Your morning usually sets the tone for the rest of the day. Of course, life happens, and there are exceptions to this, but it holds true for the average day. So it’s important to maximize your mornings by being proactive to increase positivity and productivity.
As silly as it may sound, start by getting up. Don’t hit the snooze button, but instead, just get up at the first ring of your alarm. It’ll be hard at first, but over time it’ll build a healthy habit. And of course, there’ll always be hard days. However, getting up when you intend boosts alertness and helps start to clear brain fog. And you’ll feel good about yourself down the road- even if at the moment, all you might want is to tuck back into bed. And when you think about it, isn’t it more painful to suffer the alarm multiple times rather than just once?
Begin the day with gratitude. Even at the most challenging times in life, we can find something to be grateful for. But it’s easy to get distracted and forget to think about those things in our modern, fast-paced lives. So be intentional about setting aside several minutes to consider the good things in life. Anything from people, situations, jobs to small yet meaningful things like a sunny morning, the flowers outside your window, the scent of coffee, etc.
Now set aside a few more moments to just be in silence. Keep a journal or book by your bedside. Just like winding down for the night can help calm your mind to ease you to sleep, starting the day with quiet stillness can help you ease into it rather than throw you abruptly into the busyness. Meditate, write, read, or spend a few minutes doing breathing exercises or yoga stretches.
After your quiet time, it’s time to get up and get a healthy, balanced breakfast. Fewer people eat breakfast these days, and if they do, they grab a bagel on the run or a coffee shop scone. However, starting the day with a healthy breakfast primes your mind and body to perform better throughout the day. A good breakfast is also proven to help lower cortisol, which causes stress, and cholesterol, leading to better general health. If you’re unused to eating breakfast, maybe ease into it, starting with something simple, like a bowl of oatmeal or some toast with peanut butter, and build up to a fuller breakfast.
Dress in a way that makes you feel confident. If you work from home, put in the effort to get dressed in a way that boosts confidence and alertness. Consistently staying in your jammies will lead to grogginess and can even lower self-esteem over time. Likewise, if you work out of the house somewhere that has a dress code or uniform, try to accessorize or dress in a way that fits the requirements but still gives you comfort and confidence. Dress in a way that makes you feel proud to be you.
Remember to leave a few minutes early to wherever you’re headed! Doing this will minimize stress and allow room for things to go wrong without ruining your morning. And if all goes well and you arrive early, then you’ll have a moment to breathe and drink your coffee before diving into your day. And you’ll feel more put together and confident as a person.
Habits in all areas of life are important, but morning habits might be some of the most crucial to maintain good mental, emotional and physical health. Of course, they might take some getting used to and might require some planning ahead. For example, you might need to prep out ingredients for your morning omelet or lay out your wardrobe the night before. But the more you practice these habits, the more naturally they will come to you. And trust me, the bit of effort at the start will certainly pay off as you find yourself feeling increasingly confident, peaceful, put together, and productive as time goes by. It’s amazing what a little discipline can do for the human mind.