Does your morning routine currently consist of hitting the snooze button five times before rushing out the door in a wake of panic because you’re now late for your important meeting? Many of us are occupied with numerous responsibilities and obligations, and often feel as though we never have enough time to complete everything we want to do in our day. It’s as if you’re constantly trying to catch up — but never truly succeeding in being productive.
While you may not always have control over the spontaneous changes that occur in your schedule, you CAN control how your day starts out. Creating a relaxing and productive morning routine encourages you to begin the day with confidence and a positive attitude, which better enables you to effectively achieve your daily goals and handle tasks without constantly feeling overwhelmed. In fact, the first few things you do once you wake up can set the tone for the rest of your day. Whether your morning routine includes eating a healthy breakfast or going out for a morning jog, here are 8 tips for a productive morning routine:
1. Prepare the Night Before
Although we are talking about developing an enriching morning routine, it is important to prepare your regimen the night before. If there are things you can do in advance to make your morning less hectic — such as prepping your lunch or laying out what to wear for the next day — why not go ahead and do so? It’s also extremely helpful to think and write down what you would like to accomplish the following day, and prioritize your tasks accordingly. By spending a few minutes to plan and prep for the next day, you can save more time for yourself — whether it be to sleep in a bit more or have a longer breakfast. Regardless, your morning self will seriously thank you!
2. Modify Your Alarm
Instead of waking up groggy and irritated to a blaring alarm, set your alarm to have a more pleasant and relaxing tune, such as wind chimes, birds chirping, or even instrumental music. There are even apps such as Mathe Alarm Clock, which makes you solve a math problem to turn off your alarm. This intellectual stimulation can provide the perfect way to force your brain out of drowsiness.
Better yet, leave your blinds slightly open so that a bit of sunlight can wake you up naturally. It’s best to set your alarm an hour and a half before you leave the house so you can have enough time to get ready and not feel rushed.
Before you get out of bed, it is essential to stretch. In fact, according to Dr. Beth Frates — an award-winning professor at Harvard Medical School and a distinguished director of wellness programming at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital — “stretching before getting out of bed can help wake up your body and improve your circulation.” It turns on the parasympathetic system — also known as the ‘rest and digest’ system — which positions you to be in a more relaxed state right before you climb out of bed. Stretching does not only increase flexibility in your muscles and helps remove tension, but it also kick-starts your energy levels and sets the tone for a calm and productive day.
4. Drink Water
The benefits of water are countless, but experts say that drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning is important to vitalize your system and flush out any toxins that accumulate during your sleep.
The recommended six to eight hours of nightly sleep is a long period for your body to go without any water. Drinking a glass of water right when you wake up is not only a great way to rehydrate your body, but it also increases your metabolism and contributes to your overall productivity. Your brain is made up of approximately 75% water, and keeping it hydrated is critical in maintaining your optimal brain activity. When you’re not sufficiently hydrated, your brain doesn’t have enough fuel to operate, which can lead you to feel lethargic, unmotivated, or even experience fatigue. So before you reach for your morning cup of coffee, remember to drink a nice glass of water to jumpstart your day!
5. Eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast
It’s really tempting to just skip breakfast altogether to squeeze in some extra minutes of sleep. However, breakfast is the most important meal of the day — and there’s a good reason why. When you wake up from your overnight sleep, your body has not received any nutrients for almost six to eight hours. As the name suggests, breakfast breaks the overnight fasting period, and replenishes your supply of glucose to boost your energy levels and provide other essential nutrients that are needed to maintain good health. Eating a healthy breakfast — such as eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, or fruit — can improve your concentration, alertness, and productivity throughout the day because you’re providing your body with the fuel it needs.
Not much of a breakfast person? Try this chia seed pudding recipe for a quick and delicious breakfast on-the-go. Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, fiber, and protein, which are great for your health. This recipe is a great way for you to incorporate any of your favorite fruits to give your body some extra vitamins that keep you empowered throughout the day.
Need a better idea of how to plan your meals, including your breakfast? Check out our article on meal planning!
6. Make Your Bed.
Wouldn’t it feel great to start your morning by crossing something off your to-do list? Making your bed may seem like a tedious chore, but it can actually help you begin your day with a sense of accomplishment. In fact, simply doing this will create a domino effect by motivating you to complete one task after another. By the end of the day, one task completed would have turned into multiple tasks accomplished!
7. Take Your Time to Get Ready
Many people tend to think getting ready should be about efficiency and getting the most done in the shortest amount of time. While those 15 minute morning routines may seem beneficial in the short run, that morning rush actually inhibits your overall productivity over time. Flying through your routine gives your brain no time to decompress or prepare for the day, leaving you to feel overwhelmed and irritated over everything you must do.
The morning is meant to be a time of renewal and quiet reflection before taking on a brand new day, so why sprint through it like Usain Bolt? Slowing down reconnects your body and brain to help you become more calm and focused on the challenges before you. Getting ready should be about pampering yourself. So instead of grabbing a tumbler and heading out that door, spare some extra minutes to sit down and enjoy that cup of coffee or read a few pages of your favorite book as you eat.
8. Include Something That You Always Look Forward To
Being able to have something you look forward to in the morning is a great way to make yourself excited to wake up and tackle your morning routine. You can look forward to playing your favorite music as you get ready, having a nice hot shower, or even watching a quick episode of your favorite show as you eat breakfast. Some members on the Wing team like to read business news, such as The Morning Brew, as they eat or prepare to head out. Incorporating your favorite activity into your morning routine is not only a great way to incentivize yourself to wake up, but it’s also essential in giving yourself time to relax.
Life is stressful as is. Waking up and rushing around with such intensity can leave you feeling depleted of energy and unmotivated before the day even begins. How you care for your mental and physical being greatly influences your overall productivity, confidence, and attitude on your life. Slowing down and creating a relaxing morning routine is a small selfcare moment that’s reserved for YOU and you alone. You deserve to feel rejuvenated and empowered to take on the day before you, so remember to give yourself some care & love starting from the moment you wake up.