For a long time, I did not have a morning routine or whatsoever. I would wake up, make myself a cup of coffee, and go about my day as it came. Then, one day after finishing my internship in New York City, I realized the importance of being organized and following certain healthy habits. Slowly, but surely, I added healthier patterns into the way I started my morning. And soon after, these habits became a solid base for my productivity, success and overall daily mood. With the start of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown, I had to rearrange my morning routine. Instead of going without breakfast, I started to include it into my morning schedule and the implementation of physical activity. Below you will find my five morning habits to help you start your day on a happier, more positive and more productive note.
Habit 1: Make your bed as soon as you get up
This sets the tone for how you start your day, as you feel a sense of pride in completing your first task, which mentally prepares you to complete other tasks throughout the day. It also makes you feel tidy and organized, which helps you develop a sense of structure in general. By making your bed in the morning, you are also signalling to your brain the importance of following a routine. However, don’t make your bed after going to the bathroom, or you’ll get into the habit of delaying the habit of making your bed.
Habit 2: Make yourself a soothing cup of coffee (or whatever you prefer)
Having something to look forward to in the morning, like making yourself a cup of coffee with your favourite nut milk, will have a big impact on your mood. Drinking a cup of coffee, for example, will increase your energy level, make you more alert, and even reduce depressive thoughts. If you are too lazy in the morning, you can prepare the ingredients the night before. For example, my father has to get up at 4:30 am to go to work. Therefore, the night before he fills the coffee filter with ground coffee and pours water into the coffee maker so that the next morning he only has to press the button.
Habit 3: Do some stretches or a light workout
I know this is not really new, but doing some kind of physical activity in the morning, be it yoga or a short workout, it doesn’t have to be running or anything exhausting, will increase your energy, make you less tired and lethargic. It will also improve your ability to concentrate, which will help you manage your tasks as you will be able to focus better on work. Plus, you’ll feel proud of yourself for moving your body and doing something positive for your health, which will naturally put you in a good mood. For example, I do 15 to 30 minutes of yoga or go for a walk every morning, and it has really helped me!
Habit 4: Don’t start working before 10 a.m
I know this isn’t easily applicable to everyone, but if you have the opportunity to start work at 10 am, please do so. I’ve been doing it this way for years (except during my time as an intern in New York) and it has helped me immensely because that’s when I’m usually most awake and my brain works best. Also, being able to sleep a little longer is beneficial for those who are sleep-deprived or have trouble falling asleep at night, like me. I usually sleep around 1 am and wake up at 7:30/8 am. So, by 10 am, after my morning routine, I am at my most productive.
Habit 5: Eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast
This is essential for a productive and successful day. You MUST eat in order to function. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day because you are fueling your body with energy, which positively impacts your mental performance and in turn helps you perform your daily tasks far better. Breakfast also helps you regulate your weight and balances your blood sugar levels, so you don’t suffer from brain fog, anxiety, or low energy throughout the day. If you find it hard to eat in the morning, try a light snack like a banana or energy bar.