If you could take a drawing board and map out your morning routine, what would it look like?
Are you awake at 5:00 in the morning, making tea, exercising, and powering through the day?
Well, my friend, if you answered a big, whopping “yes!” to that question, then you know that the quality of your morning routines often dictate how the rest of your day rolls out.
BUT, if in your heart you know that changes need to be made in your morning routine, then stick around.
Battling with the snooze button is not the best way to kick off the day. Yet, for most of us, that’s the picture we’re looking at.
Instead of waking up refreshed, we come out of our bed chambers FEELING (notice how I didn’t say looking? Aha!) like something the cat dragged in. Yeesh.
People hit the snooze button for a number of reasons, one of them is they’re still too tired to face another day, and oh, this pillow is so warm and comfy to abandon.
Just five more minutes…
What if I told you those extra five minutes of sleep are actually doing you more harm than good?
Our body undergoes different sleep cycle stages every night—light sleep, deep sleep, and REM. Note that lots of things can affect the quality of our sleep—too much caffeine or a sudden shift in the Circadian Rhythm, and blue light emitted from our screens can inhibit melatonin production. This hormone regulates the sleep-wake cycle.
Smashing the snooze button one too many times throws us back into the REM cycle. When the alarm goes off again, we wake up in the middle of REM, rather than at the end of it—causing our body to go whack and leave us feeling tired and groggy throughout the day. Wake up, get up, and the REM cycle ends.
Reading that for the first time, you might not be so shocked because you’ve lived through it. And it S-U-C-K-S.
“Conquer the morning, and you’ll conquer the day.”
The secret to a great day is a good morning, this is my belief. How we start our morning sets the tone for how we’re going to go through the day.
Speeding off feeling disoriented or looking like a crazy hyena because we’re late for an appointment just isn’t the way to go.
Remember: You are at your best in the morning making it the perfect time to meditate, exercise, plan activities, and practice self-care.
Unfortunately, many of us are guilty of robbing ourselves of the chance to get a good start. Or in other words, you’re not doing yourself a favor when you snooze through your alarms (plural).
Nobody plans for their day to go badly, but we don’t do enough preparation to ensure that it doesn’t go south.
I don’t have all the answers. But, as Aristotelian belief goes, the best way to learn (or teach) is by doing. These are the five simple steps I take every day, and they haven’t let me down.
1. Start with prayer!
More than anything else in my morning routine, praying preps me for the day ahead. It reminds me what my priorities are, helps me practice a gratitude mindset by thanking God for another day, and from it flows an unshakeable sense of peace.
Five to ten minutes of Mindfulness Meditation every day. Life indoors can take a toll on our mental health. So, make sure you’re not leaving your mind unchecked.
3. No phone for the first hour of waking up(?)
Are smartphones making us dumb? It depends on how you use it. Tip number 3 may seem like a reach. Full disclaimer of info, my phone does have a place in my morning routine. I use it for my alarm, as a timer, and for listening to gut-pumping exercise music. Technology exists to make hard tasks easier, not easy tasks impossible. (Like waking up early, it’s a walk in the park once you get the hang of it!)
4. Write down your MITs (Most Important Tasks)
“Work from a calendar, not a to-do list.” Write down your MITs for the day and keep it to a minimum of three. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by writing down unrealistic goals. Baby steps are still steps moving forward.
5. Get enough sleep.
I’ve known people who beat themselves up for missing an alarm, but at the same time go to sleep three hours before the alarm goes off. It doesn’t make much sense. Rest and respect yourself enough to start taking care of your body.