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Having to wake up early can be a blessing or a curse, depending on your morning routine. It’s typical to have a morning routine that consists of hitting the snooze button six times before finally dragging yourself out of bed, rushing to shower and dress up, and grabbing a quick coffee to actually wake you up for real now. If this is you…well, you don’t need a soothsayer to tell you that you’re not making the most of your mornings.
Yes, yes, I get it. Life is hard, work is stressful, your tummy isn’t as flat as you’d like. Nonetheless, making a deliberate effort to add positive and productive activities to your morning routine will not only help you deal with stressful days better, but you might actually get that flat tummy you’ve been wishing for (through actual exercise, not making a wish to an imaginary genie).
15 Valuable things to add to your morning routine for a productive day
Mornings mark the start of a new day, a new beginning, a new mindset. You shouldn’t carry issues from the previous day over to the next morning, nor should you be worried about the next day in the morning. Each day has its own devils, deal with them one by one.
We all have our own interests and capabilities. Not everyone would like to go jogging in the morning (e.g. me), or actually go outside until it’s time to go to work. So, there’s something for everyone in this post. Here are 15 things you can do every morning to kick-start your day.
1. When you wake up, get up
There are two types of people. Those who hit dismiss when the alarm rings and actually get up and those who hit the snooze button until it’s too late to keep hitting it.
Now, if you’re in the latter category, you know where I’m going with this… First, stop hitting the snooze button. Second, don’t lie in bed staring at the ceiling when you wake up. Third, get out of bed! As soon as you get up, that’s when your day actually starts.
Okay, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sit on the floor, cross your legs and go “Hummmmmmmmm” (but you probably should, so you look like you’re doing something important).
Basically, meditating is a way to relax both your mind and body, focus on positive aspects of your life and generally… breathe. There’s something about meditation that just sets your day in the right direction. Depending on your religion, you can choose to say a prayer instead.
Simply doing a few breathing exercises, and fixing your mind on a particular goal or thought can have a huge impact on how you go through your day. This can be anything from 5 minutes to 1 hour. Whatever floats your boat. But I assume if you have work in the morning, you really will not have 1 hour to spend on meditation, but even taking just 5 minutes to breathe and meditate can already make a big difference as you start your day on a positive note.
3. Got that special someone? Cuddling can be therapeutic!
You are permitted to lie in bed for a few extra minutes to cuddle with someone you love. Yes, this includes your dog or cat (definitely not your goldfish though).
As humans, our bodies often long for affection. Spending time holding that special someone has an impact on whether or not you have a great day. So, when you wake up, don’t rush out of bed if you’ve got someone you love beside you. Show some love. Be affectionate.
If your love language is touch, then you should definitely not skip this as part of your morning routine. You’ll notice it’ll make you happier, more positive and hopefully more grateful for what you have.
Singles in the house, don’t feel left out. If you love your teddy, well, at least it’s something. Hug that teddy as tight as you can!
4. Dance/ Morning Jams
You don’t need to know how to dance like Ciara used to before you pump that music up and dance away any morning blues. Getting active in the morning will make you energetic throughout the day and generally less dull. If you don’t know how to dance, adding this to your morning routine is a good way to learn. But if there’s really no hope for your dancing skills, remember, no one can see you! So let loose, do the wobbly walk, twerk if you will, just…dance. I believe that everyone can dance. Not everyone can dance WELL, but we all can dance.
With music, everything is more fun. You get to listen to your favorite jams and partake in your own dance competition. Ever tried doing chores or some extremely mundane task with no music? Try it out with music if possible, and you’ll see how much better it’ll be. Since you probably cannot hit your favorite jams at work or in class, you should seize this opportunity in the morning when you wake up.
Going for a walk, jogging, yoga, dancing, hitting the gym, you name it. Whatever you can do to get your body moving as part of your daily morning routine, do it. The importance of exercise cannot be overemphasized. If you work all day, sitting at a desk or generally not doing much physical activity, it’s important to add some time for exercise into your daily routine so you don’t end up gaining weight you’d rather not have.
Besides maintaining your weight, exercise keeps you fit and less lazy. It also keeps you driven as one thing you can learn from daily exercise is consistency. Once you stop exercising, you will notice a difference in your body, which goes to show that you need to keep up with it for optimum results.
Consistency is something we all need to learn in life. And if you can apply it to all aspects of your life, including your career and relationships, you will see actual progress towards achieving your goals.
6. Plan your day
There is a saying that goes “Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
Each morning is an opportunity to make a new plan for a new day. It doesn’t have to be so detailed right down to who you will talk to or which handbag you’re carrying today. But, it helps to have a mental plan of what you want to accomplish for that day, what tasks are in your to-do list and how best you can accomplish them.
