Morning routines can be a VERY tough thing to start, and even tougher to maintain. However, creating a healthy routine for yourself in the morning sets a tone for not just your day, but your entire life. I found a couple of quick, simple habits that have improved my life in INCREDIBLE ways – here I share 3 things that will help you be your happiest you!
- Gratitude Practice
This is such an easy way to make SUCH a positive impact on your lifestyle. I swear by the Five Minute Journal (available here). This 3-5 minute practice to start & end your day will get your mind focused on allllll the good vibes :). Studies show that a regular gratitude practice has a multitude of positive affects, but to name a few: feeling less lonely & isolated, acting with more generosity & compassion, higher levels of positive emotion, and even a stronger immune system & lower blood pressure! If that doesn’t sway you, I can tell you from my personal experience it has lowered my anxiety, increased my patience, decreased stress levels & lowered feelings of self doubt. Seriously, even if you don’t go the Five Minute Journal route, just grab a pad of paper and take 3 minutes at the start and end of your day to write down 3 things you are grateful for, and your intention for your day, your week and your year. I promise, this WILL change your life!
This can really get people to shut down, so HEAR ME OUT! I am not talking about banging gongs, and silent retreats; instead, just taking a couple of minutes each day to just be present. In this day and age, with cell phones, and social media, you are constantly being bombarded with information, and connection – which can be a GREAT thing – but it can also be isolating, over-whelming, and can increase stress and anxiety. This article by the founder of one of my go-to mediation apps, Simple Habit, outlines the benefits of mediation, but to name a few: improve mood, strengthen relationships & decrease stress. Meditation can even change your brain for the better! According to this study by Harvard affiliated researchers, 8 weeks of consistent meditation practice can actually change the molecular make up of your brain to lower stress levels, better your memory, and increase compassion – can I get a BOO-YAH! Meditation definitely takes practice and gets easier with time, I promise. Do not get discouraged if your mind is racing, and you find yourself beating yourself up more than feeling present – but, trust me, stick with it and you will start to notice the benefits in no time! Quick tip: if your mind does start to race during your practice, imagine you are watching a red balloon deflate as you inhale, and inflate as you exhale.
Working in the fitness industry, I obviously am a bit biased here; but, even before I made my career switch, moving my body was always an important part of my day. Starting your day with exercise is shown to increase your metabolism, improve your diet, improve productivity and set a positive tone for the day.However, I think as long as you move at some point, you’ll reap the rewards regardless if you’re sweating in the am or the pm. That being said, even if you don’t start your day with a full blown workout, I do believe there are benefits in getting your heart rate up and those endorphins pumpin’ right when you wake up. Need a quick day starting routine? Check out this post with one of my go-to power workouts, or do 1 minute each of the following: jumping jacks, inch worm push ups, burpee with a tricep push up, squats, plank.
It WILL be hard to start waking up the 15-20 minutes earlier to add these three things into your routine, but once you do, I promise you will start to feel the benefits almost immediately. So, set that alarm, power through that voice in your head telling you to hit snooze, get to bed a bit earlier, and get ready to feel those good vibes very soon!