5 Things to Include in Your Morning Routine for a Peaceful and Productive Day
Let me guess: you’re not a morning person. Neither am I. I used to dedicate my mornings to blankly staring at the wall, checking my phone for updates to my social media feed and, best of all, going back to sleep until I had no choice but to get up.
On these days I found that I was overwhelmed, stressed, and just swept by my feelings, reacting to whatever occurred around me.
It turns out the most peaceful part of the day was the morning, and I was not taking full advantage of it. Armed with that revelation, I set out to change that, and I found morning activities that help me feel more productive, peaceful, and just, ‘on top’ of things.
They are as follows:
If I could recommend just one thing, it’s this. You’re not going to find any other time of the day when you have zero excuses to not put in a few reps of squats and pushups, or follow a simple 15 minute Yoga routine on Youtube.
Science has already covered the amazing benefits of regular exercise, and many regular exercisers cite the benefits of morning exercise for staying consistent and seeing positive results in their energy levels, and physique. Plus, you’ll find it much easier to sleep at night.
The best advice I can give for this is to start small and make it a habit to move in the morning. Something as simple as doing two push-ups when you roll out of bed. No matter how small the action, the effect compounds. Soon you’ll associate waking up with working out, and then you have the freedom to try more challenging exercises.
The act of visualization is literally picturing the best result of something you’re planning that day. If you’re having a conference call later, imagine it going really well, and benefiting your career. If you’re planning to bake a cake, imagine getting every step of the process right, and making something truly delicious.
This might sound silly, but if top athletes, salespeople, and authorities in their field swear by this technique, maybe there’s something to it?
I usually use this technique to visualize getting my to-do list done in a calming and productive way, and enjoying stress-free evenings. Perhaps you can try it for the most important task for the day. Visualize just nailing that presentation, that tough conversation, or even just the five items on your to-do list.
I recommend doing visualization straight after exercise, or while doing this third step.
3. Soaking in The Sunlight (Bonus: Getting in that Fresh Morning Air)
Open your windows, and soak up the morning sunlight. Or better yet, step outside and stand in the fresh morning air. There’s nothing like greeting the sun just as it peeks over the horizon.
Taking in sunlight has been proven to reduce stress, maintain strong bones, and fight off symptoms of depression (read this article for more info on the health benefits of sunlight).
The fresh morning air will definitely wake you up, if exercise hasn’t already. Depending on the season and time in the morning, you’ll also be treating yourself to a wonderful auditory experience.
It might be my personal opinion, but there’s nothing better than hearing the sounds of the early morning: birds chirping and the faint sound of traffic in the distance just gets me excited for the possibilities of the day.
Try giving the morning a chance to surprise you with it’s peaceful beauty, and maybe waking up earlier might become a little bit more pleasant.
How much do you read? According to this study, the average adult spends 16 minutes(!) reading per day! And if you’re reading this post, I’m hoping you’re trying to be anything but average!
We can always find time to scroll social media or stream the latest series, but how much time do we schedule in the day for reading? Just enjoyable reading, not to learn or teach. If we don’t schedule it, it likely won’t happen.
With that in mind, how about fitting in a good reading session in the morning? I usually aim for a minimum of 10 minutes a day, and in the past 2 months, I’ve finished about four books!
A scholar might scoff at that number, but even just four books puts me miles ahead of the average amount. And I obviously don’t need to repeat the endless mental benefits of a good book! (But if you need to revise, this article should help!)
5. Quiet Time/Meditation
This is something I used to pair with my sunlight-soaking time, but I find that putting this step as the last part of your morning routine is a game-changer when it comes to stress management.
Call it meditation, or call it quiet time. Whatever you call it, the process is similar. You sit, or stand, quietly. You could focus on your breathing, or focus on a single thought or affirmation.
This is essentially a quieting of the mind: the practice of getting into a state of deep and relaxed focus. Putting other thoughts at rest. Even doing just for 2 minutes will make noticeable differences to how you approach the day ahead.
I find that mindfully focusing on my breathing for five minutes before I leave the house helps me to carry on with my day in a more relaxed manner, and I’m able to handle setbacks like water off a duck’s back.
Time to Take Charge of your Morning
That was just five things you can do to make the most of your morning. I consider these the foundational steps. Once you’ve made a solid routine of at least 3 of these habits, you’ll find it adds significant positivity to your day.
Have you tried any of these morning routine activities? Do you have suggestions for other great morning activities that you have tried and have worked for you? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Simone Morgan is a freelance writer who writes content for the personal development industry.