A good night’s sleep is non-negotiable if you want to feel refreshed and energetic throughout the day. However, our morning routine can also set the mood and prepare us for whatever the day has in store for us. Even if you feel you got up on the wrong side of the bed, your morning rituals can help you shake off the feeling and kick-start your day on a different (hence, better) note.
Morning routine might be especially relevant now that the summer is over and we head back to our work, studies, or anything that requires focus, concentration and gives us a dose of stress from time to time. And let’s admit it - not all of us are morning people, which makes it even harder to get back on a faster pace. But a set of pleasant morning activities can help you fall in love with your mornings and leave you feeling grounded, relaxed, and energized for the day.
But what should you include in your morning routine? Well, there are many great ways to start the day, however, everyone needs to find what works best for them. So jump out of your cozy linen bedding set and try these seven morning rituals to make the best out of your mornings.
Most of us probably reach for a cup of coffee or tea the second we open our eyes. However, this may not be the best choice. No, we don’t mean you should ditch your favorite brew. But before you indulge in it, have a glass of warm water first thing in the morning. It helps to rehydrate the body after 6 to 8 hours of sleep and also gets your digestive system moving. Tip: Add a wedge of lemon or orange for additional flavoring and benefits!
Do a little stretching
We get it - you are not a gym junkie, running on a treadmill at 6 AM. If you are, good for you! Whatever is the case, starting your morning with a little routine of stretching is a quick and effective way to get energized for the day. Even 5 to 10 minutes of stretches might improve your posture, increase blood flow in your body and help you wake up. So dust off your yoga mat and do some moving!
Tip: If you are completely new to this, you can find lots of great short exercise content on YouTube to find what works for you.
Enjoy the refreshing shower
Water has an amazing effect on us as it is both relaxing and refreshing. Maybe that is why a shower is a place where the best ideas are born and the greatest conversations happen (in our mind, of course). So try having a quick shower as part of your morning routine, especially if you have a hard time waking up. It will help you open your eyes, will leave you feeling refreshed, and will get you moving.
Tip: Try finishing your shower with a few seconds of cold water, if you are up for the challenge!
However sleepy we are in the morning, a feeling of stress, tension and uneasiness can still creep up on us. A short meditation session is a great way to fight off negative thoughts, relax and focus our minds. It also improves creativity and puts the body more at ease. So find a comfortable and peaceful place to sit and practice meditation starting from a brief 5-minute session. You may enhance the experience by lighting incense or a scented candle and putting on some relaxing ambient music. Remember - no one was great at meditation from the start. Just take your time and try to focus on the process instead of any outcomes you want from it.
Tip: There are some great apps that offer guided meditations or breathing exercises you may want to try to see which works best for you.
Break the fast
While we sleep, our body goes from 6 to 8 hours without any fuel, yet it still uses the energy. So not skipping breakfast is a good idea, as it helps to restore the energy reserves and prevents you from munching later in the day. Also, breakfast is a really nice way to treat yourself in the morning! Serve yourself something tasty and good-looking, just make sure you have high-quality fat, protein, and carbohydrates and steer away from anything highly processed or high in sugar. And if you are not a breakfast person, try having a smaller, lighter meal full of protein, to enjoy the benefits without discomfort.
Tip: turn your breakfast into a little feast by nicely setting the table and focus on the smell, texture, and taste of the food while you indulge.
Enjoy nature, even if for a little bit
Nature is known to have a rejuvenating and calming effect on our bodies and minds. Japanese even engage in something called Shinrin Yoku or forest bathing - a therapeutic and relaxing act of slowly walking in the forest while using all five senses to feel the surroundings and atmosphere. Morning may be no time for long walks, but there are other ways you can incorporate nature into your routine. If you pass a park on your way to work, try slowing the pace and focus on the colors and sounds of nature. If you have a backyard, enjoy your cup of coffee while walking barefoot on the grass when the weather is nice. Finally, attend to your houseplants for a couple of minutes to see their growth progress.
Create goals to aim at
Sometimes, we wake up to a buzzing of our own thoughts. Tasks to complete, meetings to attend, reports to prepare, and house chores to do, all might leave us overwhelmed and stressed the minute we wake up. Sitting down to plan your day and create goals is a beneficial ritual to incorporate into your morning routine. Spend a couple of minutes to set the priorities and write down the main goals for today. Instead of jamming your to-do list with neverending checkboxes, ask yourself what are the most important tasks that would really help you move forward in your personal or work projects?
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