First things first: if you’re gonna come at me with lame excuses as to why you’re ‘just not a morning person’ then you’re reading the wrong article.
This post is for those who DO do mornings, who don’t have a choice but to do mornings as it may be the only time of day when you get a slice of peace.
Good. Now I’ve got that clear, we may begin!
Why a morning routine?
If you’re anything like me, your mornings can resemble something similar to this: drapsing your feet out of bed, heating up yesterday’s cold coffee and scratching your head wondering what on earth you actually have to get done today.
Mornings are reknown to be a kickstart to your most productive day. But is there any science behind that theory?
Preparing for your morning routine is the key to success. If you set your alarm for 6am yet you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing, you might as well lie-in. Trust me, I’ve been there.
The best way that you can prepare your mornings is actually by preparing the night before. So though by a certain hour at night, all you want to do is curl up into bed and turn the lights out, don’t.
When you spend just half an hour getting things ready for the next day, you’ll see the results immediately.
I’m talking about:
- Wiping down the kitchen
- Clearing the table
- Making and storing breakfast
- Putting the laundry in the washine machine
These are simple steps that I now take (after struggling like a zombie for years) to start the day well.
Cause seriously, coming downstairs and having to do that BEFORE you do anything else, well – it just sucks.
2) Drink water
The importance of drinking water has been stressed so many times yet we fail time and time again to do it.
It’s sort of like an annoying teacher ramming information down your throat – the more you’re told to do it, the less likely you will.
For that reason alone, I’m not gonna spend ages on this point.
Force yourself to do it, whatever way you can.
IF that means handmade infused water, go for it. Personally, I prefer to chug me down half a litre at least, as soon as I get up.
Then I know that at least 1/4 of my water consumption is done for the day.
I feel a little contradictory with this one as I’m not really the type to get up and put my running shoes on – I do write for two blogs, after all.
However, that’s not to say that I don’t try and squeeze it in, any way I can.
Since walking is also considered exercise, my dog is very happy to be taken out first thing in the morning.
I also find that feelingthat fresh air first thing in a morning really gives me a light slap in the face and wakes me up.
If you’re a more of a yogi, take the time to do a quick half-hour morning practice. If you live alone, put on some music and get groovin’. Anything counts.
4) Eat a decent breakfast
Now this is one I’m really passionate about.
I can hear my tummy rumbling as soon as I get out of bed so by the time I’ve done the previous three steps, I’m ravenous.
Think about how you want to fuel your body for the rest of the day: do you want to fuel it with crappy biscuits or nutritious oatmeal and fruit?
A good breakfast not only gives you a huge energy boost, but also sets up your eating habits for the rest of the day.
If you eat a healthy breakfast, chances are you’ll prepare something healthy for lunch too. So resist the temptation to go for something sugary, and you’ll be thankful afterward.
I have a post on Overnight Oats recipes you might want to check out for some inspiration.
I think that most people associate journaling to something teenagers do in the middle of a relationship crisis.
I’m here to tell you that it’s not true, and anyone can journal. You don’t have to wait to buy the latest fancy pens either (though fine by me, if that’s your thing), you just need a pen and a notebook.
Getting your thoughts down on paper will help you sift through what’s actually of importance and what you really shouldn’t spend so much time dwelling on.
Plus, if there’s something going round in circles in there, you’re more likely to find a solution by writing it out. There’s something so natural about writing – sometimes I can put pen to paper and not even know what I’ve written.
Researchers also say that writing by hand improves your ability to remember what you’ve written, rather than typing. (1)
With that in mind, what have you got to lose?
6) Drink coffee/tea
Perhaps I should have put coffee before journaling. There is something just so picturesque about handwriting in a journal with a coffee next to you.
I know there are some that say that coffee is a sin, that we should be drinking instead Green-matcha-herbal-infusions.
I say, no. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for trying new infusions and there’s not other way I would chat with a friend without my kettle nearby.
But replace my morning coffee with tea? Just no.
I think as long as you restrict yourself to a couple of cups, you should be fine.
7) Do the hardest first
By this point, you should have got your brain into gear. Now it’s time to tackle the hardest chore of the day. I’m talking, administrative phone calls, paying bills, calculating your expenses….you name it.
If it’s right up there in the procrastination list, you need to get it done first. You won’t believe the amount of relief you’ll be feeling all day just cause you finally booked that appointment.
Similarly, if the hardest for you is doing house chores (in my case) then get them done now. Personally, I like to cook lunch ahead of time. It means that at lunch time when I just can’t be bothered doing anything else after my super-productive morning, I don’t have to cook.
This is the time I also put on a wash, pass the hoover around the house, wash extra dishes etc. Not very fancy, but at least it’s done.
Here comes the reward: you get to settle down on the sofa with a few pages of your favourite novel. If you’re a parent, you might get these pages in before the kids get up – bliss!
I really struggle to make time to read, yet it’s still one of my favourite past times. Nowadays I mostly read informative stuff and research, but I still get a thrill in that too.
Now’s the time for your second coffee: watch it steam as you delve into the universe of a gorgeous smelling book.
Or, you know, your kindle. I have to admit, they are a little more practical – and you can read one-handed. Hurrah!