It often feels like there are too many things to get done in a day. You feel rushed, tired, worn down and often can’t find time to relax and refresh. By making just a little more time in the mornings you can have time to take care of yourself and prepare for the day ahead.
Here are 7 habits you should add to your morning routine to make you a happier, stronger, more focused individual!
- Wake Up Earlier
If you are adding more habits into your morning routine you need to make sure there is enough time. While each of these habits will only take a few minutes each, you do not want to feel rushed. The goal here is to feel calm, focused and refreshed when you start your day, not stressed and tired.
Start by setting the alarm even 15 minutes earlier and set it back by 15 minutes every week until you reach your goal wake up time. If you are worried about a lack of sleep, just go to bed earlier to make sure you are well rested. . If you need a push to get up earlier check out our tips to become a morning person.
Start your day by taking a few minutes to meditate. It doesn’t have to be intense or anything too Zen, just take a few minutes to take everything in. Just be grateful to be alive, listen to the birds, watch the sunrise, appreciate the beauty of the world and just stay quiet for a few minutes. Think about your day ahead and what you want to accomplish. Just center yourself and focus on what you want.
Meditation time is for you, and taking a few minutes to ground yourself can really help get your day started. By meditating in the morning, you can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, fight depression and anxiety and feel happier, more grateful and more compassionate.[i] This is just what you need before that morning commute.
Even if you aren’t a writer, take a few minutes every morning to jot down your thoughts. No one else needs to read this so write what you want without fear of judgement. While writing you might brainstorm solutions to problems you have, toss around goals and new ideas you would like to try, or make a to do list for the day.
Just a few minutes of journaling can help with stress and mental health and can make you feel clearer and more focused for the day ahead. It’s easy to get started, find a cheap journal or pen and let the words start flowing.
Check out the Panda Planner. I personally use this everyday, and love it. Using this planner to write in the morning and review at night, it encourages your to reach your goals, and become more productive and happy.
You’ve heard it before, but the morning really is the best time to exercise. Research has shown that important hormones to help build muscles are higher in the morning so you can benefit more. Also by working out early you can boost your metabolism which will help you to burn more calories throughout the day.[ii]
Besides the physical reasons, this is the best time to help you stick with a new habit. First thing in the morning your will power is not drained yet so you are mentally strong enough to make the right choice. You aren’t exhausted from a long day of work and can dig deep in your workout. If the first thing you do is exercise, you know that nothing else that day will be as difficult as what you’ve just done.
- Dry Brush
Dry brushing has been around since ancient times, but many people are still unfamiliar with it. It’s simple. Use a brush like this. Try this before you shower and brush using long strokes, starting with your arms and legs and always moving towards your heart.
Why? This will help to exfoliate the skin which can improve overall skin health by removing dead cells. Many believe that it can increase blood circulation as well which can reduce cellulite and encourage detoxification of the lymph nodes. [iii]
Regardless of this, the best reason to do this is that it feels good. Early in the morning it wakes you up and warms your body as it increases blood flow. The brush is rough and is excellent for itching any hard to reach areas and your skin will feel soft and smooth all day from the exfoliation.
- Cold Shower
This probably sounds like the most unpleasant thing you could do in the mornings but with some discipline, soon enough you will love it.
Researchers have found that by stimulating brown fat (good fat that burns extra to keep you warm) stores in your body you can burn up to 400 – 500 calories per day[iv]. The best part is, it is activated by cold temperatures. See where this is going?
If you are already showering in the morning, turn that dial a little colder for an added fat burning boost to your routine. In addition to burning fat, cold showers can reduce inflammation to help recover from workouts and can make you feel more alert. Think of when you jump into a cold body of water, you get a jolt of energy as your body is submerged in cold. Once the shock wears off you feel alive, energized and ready to tackle your day.
- Something You Love
If you dread mornings, then try to find a way to enjoy them. Since you’re going to bed earlier then do some of your evening activities in the morning, this way you are not missing out. If you’re up earlier, use this time to read, watch a movie, cook a delicious breakfast or anything else that makes you smile. Early mornings are quiet and serene, and once you get used to being awake you will really love them.
Mornings should be fun and empower you to take on your day. With a couple of easy habits added into your day, you will be ready for anything.