Why mornings are the key to success

Have you ever heard the saying, “The early bird catches the worm?” As it turns out, whoever said that was spot on. We all know that when you wake up feeling lazy and unmotivated, it can impact your whole day, or get it off to a slow start and don’t perk up until mid-morning and it becomes a vicious cycle to our lives.

Which is why I wanted to try and encourage anyone who may come across this blog to inspire you to adopt an energising morning routine, to help set you up for a day of productivity and success. Making these changes will not happen overnight and I do not expect anyone to suddenly change their whole lifestyle but if you take away just one or two of my examples you can build up and add them into your routine it is better than no change, right?

Before we delve into different options for your morning routine, I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and keeping hydrated throughout the day, unfortunately downing a big glass of water in one sitting won’t help (it may a tad but you know what I mean). We all know the drill of keeping a glass or bottle of water by our sides to get through it throughout the day. Upon waking, as tempting as it is to go straight for your morning coffee or tea, I would advise drinking a glass or two of water to rehydrate. If you don’t like the taste of water, then add in some fresh fruit for extra taste. During sleep we can become dehydrated, which as a result may make us feel more tired.

As we all know experts suggest that adults get between seven and nine hours (who gets 9?!) of solid sleep for our brains to function at their full capacity. And no, that does not include lying in bed for two hours scrolling on Instagram before having a few hours of interrupted sleep, which I am sure we all know is not good for us anyway. It’s also recommended to limit your exposure to blue light (like our TVs and phones) from around two to three hours before you plan to go to bed, so your brain knows it’s time to switch off. Again, most people do love to wind down at the end of the day watching a movie or their favourite tv program. So try starting watching the episode or movie that will give you at least an hour before bed to not have your eyes glued to a screen and then from there you could progress into an hour and a half – two hours etc. Even switching it up to read a book before bed rather than tv will most certainly slow your brain down and provide less glare.

Lastly – ditch the snooze button! It is okay to just lay there for a minute if you decide to use this as your main point to focus on but one trick I have found that works with some people is to lay there, take a deep breath in and count down 3,2,1 and literally leap up out of bed. You will also not sound crazy talking to yourself and giving yourself a quick pep talk about motivating yourself to get up.

Let’s get in to creating your morning routine!

So, you want to embrace a new morning routine but you’re not sure where to start? To keep it simple, I’m going to break your morning routine down into three parts – movement, mindfulness, and me time. Think it of as the 3 M’s.

You certainly do not have to start every morning with an intense sweaty gym session, but studies show that even 10 minutes of exercise in the morning can promote wakefulness and help you to sleep better at night. If you do prefer to work out on an afternoon / evening that is still fine to do but adding in some stretching / brisk walk will benefit not only your body but your mind - and we all know that more sleep means more energy for you to go about your day. If you can make it to the gym, great! If not, don’t worry – if I am not feeling like a big session I love to go for a walk first thing, you will still be getting a workout and if you can find somewhere that includes hills / a steady incline you’ve got yourself a workout. Getting that boost of Vitamin D and fresh air will most certainly help with your mindset and really help to ground you. Add in your favourite podcast or music that will boost your mood or motivation, right there. Just like how reducing light before bed signals that it is time to go to sleep, being exposed to sunlight in the morning helps to kickstart our circadian rhythm (the cycles that tell the body when to sleep, wake and eat).

When you think of mindfulness do you think yoga, sitting on the ground with candles and music around you? Without stereotyping, no, you don’t need to sit on a big cushion with your legs crossed and fully meditate, but try taking a few minutes to be mindful before tackling the day head-on can help to reduce stress, boost performance at work and reduce your risk of burnout. This might include listening to music, a podcast, taking a shower, dancing to music – anything you enjoy. Linking in with ‘Movement’ point if you do decide to go out for a walk or run first thing, rather than plugging in to some music, try at the beginning, mid-way or at the end of your walk to un-plug and really just take in the noises, air and people around you. You may be surprised how many birds you hear or even just to the feelings around you, this is truly switching off and being in your own thoughts.

An easy way to implement a little mindfulness into your morning include eating breakfast or drinking your morning drink without any distraction and focusing on the whole experience without the distraction of work emails or Instagram notifications. Take time to just be with you and your own company. 

Do you have or had a hobby you love, a new skill you would like to learn, but simply don’t allow the time for it on top of work, family commitments and maintaining a social life? Making an extra 15-20 minutes available each morning for you to work on something just for you. This could be (like the examples I gave above) of cooking breakfast, slowing down and enjoying your cup of tea rather than downing it or not finishing it. Not only will you have accomplished something before going about your day but allocating time to focus on nothing but yourself is one of the best energy management tools.

Plus, remember that extra 30 minutes you used to waste snoozing, what could you have achieved with that extra 30 minutes? That is your new ‘Me time’ And the more efficiently you learn to recharge your batteries, the more effective and present you will be a task or deadline needs your full attention. I have certainly taken the time right now to look after myself more. We live in such a fast paced world and have been given the time to pause, to some this may be very hard and not know what to do. Take your time and breathe

Most of the time making a new resolution is done in January, right? Wrong! Why not make today your new year, why wait until January to make the changes you want to make to your lifestyle? The world is changing each day, it may not feel like it but we are forever changing. Why not make a new change today and who knows where your new lifestyle / routine will be.

What will you achieve?

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