The wrong start to the day can turn your whole day upside down. Hitting the snooze button 3 or 4 times and not wanting to get out of bed creates a state of mind that is already on the losing side.
But the right morning routine can create a mindset that makes you feel healthier, happier and ready to take on the world.
Here are some simple steps to get you on the right path and ready to take on the day!
1. Don’t snooze (since we have already mentioned it)
Investing in an alarm clock and not relying on your mobile phone that’s hidden under your pillow could really be a game changer. You will have to get up to turn this off resulting in you being more alert and awake.
Researchers highlight that snoozing when already tired is even more detrimental. It starts the release of a hormone that encourages deep sleep and as psychologists Maria Konnikova said “it’s the worst point to be woken up”, making it seem like we slept poorly in the first place.
Tip: That time you have in your head, the time you want to set the alarm for, try setting it 15 minutes earlier. Imagine waking up and going through your morning routine without rushing and with spare time to kill? How good would that feel!!
2. Keep away from technology
Yes, leave your phone alone! Social media will still be there later so let’s not kill time in the morning by looking at what Karen ate for tea last night.
Dr. Benders-Hadi explains that “the information overload that hits [you] before you’re fully awake also interferes with your ability to prioritize tasks,” meaning you could be sabotaging your day before its even begun.
This might be hard to do if you are a very busy person and have work commitments on your devices but if you try detaching yourself from checking messages, social media, emails etc for as long as possible, you will be more focused, and it will help you stay in the present moment.
Tip: if you get an old-school alarm clock you can leave your phone on the other side of the room or even in another one altogether. This will make it easier to get up and get on with the day without the temptation of checking your phone.
3. Make your bed
This is your first task of the day, so you better make sure it’s done well! Making your bed means you have already taken charge of your first simple task of the day. This straight away sets you up to take on more and more tasks throughout the day.
Admiral William H. McRaven of the US Navy said it best in his commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014 “if you want to change the world, start by making your bed”!
If you can fit exercise in your morning routine – perfect!
It has been shown to be more impactful than coffee on waking you up. A test on cognitive tests showed participants test score improve by 12% after exercise compared to just 6% after coffee, making it twice as effective!
It's literally the perfect way to start the day!
Tip: Don’t try too much too soon, it’s the easiest way to get disheartened and give up. Walking the dog and fitness DVDs are great ways to get started.
5. Fresh Faced and Looking Your Best
Do you have a skincare routine? If so – amazing. If not – you need one!
The phrase “look good, feel good” exists for a reason. Cleaning your face and finding amazing products that you can use every morning helps you feel clean, fresh, and ready to take on the day. Let’s face it, glowing skin is always in.
Feeling good is infections. “There is overwhelming evidence that the higher the level of self-esteem, the more likely one will be to treat others with respect, kindness, and generosity,” Branden writes.
Tip: Have a make-up routine that is different for a normal day to a night out or fancy do. This will mean you feel even better when getting dressed up for a night out on the town!
6. Organise your wardrobe the night before
We have all had that feeling of having nothing to wear, ended up with four or five outfits sprawled across the floor with time ticking away before we start work.
Not knowing what to wear is caused by a paradox of choice, an inability to decide because of too many choices. Sometimes having less can be more in this instance.
By organising your outfit, the night before, you can remove the need to decide, freeing up your time and mind for the day ahead.
7. Morning Appreciation
Most people will agree that we all are guilty of focusing on the negatives in our lives and ignore all the positives.
Taking 5 minutes out every morning to really think about something/someone you are grateful for and that you truly appreciate really does you the world of good.
Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, and who has conducted multiple studies focussing on the link between gratitude and well-being agrees that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Tip: Smile as you think about your appreciations, this will release feel-good neurotransmitters that will lift your mood.
8. Make a list
Grab a coffee and make a to-do list with 3 things that you would like to get done that day.
If you can’t think of them first thing, make sure this list is put together for 10am. Most people have a million and one things to do and never know where to start.
Choosing just 3 forces you to prioritise, focussing your mind and making it more achievable, preventing you from setting yourself up for failure.
Tip: Try carrying a journal where you can write down your 3 things for each day. It will allow you to tick them off one by one.