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How To Start your Morning Right
We all know that feeling, when a day starts off really well, and then the positivity spreads throughout the rest of the day. Whether that’s your other half bringing you a cup of tea in bed, or just waking up in a great mood – those first few moments of each day have the power to shape how the rest of our day unfolds. I’ve always been a real morning person and find that I’m most productive and alert for the first few hours of the day, so a morning routine has always been something I’ve cherished. Today I’m going to share a few highlights from my everyday morning routine, as well as 5 reasons that you should shake up your morning routine too.
5 Reasons to Shake Up Your Morning Routine
- Start with positive intentions
Your morning routine sets the tone for the day ahead, allowing you to embark on your day consciously. So by starting your day with mindfulness, the rest of the day will follow suit. A small thing I like to do every morning, before reaching for my phone, before often even opening my eyes is to think of something I’m thankful for, something I have gratitude for whether that’s for the day ahead or something from the previous day. It could be something tiny such as waking up before my alarm meaning I’m more energised for the day ahead, or thankful for your other half picking up your favourite breakfast treats which you’re eager to enjoy.
- Create focus for the day ahead
Following on from the previous point about mindfulness, by focusing on clearing your mind ahead of the day, you’ll be able to think more clearly and have greater focus on your tasks for the day. A great way to do this is by practising meditation within the first hour of waking up. I use the headspace app to meditate for 10-15 minutes in the mornings, or clear my mind by writing down my thoughts in a notebook each morning. It feels like a weight is lifted from my shoulders, my mind is cleared, and my focus is improved for the day ahead.
- Reduce Distractions by creating a Morning Routine
By having a structured morning routine, you’re less inclined to lose 10 / 15 minutes here and there by checking your instagram feed, dawdling while getting ready for the day, getting caught up watching TV etc. As soon as you wake up, follow your morning routine closely and why not try testing yourself and seeing if you can spend the first hour that you’re awake phone-free?! The less distractions during your first few waking hours, the less likely you are to fall into distractions throughout the rest of the day.
- Be In Tune With Yourself
A calm and collected morning routine allows you to take a step back and analyse your mental, emotional and physical state. During your morning meditation or mindful moments, you can ‘check in’ with yourself and notice any disharmony you may be feeling. Often we are so pre-occupied with our overflowing inboxes, our mental to-do lists etc, that we forget to check in with ourselves.
- Your Morning Routine Builds Momentum for the Day Ahead
How your day unfolds is hugely impacted by your morning routine. A happy or productive day starts with a happy or productive morning, I find that if I find momentum as soon as I’m out of bed, by sticking to my morning routine then the rest of the day then it sets the tone for the day ahead.
So what do you need to do to shake up your morning routine?
There are a few things you can implement into your morning routine, as well as the points mentioned above, that can create a huge positive impact on the day ahead. Firstly, exercise! You’ve heard be say it before, but truly – working out first thing in the morning whether it’s 20 minutes of yoga or a 45 minute session with your PT in the gym – gives you a boost of energy to kick start the day, and give you that sense of accomplishment that lasts throughout the day. Your inbox doesn’t look so daunting after you’ve smashed it on the cross-trainer! I find that I’m more likely to flake out of a workout if it’s an evening class after a long day of work, so even if it means just setting your alarm 15 or 20 minutes earlier to do some stretches before heading off on your commute; it’ll wake up your body and get you ready for the day ahead!
Reasons to love exercising first thing
I asked some of my friends why they like exercising first thing in the morning, and here’s what they said!
“Even if I am not productive throughout the rest of the day, I still feel accomplished because I ran 5k first thing!”
“It makes me feel less stressed at work. I generally feel like I have a better work life balance, plus, I always feel so alert after a nice shower at the gym – why is it so much more fun than showering at home?!”
“I totally brag about it when I get to work. It’s like I’ll keep name-dropping that I went to the gym, like tell everyone how my thighs are burning or how THE FUNNIEST thing happened at the gym this morning!!”
“On the days that I go to the gym first thing, I’m so much healthier during the day! I don’t want to cancel out my efforts by reaching for a bag or crisps at 3pm, so I make much better food choices throughout the day!”
“I can’t lie, I go to the gym because I love the shampoo there and it makes my hair smell SO great for the rest of the day – and so shiny too!”
“Apparently you burn more fat when you exercise first thing, and it definitely helps you burn more calories even as you just sit at your desk because of the high heart rate at the beginning of the day!”
“I’m just in a better mood after doing a workout! Even if I do get up on the wrong side of bed, a workout makes me feel fab for the rest of the day!”
Eat a delicious breakfast
Taking that extra time in the morning to create a tasty and wholesome breakfast ensures your body is fuelled for the tasks ahead. It helps to keep your mind on the tasks on your to-do list, instead of your empty stomach! Breakfast is a meal that I’ll never skip, but I certainly switch things up depending on how much time I have in the morning. If I’ve got a little longer, I’ll create something colourful, fun and delicious like a ‘beauty bowl’ as I like to call them, with my favourite Light* & Free Raspberry flavour yogurt, a mixture of seeds & nuts which are not only filling but have lots of beauty boosting properties too, and some scattered fruit – preferably raspberries and blackberries! Oh, and it’s very photogenic too which always helps!
If you’ve got 20 minutes… create a breakfast bowl starting off with your favourite flavour of Light* and Free – a delicious Greek style yogurt with scrumptious fruit pieces, and 30% fewer calories than most other full fat fruit yogurts available – then sprinkle on some granola or oats, berries, chopped banana or other fruit, and finish off with your favourite seeds & nuts or possibly even some goji berries & chia seeds, depending on what’s in your cupboard!
If you’ve got 10 minutes… pop all of the above into a blender and add some almond milk or oat milk to make a delicious smoothie! If you find you’re still getting peckish, try adding some more oats to make it even more filling!
If you’ve got 3 minutes… just grab a pot of yogurt and enjoy! With 0% added sugar, the handy Light* and Free pots are perfect for when you need some sustenance but you’re on the go! Choose from Strawberry, Cherry, Raspberry, Coconut, Peach-Passion and Blueberry and enjoy!
Plan Out Your Day
Maximise your day’s productivity by creating a schedule for the day, and write out your goals and to-do lists. I find first thing in the morning, often when I’m enjoying my coffee, is the best time to do this. While my mind is most clear, I write out everything that needs to be done, so that I don’t have those ‘oh I must remember to do that’ type of thoughts whizzing around my mind for the rest of the day.
I try to plan in 10 minute breakfast between tasks, scheduling in time to get outside, take a short walk, or even just have a moment of meditation away from my desk. If I’m starting to get overwhelmed (usually if I’m trying to do too many jobs at once) then I’ll step away, clear my mind by focusing on my breathing for just two minutes, and then I’m able to continue with my tasks with a far clearer head.
If you’re trying to focus on your diet, why not schedule some time in the evenings to create some snacks or meals to take with you to work the next day?
How do you like to shake up your morning routine? xoxo
This post has been created in collaboration with Danone Light* & Free