Morning is probably the favourite part of my day as it sets the tone for what is about to come. Kicking off in a positive way carries good karma for the day; whereas a bad start definitely does not result in a productive day. There are so many self sabotaging bad habits, whether these are unhealthy for your body, cluttering your mind or just generally overwhelming yourself.
Habits are a funny things. Bad ones are easy to get in to and hard to break… whereas good ones are difficult to maintain and easy to break.
However, since I have adopted the following positive habits my life has improved ten fold. I get more done in the same amount of time, I have a healthy mind and body, meaningful connections and live a more fruitful life.
Water! Whether it’s hot or cold or flavoured with cucumber, lemon or lime. Whatever way you have it, aim for around a pint before doing anything else. It’ll wake you up, start your digestive system and get your body ready for the day.
I also recommend a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar to improve circulation, detox your body and really get your digestive system fired up.
MOVE THAT BODY
Exercise, gym, dance. Whatever you like to do, don’t over think it, just move.
There are countless reasons to exercise and it should be a priority to get a regular amount of exercise. Most importantly to protect your heart, but also to wake you up (the extra oxygen in your muscles) and to boost your mood (endorphins released from exercise absorb extra serotonin, the feel good chemical).
Some people see exercise as a chore but it doesn’t need to be. I believe there is a form of exercise for everyone but it may just take time to find something you enjoy. Whether it’s the gym, yoga, a dance class or simply walking the dog.
I personally cycle to work because it wakes me up and gets me motivated for the day, or I’d pop to the gym for a quick class. Don’t have that luxury? YouTube! These can be done anywhere, anytime. My personal favourites are The Body Coach, Blogilates or Yoga with Adrienne.
DITCH THE SUGAR & NOURISH YOURSELF
Eating something high in sugar first thing is probably the worst thing you could do from a health perspective. It reaps havoc on your blood sugar levels, causing you to peak then crash soon after. Ever wonder why you’re starving at 11am or craving sugary or junk food all day? Probably because you ate the wrong breakfast, probably laden in hidden sugar or fat. It’s time to ditch the cereal, granola and fry ups.
It is essential to eat a good balance of macronutrients at breakfast! Aim for a good source of carbs, protein and good fats. Slow release carbs (e.g. oats) provide sustained energy, protein keeps you fuller for longer and good fats will fill you up and prevent overeating. Oats, eggs on toast, avocado, fritatas, full fat/greek yoghurt with fruit are all great options. If time is not on your side it’s not an excuse PREP the night before. Overnight oats, yoghurt and berries are such easy options, or have some hard-boiled eggs ready to go with some toast. Probably taking the same amount of time as pouring that cereal.
STOP scrolling your Facebook feed, DONT check emails and DONT respond to messages!
Mindlessly reading updates on social media is an unproductive activity that merely fills your head with other people. On others, not you. Focus on you and your goals by starting your day with a clear mind. Empty your mind in the morning and start with a blank slate for a positive and fruitful day. I personally have do not disturb on my phone in the morning (and night!) and I sure as hell am not checking emails or messages until I’ve got to work. My morning is purely for me.
TAKE A MINDFUL MOMENT
Connect to yourself and your body. Take 10 minutes to stretch, do a bit of yoga or listen to some feel good music. 10 minutes is probably the same amount of time you spend on social media, so you do have time. Even just 5 minutes of gratitude, meditation or clearing your mind can work wonders for your motivation and productivity for the day. How you feel in the morning will have a knock on effect for the rest of the day, so make sure you de-clutter your mind.
I like to take a moment to live in the now, read about why here.
TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT PROCRASTINATION
Action comes before motivation!
Just because you might not feel motivated to do something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Just do it anyway. Procrastination evokes a huge feeling of boredom which has been shown to decrease happiness, satisfaction and productivity. Don’t put something off that you’ve been meaning to do.
Write a quick to do list! I use this bullet journal. What are three things you can achieve or need to get done today. Don’t think, pick the easiest and just do it. I’d also recommend listening to motivational ted talks/podcasts/upbeat music, recognising and replacing negative self talk with positive mantras, and/or standing in a power pose like this.
What are your morning habits?