Have you ever noticed when your morning starts in a frenzy—snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out the door—the rest of your day seems to reflect that mood of chaos as well? The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so it’s time to start planning accordingly.
When you form healthy habitual behaviors for the morning, you set your day up for success. Whether you are aware of them or not, you operate under habits (both good and bad) all the time—they are an integral part of your daily existence. Part of developing a healthy habit, is to become intentional with it. Most habits are formed because they are easy or along the path of least resistance. If you want to cultivate positive habits, then you may need to put some intentional effort into forming them until they become second nature.
Here are 6 simple habits that you can add into your morning routine now, to ensure you are feeling, acting, and thinking at your highest potential for the rest of your day:
Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. Adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion. Bottoms up first thing in the a.m. for a healthy and refreshing start to your day.
Whether it’s a simple yoga routine, a brisk walk with your pet, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, or hitting the gym to work off last night’s meal, starting off your day with movement energizes the body and the mind. Determine what kind of exercise is right for you and schedule it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, long, or intense, but having some sort of physical activity in the morning will get your blood flowing and help quiet any mental chatter. You can even switch up what kind of exercise you do every day to keep your routine interesting.
3. Stay Unplugged from Tech
If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your smartphone for messages or work email, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause you to start your day in a defensive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control.
Instead, try remaining detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus.
4. Let the Sunshine in
Open the curtains and shades to get some light: light sends a signal to your brain that it’s time to be awake and stop producing melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone. And open the windows to breathe in some fresh air.
5. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you make time to eat a healthy breakfast (lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains), you’ll have more energy throughout the day and a stronger ability to focus and concentrate.
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help ground you and train your mind and emotions, which then influences how you react to challenges throughout your day.
During your meditation is also a great time to set your intention for the day. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly want to live.
Note sure where to get started? Here is a simple meditation you can do in the morning:
- Get into a comfortable seated position and set a timer for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Inhale through your nose for four counts, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose for eight counts.
- Every time you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to focus on your breath.
- When the timer goes off, release your counting, but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
- Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention.
- Open your eyes, draw your arms up to the sky for a stretch, and then move on with your day, carrying the calm energy and intention with you.