5 Healthy Morning Habits
Let’s be honest, we all have that ideal morning routine where if this was that and that was this we would get to do all those things in the morning that we wanted to do.
Most of us don’t get our ideal morning routine every day so instead I try to implement healthy morning habits, that while some are very small, set me up in the best possible mood to face the day.
#1 Make Your Bed
While we may regard this as a trivial task, making your bed is actually quite a powerful thing. So many things can go wrong in our day that can leave us feeling quite unaccomplished and unproductive. However, by starting our day with making our bed we already accomplished something as soon as we wake up and that in itself puts us in a better mood to face the day. If you don’t believe me there is a whole book dedicated to this one act Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World.
#2 Have a Morning Ritual
However small or simplistic your morning ritual is I highly recommend having one. With all the chaos that happens in our daily life having something that is consistent is something we can take comfort in.
Mine is coffee. While simple, it is the simplicity of my morning ritual makes me happy. I’ve played with a French Press and a Chemex for a few months, and I have to say I prefer the Chemex just for the ease of clean up. However, ever since moving home I’ve fallen back into using my Keurig. I just pop a cup in and while the Keurig is busy with making my coffee, I take that time to clean my kitchen a bit by putting away the dishes in the dishwasher. Instead of using that time as dead air, just waiting for my coffee, I love using that time to tidy a bit. Since my mind hasn’t fully shaken off the sleep from the night before I’m tidying my space and my mind all while making coffee.
During breakfast I used to just watch TV or have it just be dead air time where I wouldn’t really listen to anything. I became interested in podcasts about a year ago and listened to them on and off but for the past few months they have become a staple in my morning routine. My favorite one to listen to is Optimal Living Daily. I love this podcast because each episode is about 5 to 7 minutes, so it’s quite bite-sized and easy to slip into your day at some point, and topics revolve around self-development from minimalism to living authentically so it’s right up my alley.
Podcasts are a great way to fill that dead air time in our day, while we’re cleaning the house, getting ready for the day, or eating breakfast, we can use that time to learn something, open our minds to a new way of thinking, or just gaining a little perspective.
#4 Morning Pages
This practice is something I discovered a month ago and I could not rave about this more. Morning Pages originally comes from Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way that aims to help artists tap into their creativity.
Morning Pages is essentially a stream of consciousness writing in which you write three pages, ideally in the morning, about anything. The idea is that this is a sort of “brain dump” on paper that does not have to be perfect at all. They do not have to be complete sentences or even make sense to anyone but you. These pages are for your eyes only and the key point to morning pages is that you do not look back at them. They are only for you to get anything off your mind, whether it is positive or negative, and to move on. The benefits of this practice include reducing anxiety, increasing productivity and creativity, generate more ideas, clear your mind, and silence your inner critic.
Another thing I should point out is that there are no rules. While ideally you would do this practice in the morning on paper, some people do it at night on their laptop. No judgment, no rules—just you and your thoughts.
If you’re thinking How am I supposed to fill 3 pages? That’s your first sentence right there! Write about anything on your mind. I tend to write about the day before, the day ahead, how I’ve been feeling about everything, things I want to accomplish, etc.
It took me a long time to come around to the idea of Yoga. I always preferred Pilates or HIIT workouts because the slow pace of Yoga didn’t appeal to me. However, I realized the benefit of Yoga lied in the one reason I didn’t like it—it made me slow down. Yoga is a great practice for self-love just by taking out the time for you to slow down, re-center, and breathe.
My mind is constantly going with so many thoughts trying to compete for attention that my mind has a hard time being silent. The first time I did Yoga it was a very strange experience for my body because the practice was all about quieting the mind, listening to the body, and focusing on the breathe. I had almost never done any of these things let alone doing them all at once, so needless to say my mind put a fight.
I’ve been practicing for about a month now and while still not easy, I have become more comfortable with the silence, and if anything I always tell myself I am getting a nice stretch in. The benefits of just taking a pause in our day to allow ourselves to breathe is a powerful thing to increase energy, improve cardio health, and decreasing mental stress.
Those are all the habits that have been working for me lately, what are some of your morning routine habits?