How to nail your morning routine
When it’s colder and darker in the mornings, we all find it harder to motivate ourselves to get going– especially if you don’t have a set time to be at work, college or university.
Tempting as it is to wriggle back under the duvet, the best way to have a rewarding and productive day is to create a personal morning routine that works for you and leaves you in the right frame of mind for whatever the day has in store.
Here are our top tips to find your morning mojo!
Great mornings start the night before
Set aside 10 minutes before you head for bed by preparing for tomorrow morning. Choosing your clothes avoids frantic searches for something clean – and makes sure you feel good about your outfit. Even if you’re working from home. Same goes for thinking ahead about what else you’ll need for the day: study plan, laptop charger, travel pass.
If you go to sleep feeling you’re on top of things, you’ll avoid a last-minute scramble in the morning.
Wake up – but DON’T smell the coffee!
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of feeling sleepy. We lose up to 1 litre of water per night, simply by breathing so start every morning with a glass of water. Don’t go straight for the coffee to help wake you up!
If you really can’t function without something warm, try a herbal tea, or hot water with lemon.
Resist the temptation of the snooze button!
Hitting snooze and snuggling back down again disrupts our natural sleep cycle, which is why you often feel more tired after an extra snooze than before! Choosing a new alarm ringtone for winter is all part of the ritual – and for us, it’s never too early to pick a Christmassy one!
10 minutes for exercise – mind or body
Use that extra 10 minutes for exercise or meditation. Exercising, or a stretching routine boosts our energy levels by increasing levels of dopamine and serotonin. Alternatively, a short walk on a crisp winter morning helps us focus on our surroundings and feel more ‘present’, relieving underlying stress and anxiety.
Creating your own morning exercise programme not only helps beat the winter blues – it helps counteract the after-effects of comfort eating!
Have a healthier breakfast
At this time of year, it’s more important than ever to eat a balanced breakfast. If you’re a student, then this academic term is one of the most challenging, and eating a good breakfast means you’ll be able to concentrate properly in morning lectures.
Start the night before: prepare a fruit or vegetable smoothie to leave overnight or soak dried fruit for a delicious, nutritious porridge, topped with honey or cream.
Make a realistic To-Do list
Over breakfast, take time to compose your To-Do list so you start the day feeling confident and in control. Crafting a personalised, handwritten list – using colour for differing priorities tasks, can transform a To-Do list into a Want To-Do list. Be kind to yourself and be realistic – don’t set yourself an impossible list! Some people focus on just three tasks – so their sense of accomplishment is all the greater.
Before you head out the door
Make your bed! It’s just SO much nicer to come home to somewhere that looks like a sanctuary, not like a bomb went off in your room!
Making your morning routine a morning ritual
Routines can sound predictable, even depressing – but rituals ‘ground’ us. They make us slow down, take care of ourselves, and reconnect. A personal morning ritual creates a calm environment that increases your sense of physical and emotional wellbeing: drinking more water, eating more healthily, making time and space for meditation or exercise.
So, make the most of your winter mornings – you deserve it!