7. Keep your room in order
A disorganized space often reflects a disorganized mind.
An advantage of getting up early is that you have time to make your bed, clear away any clothes strewn around, and put things in order. You don’t have to start spring cleaning or anything, but simply putting things back where they should be will help you focus on a productive day. Plus, you don’t want to come back home from a tiring day to an unmade bed and clutter.
Taking a few minutes to organize your living space is really for your own good. It shouldn’t be something you do only when someone is coming over.
8. Drink some Coffeeeeee (or tea, maybe fruit juice, but please, not alcohol!)
Now, I know some of us really can’t start the day without a cup of coffee. That’s alright actually. If it gives you that kick you need in the morning, go for it. Just don’t let it get too much, you shouldn’t be drinking cup upon cup of coffee throughout your morning. You don’t want your body to become dependent on it.
Alternatively, you can opt for 100% fruit juice, chamomile or herbal tea, maybe even a malt or milk drink if that’s what you like. Having a morning drink is great to make you look forward to your mornings, rather than dreading them. It also helps you calm down and prep for the day ahead.
9. Grab a healthy breakfast
It is not an exaggeration that breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. Unless you’re undergoing intermittent fasting (skipping one meal of the day), there’s really no reason to skip breakfast.
This doesn’t mean you should eat anything heavy, but grabbing a light and healthy breakfast will invariably help you be more productive and reduce the chances of getting a headache when you start working or studying. So, I repeat, eat! It will do you more good than harm (wow, I think that’s the first time this phrase has been used this way). Anyway, just ensure it’s a healthy breakfast. If you really don’t like eating in the morning, then perhaps something very light like a fruit bar will do.
10. Drink a glass of water
The benefits of drinking water as part of your morning routine are numerous. It helps with a quick metabolism, keeps you hydrated early enough, clears up your head, and may even cure a hangover (maybe an exaggeration but water is a great start).
It’s easy to forget to keep hydrated though, so consider getting a nice and portable water bottle that you can keep with you to remind you to drink some water.
11. Cold shower remedy
There are many things a cold shower can fix. We will not go into all of them (wink wink) but for one, taking a cold shower in the morning can get you out of your slumber really quick. If you wake up really tired and weak, taking a cold shower can actually help revive your whole body. Of course, this can be life threatening in places like Antarctica, so please don’t use ice cold water, let the water be just below room temperature, or just cold enough to make you jump and get a little excited.
It’s a beautiful thing to be able to put your thoughts, plans and ideas down on paper. As part of your morning routine, write down a goal, thought, or feeling in a journal. If you prefer, you can have longer entries every morning just to sort of communicate with yourself.
I advise getting an actual pen and paper type of journal. I know it’s the 21st century and we do everything on our phones. But there’s something about storing all your thoughts on paper, coming back to your handwriting years later and seeing how much you’ve changed. It’s a method of monitoring your self development.
Other than that, writing as part of your morning routine gives you something to look forward to everyday.
13. Listen to the radio
Again, you’re probably thinking, it’s the 21st century, who still listens to the radio? Well, how about trying something not everyone is doing? Listening to the radio can be quite interesting as you can choose to tune in to a talk, listen to random songs instead of your usual music, or simply keep up with what’s going on in the world right now. It’s much more fun than reading a newspaper, for one.
What you listen to has a huge influence on how you think and your perspective of things. So if you decide to listen to the radio in the morning, try to stick to a particular station or TED talk every morning. Remember, consistency is important.
14. Read a blog post such as this one
If you haven’t learnt anything from reading this article then you probably haven’t been reading it at all. Start again. If you can read one inspirational post, a daily devotional, a self development guide, anything that will add value to you every day, do it.
Reading the right things helps with renewing your mind and encouraging yourself. When you constantly read something positive every morning, it gives you a positive mindset and outlook for a great day.
15. Random acts of kindness
Finally, if you give out positive energy, the universe is bound to return positive energy back to you. Take out some time in your morning routine to do a random act of kindness. It doesn’t have to be something significant, nor do you have to post it on social media.
Something as little as giving a beggar some spare change on your way to work, complimenting the first person you see, stopping your car to let a pedestrian cross, helping a kid cross the road, calling to check up on someone… anything you can think of that will put a smile on someone else’s face. Add this to your morning routine and you’ll see how much better you’ll feel as a person.
To be consistent is to be deliberate about succeeding. (I don’t know if I just came up with that or a famous person actually said it). Either way, if you can maintain all or some of these 15 things in your morning routine, you are sure to notice an improvement in your life.
Note: You also might want to check out these 10 things you can do every Sunday to kick start your week to be more productive.
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