8 Lively Steps To Install a Successful Morning Routine
“Getting up in the morning is a nightmare”, “getting up early in the morning is super fun”. “Getting up? Please don´t disturb me.”
Which morning type are you?
The moment your alarm clock gets off is a crucial marker for your day. Will you turn it off to snooze, hoping for a second chance? Or are you trying to sit up slowly, grab your phone and start to scroll through social media right away?
I´m sure, you already guessed the answer: neither way is an optimal start in the day. The more often we press the snooze button, the more tired we get. The body is torn between sleep and waking up, the mind tries to come to the surface, but sleepiness is pulling you back. Same with immediate bombardment of information: the news is giving information we don´t want to see, your boss has already emailed the first request an hour ago and your social media friend has posted the most stunning picture at all.
The result is immediate frustration and the feeling of drowsiness.
But what can we do to make it better? What is the ideal feeling we want to accomplish even before we set the first foot out of the bed?
We want to feel well-rested, positive and with a feeling of gratitude for this new day, which gives us the energy and motivation for whatever comes along the way.
But how can we do that? Coming out of the bed with ease and keep our energy throughout the day?
Most important: set an intention.
Set the intention to change your routine for the better to mindfully start into your day. First thing is to accept, that the status quo is not satisfying you and that YOU are the only one to change it at any moment. The intention is to change it NOW.
Set your clock 10 minutes earlier.
Set your clock 10 minutes earlier and don´t allow yourself to press snooze. Just get up immediately. You will realize how much more energy you have, if you get up right away.
Put the phone away.
It´s not advisable to have the phone beside your bed. Even, if you put it on flight mode to eliminate radiation, it´s better to not take it to the bed room at all. Rather have some other kind of alarm clock. You avoid unnecessary radiation and being disturbed by an overflow of information first thing in the morning.
Before you put the first foot onto the floor, make a good wish.
Consciously start your day with a positive thought, be thankful for what you have or where you are right now. It is the act of intentional shaping our thoughts, that make it work. With setting the intention of having a good day, being grateful for the successful meeting (even though you fear, your arguments won´t be heard) and thankful for what you have in the current moment (a cozy bed, roof over your head, food in the fridge…. I´m sure, you´ll find a lot of things to be grateful for), you prepare your whole body for a positive outcome of the day.
Take this as special time for yourself.
This can be a tricky one. If you have a family, kids may be the first ones jumping on your bed in the morning, making it hard for you to have some time for yourself. But often it´s not about long periods of silence. Little moments in solitude can already help. Open the window, breathe in the fresh air, do some stretching. I couldn´t recommend Yoga more, to me that´s the best way to start in the day and gather my energy. It is not necessary to start with an hour-long Yoga session. Start with a few sun salutations and over time, you may want to set your alarm even earlier and have a little 20-30-minute Yoga routine. This is the best energy cocktail you can prepare for yourself. It will help you channel your energy throughout the day (at least till lunch break :-)).
Take a few deep breaths and watch your thoughts.
Don´t start your day by immediately think about the task you haven´t prepared for your work, the news, your bank account or whatever else will definitely generate endless thought circles and get you in a mode of restlessness or even anxiety.
Start by taking a few deep breaths and try not to think AT ALL. If the thoughts are coming anyway, watch them and let them pass. Call it meditation or call it mindful breathing. If you need help in doing this, tune into a mediation App and select a short practice of your choice. Starting the day with a few minutes of breathing, will change your whole day. Restlessness and anxiety are both emotions only triggered by your thoughts, they are NOT REAL.
Stick to it.
Don´t give up, if after a couple of days, you feel tired and grouchy. Stick to it. You need to continue for at least a couple of weeks, better months to call it a routine. After that, you may alter it a bit, but make sure you don´t cancel. Routines need time to become habits. Routines want to be exercised and kept. If you are giving up too soon, the brain hadn´t had the chance to appreciate what you are doing. Keep going!
Remember: it is YOUR MORNING ROUTINE. You have every right to adjust it. It is not necessary to torture yourself through an hour-long Yoga session, if you feel that´s not the right thing for you. Try Qi Gong, Tai Chi or a super-efficient cardio workout. All of us have their preferences. Only because it works for one of us, it necessarily needs to work for the other. Sometimes it´s also the body, who tells you he needs a rest. If you have successfully installed a morning routine, you are very conscious of whether it´s only resistance, which tries to stop you, or if you are facing an upcoming cold. Listen to your body and adjust.
The morning routine should be fun!
It shall bring you in a good mood and support your energy level throughout the day. It gives you a moment of time for yourself and helps you to stay connected with your body. Don´t get stressed with having a perfect morning routine ready right at the beginning. The important thing is to start. Start with a few minutes daily. Setting your goals too high can lead to immediate frustration. I started with 10 minutes of stretching and drinking a cup of tea instead of my very much appreciated coffee. I rewarded myself with a cup of coffee later in the morning, once my family had left the house. Only a few minutes per day brought me a stable flow of energy and an overall feeling of well-being.
Set the intention to try it. Give it a chance and start tomorrow! Start your day consciously and keep that feeling of easy throughout the day.
"If you win the Morning, you win the Day."