Waking up in the morning can be the hardest part of the day, especially during the winter months when it is still dark outside when you wake up. It can be even harder when suffering from poor mental health or, in the darker months, Seasonal Affective Disorder (which spells ‘sad’, ironically). But with so much work to do and a life passing us by so quickly, it’s essential that we kick-start our mornings right to make the most of the day!
So this morning routine doesn’t even start in the morning but on the night before! It’s important that before bed you switch your phone onto airplane mode and turn the internet off so that when you wake up there are no notifications and so no temptation to go on social media. It’s also a good idea to set an alarm and then place your phone somewhere where you’ll have to walk towards in order to turn it off (but preferably in the same room you are sleeping in).
1.DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON!!
This is absolutely the MOST important thing you could possibly do. If you press the snooze button for even 5 minutes it can ruin your mood for the whole morning/day. This is because our body sleeps in cycles of around 75-90 minutes and if something (such as an alarm) interrupts this and we then start to go back to sleep for just 5-10 more minutes, it is still interrupted and this can actually make us more anxious and depressed. So it’s important that not only we resist the urge to press the snooze button, but also put our phone somewhere that we’d need to walk to, so that we are already up and out of our beds and ready to face the day. This can be the hardest part of the day, and I often find that building myself up to it helps. I normally count to five then open my eyes and let them adjust, then count to five until I get out of bed.
2. Try to avoid social media within the first hour of waking up.
In order to wake up feeling fresh and productive, it’s important that we resist the temptation of looking at social media (hence why it’s important to leave the WIFI turned off the night before). If we look at our phones as soon as we wake up, we actually end up feeling even more tired right away as this is what looking at a screen so shortly after waking up can do to us. It can also make us depressed and anxious looking at social media and the news, so it is best to get your routine finished first before looking at your phone, and you will already be feeling productive by the time it’s done as you’ll be looking at your phone after you’re ready to start the day instead of before.
3. Take a biiiiiig gulp of water!
Over the night we breathe and sweat, causing us to lose water during the night and dehydration is another reason why we can feel groggy in the morning. It’s best to leave a glass of water next to our bed for when we wake up, but it is also a good idea to maybe prepare lemon water, or cucumber water with 1-2 drops of lemon essential oil the night before. Warm lemon water is also good to drink in the morning and drinking fluids as soon as you wake up is a great way to not only hydrate your body but to also boost your metabolism, and lemons are great for aiding weight loss!
4. Make your bed
This is such a simple thing that I never bothered to do but makes a world of a difference! Your bed is the main object in your room (hence why the word ‘bed’ is in it!) so it’s so important that it is made after waking up so that your room generally looks tidy; having an unmade bed in a tidy room can make the room look messy. It also means that you won’t be tempted to go back to sleep in it!
5. Brush yo teeeth!
Again, such a simple but important one! It’s so important that you do this before making a tea/coffee or breakfast as it leave you feeling super fresh! It also means that when you come back from the bathroom, you walk into a tidy bed/room and this will make you feel ready to face the day! While in the bathroom, it can also be a good idea to splash your face with cold water to help you to wake up, it often works a treat for me!
Now nothing too elaborate, just some simple arm, leg, back and neck stretches to get the blood flowing. Five minutes is all I ever really need. Sometimes I find that pushing myself to go on a 10 minute walk around my neighbourhood in the morning helps set me up for the day!
If I’m still super tired by this point, a shower is often my saving grace! A warm shower often does the trick, but when I’m feeling unbelievably tired despite doing everything else in my routine, a cold shower helps to wake me up (a lot!).
8. Make breakfast
It’s not the most important meal of the day for no reason, eating breakfast can help to kick start your metabolism for the day and gives you all the energy you need. Even if you don’t feel hungry for breakfast in the morning, it’s important to have something small like a banana or a cereal bar. And a hot drink helps too. I personally find that drinking yerba mate with a bit of honey gives me the energy I need to focus on my studies in the morning, and peppermint tea is great for concentration! I sometimes add a little bit of dandelion root powder too, which is also great for metabolism.
9. Play a podcast/uplifting music.
Having something motivational or uplifting in the background while making/eating your breakfast, finally getting round to checking social media or doing work can really help you to stay focused and motivated!
So that’s the morning routine I usually follow to help me stay productive more-so during the winter months and for when I’m not feeling too great mentally. When I follow this routine I find that I don’t need naps throughout the day and my mood is generally a lot better. Things of course work differently for different people but from personal experience it helps me the most to stay focused and motivated throughout the day. Fresh air can also help us to start off the day right, and a 10 minute walk is sometimes all we ever need. Writing our thoughts in a diary can help us mentally too. No matter how healthy a routine I did, I always found that looking at my phone immediately or shortly after waking up made me feel so tired throughout the day, so it’s important that we try to avoid looking at our phone until our routine is finished. How we start our mornings affects our whole day, so it’s important that we start them in the best and healthiest way possible! 🙂