While you might like to stay in bed under the covers and get every second of sleep that you can, the morning is actually an important time of day. During these hours, you set the mood for the upcoming hours. These early moments determine how productive, focused, and successful your day will be. It is the perfect time to reinforce healthy habits and goals.
Time It Right
Waking up at the same time each day can seem difficult when you have differing weekend and weekday schedules. However, setting the alarm consistently can help you to get a better night’s sleep. Instead of constantly going back and forth between a weekend and weekdays schedule, your body can start to better know when it’s time for bed and when it’s time to arise. You may one day find that the alarm clock is no longer needed. If you need more sleep than you are getting, and sleep is super important, go to bed earlier.
You may feel immediately opposed to the idea of starting your day even earlier than you already do. I was in this camp myself. This whole concept is outlined to perfection in the book The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life – Before 8AM. I was getting up at 4:30 every morning to get to work and thought “Seriously? I need to get up earlier????”. Whether you’re often running out of the house with wet hair or the kids are racing to their bus stop, adding some more time to the morning routines can help you to feel less stressed. High levels of stress can negatively affect your daily routine and even your health. Try waking up 5 minutes earlier every day until you reach your ideal time. For me that meant waking at 4:00 am and I am super happy I made the change.
After a long day at work, you probably don’t feel terribly inclined to go to the gym or to take a run around the block. Instead of completely giving up exercise, move your routine to the mornings instead. If you’re worried about having to come home between exercising and work to shower, look for a gym that provides these facilities so that you can minimize the time this new routine takes. If you don’t have time to hit the gym try a five minute workout on YouTube. Just search for five minute…arms, legs, kettlebell, etc. There are hundreds of options. Even five minutes can be helpful!
Having enough energy to get through the day is often connected to whether or not you are eating in the morning. Do not skip breakfast and go for protein based options, no sugar or carb overload. Instead of grabbing fast food on your way to work, prepare some meals on weekends or in the evening when you have the time to do so. For example, you could make a casserole of eggs and vegetables and cut the casserole into portions. Scrambled eggs are also fast and easy to make and they heat up very well the next day. Add some bacon, ham, or even sauteed leeks for a delicious scramble.
Take Time to Yourself
With all of the tasks that you have to complete in the morning, you might think this suggestion is impractical or extravagant. This time for yourself can be so refreshing though. Remember when I said I get up at 4AM now? I go to work a half hour early and I sit in the parking lot for my 30 minutes of me time. I drink a cup of coffee or tea. I read the daily passage in Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort of Joy, I meditate using my car’s bluetooth capabilities and the Headspace app, I listen to nature sounds like rain and waves crashing, and I check my email. Those 30 minutes are relaxing and they set the tone for my day. Those moments help you de-stress and get ready for a great day.
You might not currently think too much about your morning routine but changing some of your habits can work miracles in your life.