How you start your day can affect how the rest of it will go. Waking up to a loud alarm clock and then rushing through your morning can make you feel unprepared and anxious. But waking up at least an hour before you need to leave your apartment will give you plenty of time to get ready.
Every morning routine is unique, so it’s up to you to figure out what works best. But, if you don’t know where to start, there are simple habits you can adopt until you get your footing.
Here are five habits you can start on now.
Wake Up at a Time That Works for You
Many morning routines you’ll find out there will say you should wake up at the crack of dawn. This way, you can do almost a full day’s work before 9 AM hits. But no matter how tempting it is to follow this, early mornings really aren’t for everyone. If you’re a night owl, then you’ll find that waking up early will only make you feel worse and unproductive.
It depends on how your body functions. If you find yourself more productive at night, then embrace that productivity and then wake up when you’ve gotten 7 or 8 hours of sleep. Don’t force yourself to wake up at 5 AM just because it’s what billionaires do. Do whatever works best for you and your responsibilities.
Stay Away From Your Phone
Upon waking up, we tend to reach for our phones right away. We reason to ourselves it’s only to turn off the alarm or check the time, but then we get sucked into the internet and spend 30 minutes or more scrolling mindlessly. Since we just woke up, whatever we see online can have a direct effect on our whole day.
Research shows that starting the day with bad news is bad for your mental health—no matter the form the bad news takes, we’re at the mercy of whatever we see on our phones before we even get up. You have the whole day to deal with all of that. Prolong it a bit further and make mornings all about YOU.
Stretch Your Body
Instead of forcing yourself to do a serious workout right after waking up, a simple stretching routine will wake your body up. Stretching loosens muscles and increases blood flow. After hours of lying down, it’s just what your body needs.
If you mind your inhales and exhales during the stretching routine, you can also consider it a form of meditation. Connect your body with your mind so that you’ll feel more focused after.
Give Yourself a Free Hour
Think of this hour as the period wherein you can do your very own morning ritual. You could read a few pages from a book or listen to a podcast, meditate for a few minutes or do some small household chores. This could even be the hour where you shower and fix yourself for the day ahead.
Give yourself this time in the morning to do whatever makes you feel good. Just make sure you don’t rush so that you’ll feel calm at the end of your hour.
Make a To-Do List
Once you’re feeling more awake and ready, sit down and visualize all the things you need to get done. Your to-do list isn’t a wish list, so make sure to take into account the time it takes for each task you need to tackle. You could finish the most arduous task so that everything that comes after will be easy or do the smaller tasks first and then work your way up. No matter how you plan to get them done, having a to-do list will help you prioritize.
We tend to have high expectations when we start the day. We plan to be productive but then fall short of our expectations. Having a to-do list will help you stick to a plan and having a consistent morning routine will get you into the mindset to properly tackle the day ahead.
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