By Lisa Paradiso, RD, LD
Beginning each day with purposeful progress toward a goal can help you feel empowered and encouraged to tackle the stressful events that occur each day. Starting the morning off strong is a great way to ensure success as you go about your day.
Why you should create a morning routine:
In a world that seems to be a raging river consistently flowing with things to do, a standardized 30-60 minutes can be just what you need to help bring peace and calmness. This is the time when you do not have to think about what to do next, because you have your routine in place. This minimized stress provides momentum to help you navigate potential challenges as the day continues. If you begin your day with positive momentum, you are more likely to continue participating in positive behaviors.
Not only can a morning routine spark your energy for completing tasks in an efficient manner, but it can also prevent you from forgetting to do something. For individuals who have a routine in place, forgetting to pack lunch, forgetting to eat breakfast, or putting two different colored shoes on is not a concern. You are more likely to have all of your ducks in a row if you participate in the same activities each day at around the same time, and have structure while getting ready.
Morning routines can be especially beneficial for those who have children, because tasks can be quite daunting when you are focused on getting additional people fed, dressed, and out of the house on time. Adding structure can ensure everyone is set up for success as the day continues.
How to start a morning routine
- Begin by making a list of everything that needs to be accomplished in the morning, and separating items that could be accomplished the night before.
- Write out the duration of time that is realistically needed to complete each task.
- Allow 5-10 minutes for unexpected things to arise so you don’t feel anxious if things to do not go according to plan.
- After determining how long you will need to complete all of your tasks, identify what time you will need to be in bed in order to get 7-8 hours of sleep and complete your new routine.
- Commit to accomplishing a routine each day, including weekends to help you build positive habits.
Things to Incorporate into your morning routine: Each person’s routine will vary depending on your goals and interests, but below is a list of suggestions to encourage personal growth and overall wellness.
- Any type of movement or physical activity is beneficial to get your blood circulating and muscles engaged. A great start is to incorporate 5-10 minutes of stretching, walking, lifting small weights, or bouncing on a mini trampoline.
- Time to yourself: Sacrifice some sleep time to allow a few minutes of peace and quiet. Use this time to listen to relaxing music, drink your coffee, or get dressed and ready before other members of the family need help getting ready for their day. Be intentional with this precious time and select a task that will bring happiness and calmness.
- Breakfast: Eating within an hour of waking up helps to engage the metabolism and energize you for your morning. Make sure you allow some time to fuel your body with a healthy breakfast and some water.
- Reading: A great way to perk up your mental capacity and encourage critical thinking is to begin the day with reading. You can read an article, read a book, write down five ideas, or listen to a podcast. The goal is to flex the thinking power of your brain.
- Meditation: one pillar of health is mindfulness which encourages spiritual or mental growth. Meditation has been shown to provide countless benefits and even a short duration of 5 minutes could be a great addition to your morning routine.
- Journal: Journaling can help you prioritize thoughts and plan your day. Your journal could be anything from the types of food you plan to eat to affirmations or personal thoughts. The goal is to be creative and allow yourself time to plan ahead.
Things to incorporate into your evening routine to prepare for a successful morning
- Plan ahead and try to accomplish small tasks before you go to bed. Preparing lunch for the following day, setting aside all Livea meals that you will consume, and even filling a water bottle are great ways to save time and prevent stress when you are trying to run out the door.
- Go to bed at an appropriate time to allow for 7-8 hours of good quality rest and enough time to wake up early to have a productive morning. It is much harder to skip the snooze button and have a successful morning when you are sleep deprived.
Things to Avoid
- Avoid checking and responding to e-mails first thing in the morning. Allow your brain time to rouse and focus before bombarding it with work.
- Avoid spending time on social media, especially while you are still lying in bed. The first few minutes of your day should be peaceful and enjoyable. Looking at photos of friends relaxing on a tropical island does not encourage you to prepare for work with a positive attitude. Instead, try simple stretches like rotating your wrists and ankles, sitting up and stretching your arms, and flexing your feet forward to stretch your calves.
Avoid pushing snooze. Try to rouse yourself and get out of bed within 5 minutes of the alarm sounding. This will help your brain realize it is time to start working by signaling the hormones that stimulate wakefulness.
We hope these tips are helpful! For more information, contact your Livea Center at 1-855-GoLivea.