5 things that will improve your morning routine

In an era where people are constantly on the go, it can be easy to forget how to slow things down.

We go to bed minds racing and wake up on autopilot and soon this habit becomes the norm.

Most people wake up first thing in the morning and check their phones. They check their emails, texts and all social media platforms. Not only is this toxic, but it can also have negative consequences for the rest of the day.

The hours after you wake up are the most important hours of your day. This is when your brain is at its most creative and most productive. They say how you spend the first hour of the day will dictate how the rest of your day will plan out.

If you have woken up not feeling very positive or “on the wrong side of the bed”, what you do in that first hour after waking will determine how the rest of your day will pan out.

Here are 5 things you should aim add into your morning routine:

Gratitude

Meditation and mindfulness are an effective solution to go from an average day to a great day. Instead of waking up and thinking about what is going wrong in your life, your never-ending to-do list, or what you didn’t do yesterday, begin your day with gratitude instead.

Think about all the things you’re grateful for and once you’re fully awake. Sit quietly engaging your attention on your thoughts, feelings, senses and the surrounding environment. Next, visualize everything you want in your life as if you already have it.

By meditating every morning, you boost your focus throughout the day. Meditation doesn't have to be harder than just sitting down for a few moments and listening to what goes on around you.

Movement

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Loosen up your muscles by doing some stretching first thing in the morning. Stretch independently or get guidance from a 5-minute yoga video routine. YouTube has a plethora to choose from.

You also might want to consider exercise to get your blood pumping in the morning and release endorphins. