That's a question you might have asked yourself, yawning after snoozing your alarm clock.
The short and simple answer is yes, if you want to improve how you feel in the morning.
How we wake up and our morning rituals set the tone for the rest of the day. These habits may include exercising or meditating, checking work emails, or even a cup of coffee while scrolling through social media.
A morning routine, when done right, can work wonders for your physical and mental health, as it prepares you for a productive day ahead.
Not everyone is born a morning person, but having a daily routine might help you hate mornings just a little bit less.
Benefits of a morning routine
Before we cover ways to build morning habits, let's discuss in detail the merits of having a set ritual.
First, a morning routine can establish our energy and mood for the day. It can help you feel prepared and ready to tackle whatever you need to do.
Another benefit of an early day ritual is that it gives you a moment to refocus your goals and strategies for the day, as the early hour provides for moments of reflection.
Obviously, an early start to the day coupled with established habits also provide us with more hours to spend on our daily tasks and chores, and to check off more items on our to do list.
While routines, by their very nature vary for each individual, the benefits and rewards are more or less the same. It might be daunting to start your day in a new way but even if you aren't a morning person, you'll see the difference immediately.
Creating your morning routine
Now that we've discussed the benefits of starting the day on the right foot, here are activities that you can include in your morning routine.
Let's get physical
Exercise can be different for so many people. For some, it is going to your local gym to lift weights, and to others it’s going for a run.
Exercising first thing in the morning might sound exhausting, but it can actually help you wake up and feel more energised throughout the day. In order to make sure that our body doesn't have to play catch up and try to workout at night after work, physical movement should be part of your morning ritual.
If running or lifting weights isn’t your thing, a fifteen-minute quick workout of push ups, jumping jacks, and stretching will give you an energy boost to tackle the rest of the day. Warming up your limbs before the workout helps in preventing injury and muscle fatigue.
Studies have shown that regular cardio and other forms of exercise ensures physical well-being and in a world where life is fast paced, we cannot afford getting sick. A morning shower and coffee can jolt our sleepy bodies awake, but a good workout will keep us energised all day long.
Wake up to a healthy breakfast
Speaking of living a fast paced life, studies have shown that a growing number of people are skipping breakfast. For many people, their daily routine consists of a cup of coffee for their first meal of the day. While it may allow you to start your workday early, there is still no substitute for a good breakfast.
An ideal morning routine includes a well-balanced meal that will give you a head start for your activities throughout the day. Aside from the obvious benefit of working with a full stomach, a healthy breakfast is an important aspect of long term self-care. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day.
A full schedule is not an excuse to skip breakfast. Time management and mindfulness are essential in ensuring that we maximise our mornings instead of sacrificing our first meals. Coffee may give you that caffeine push but nothing beats a full meal to start the day.
If you are time poor, consider preparing breakfast the night before, such as overnight oats or egg cups. Another option is something that is easy to grab and go, like fruit and yoghurt.
Engage your mind early
A good morning routine is one where both the body and mind is equipped to face the day. With a lot of distractions to resist, mental preparation is a necessity for any routine.
We all have a lot of major things that we need to handle in a single day. Sometimes, they tend to overlap and leave us feeling overwhelmed. To avoid that, try including in your morning habit the listing down of these tasks and writing daily to-do lists. Journaling is also a good way to keep track of responsibilities or simply jot down your thoughts.
Also, prioritise checking work or academic emails over social media feeds to give you a grasp of the matters that will take up your attention. This helps in lowering stress levels brought by procrastination and keeps you focused. Alternatively, read a book or newspaper and leave the work emails until you actually start working.
Mentally set the tone for the entire day as soon as your alarm clock rings.
While the term “morning routine” implies that habits take place at the start of the day, that isn't always the case.
In order to seize the next day, you should be prepared for it the night before. Shy away from procrastination and amplify your perfect morning routine before you head to sleep.
This is the time to prepare your breakfast, pull out your exercise gear, and anything else you need to do to be ready for the next day.
Another way to give you a head start for the coming day is making sure that you are getting enough sleep. This means going to bed early and sleeping on a quality mattress and pillow that are designed to give you the ultimate night sleep.
Being ready earlier lowers your stress levels and allows you to finish your tasks for the entire day.
New day, new habits
You may be a night owl or just not a morning person. That's fine, we don’t want to change you. A morning routine is not limited to people who function better in the earlier part of the day. Rather, it benefits everyone, no matter what time of morning you wake up.
A good morning routine will allow you to conquer your day, so stop hitting the snooze button and experience the benefits of what a new set of habits can do for you.