Setting up a morning routine has been next to impossible for me because I am (and always have been) a night owl. Factoring in high stress and anxiety levels, has led to toxic habits that have been affecting my mental health. It’s so hard to stop though, even when you’re in a positive state of mind. However, here are five things I started adding to my morning routine that has me starting the day off positively and productively:
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1. Wake Up 15min Earlier & Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
Try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier than when you would normally need to wake up. That extra bit of time gives you a relaxing start to your routine instead of rushing and fighting against the clock. Also, don’t … and I know this is gonna be hard.. don’t hit that snooze button! It’s super tempting especially when you’re in that half-awake-sleep-fog but just train yourself out of the habit, it’ll help you in the long run.
Tip: Waking up is brutal, but I found that forcing myself to sit up with my feet out the side of the bed forces me to wake up enough where I won’t collapse and fall asleep again.
2. Rehydrate + Relax
After being asleep for hours, your body desperately needs rehydration. I personally love a cup of warm lemon water upon waking up. Not only does it force me out of bed to go make it, but it’s incredibly refreshing to sip on. Depending on the season, I enjoy adding fresh mint leaves or freshly sliced ginger to the lemon water. The mint aids in digestions and makes the beverage taste fresh and revitalizing. Ginger is fantastic in the colder months as it is has a perfect immune boosting kick to it. Enjoy your drink sitting somewhere comfy (not too comfy like bed!) and do nothing but drink and relax. Be mindful of how you’re feeling both mentally and physically.
3. Stretch It Out
I am not big on exercise, especially in the morning. But I found that doing a few minutes of light yoga or just stretching in general helps relax your body and gets rid of any uncomfortable feelings from sleeping the wrong way or muscle cramps. If you love exercise, maybe go for a jog and get your blood pumping. But if you’re like me and enjoy a gentler approach to waking up – try get yourself moving with stretches or yoga.
Tip: Kenny and I both really love following Yoga with Adriene‘s channel on YouTube. She has a large variety of video sessions to follow along no matter what your skill level is and her personality is a breath of fresh air. Go check her out!
4. Meditation + Affirmations
I feel like meditation is one of those tricky practices where you either hate or love it. It wasn’t till just over 2 years ago that I fully got on board – and I truly think it was one of the best self-care choices I’ve ever made. I found it tough at first because I honestly didn’t know what the correct way to do it was. I had weird notions of what I should be doing (imagine perfect lotus position with ohhms and what-not). Once I figured out what worked for me and to strip away the imagery – meditation was easy! I’ll save more of the details for a post another day as I could go on and on about it (lol!). For now, here’s a list of some the fantastic benefits you could get out of daily meditation (and no, you don’t have to spend a ton of your time on it – I try to make sure I get 10 – 15min in the morning)
- Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
- Improve sleep
- Increase focus + productivity
- Promote a positive outlook
As you can tell, I’m a huge advocate for meditation in terms of self-care, but what I love adding to the whole experience is affirmations. I have to admit, when I started practicing affirmations I felt absolutely silly and sometimes I still do. But by including affirmations to your meditation routine, it can give you an incredible confidence and positivity boost. Find areas in your life where you feel insecure and turn it into a positive phrase. For example, I’m terrified about failure and this prevents me from taking chances. One of my positive affirmations that I include in my morning routine is: I believe in myself and my ability to succeed. While I might not feel like this, by saying it repeatedly to myself gives my brain a weird confidence kick that I need. If you carry on this practice, it can really help with self-doubts and a positive mindset.
Tip: If you’re into crystals and their energetic benefits – include them in your meditation + affirmation practices. My favourites are Black Obsidian, Citrine and Clear Quartz .
It’s so easy to forget all that you already have in a world that is so fixated on consumerism. It can cloud your perspective and make you feel dissatisfied with your life. I’m not saying you’ll ever stop wanting more, but it’s a healthy practice to take a minute and think of what you have and feel the gratitude. If you’re depressed and/or have a negative outlook on life (we’ve all been there at some point… even more than once), try making a gratitude list and add 3 new items to it every day. Even when you’re at your lowest, the smallest thing can go on your list. You can be grateful for being alive, or the sun shining – anything, there is nothing too small or insignificant to be grateful for. I like to read my list at the end of the week to realize all that I have to be grateful for… You’d be surprised how much and how impactful it can be to see it all written out.
Tip: A friend of mine recently bought me the book 52 Lists for Happiness: Weekly Journaling Inspiration for Positivity, Balance, and Joy. I started using it somewhat recently and I have to say I love it! It gives options to go beyond the simplified gratitude list which has added a new dynamic to my morning journaling process. If this is something you’d be interested in, you should really give it a try!
Leave a comment if you have any morning rituals that create a positive or productive start to your day!