in terms of priority. This process will trigger your mind towards purposeful action. There is a famous quote by Mark Twain - “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." By this, he meant that one should accomplish the biggest tasks (frog) for the day first; this will make the rest of the day look comparatively better.
By consistently following this ideal morning routine, one can mindfully make small progressive steps every day towards a meaningful life.
Indulge in a Nourishing Breakfast
Quite often, we have heard, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." True, it is better to wear the crown in the morning and have a nourishing breakfast filled with vital proteins. By consuming more calories in the morning, you not only satisfy your appetite but also allow your body to reserve the nutrients to fuel itself and provide you with the energy for the upcoming activities of the day. Hence, starting the first meal of the day with a healthy and nourishing breakfast is, no doubt, an excellent morning routine.
So now, how do you narrow down on your ideal morning routine? Well, start trying your favorite methods one by one. Once you hit the right routine, you'll start looking forward to waking up every day instead of having a war with the snooze button!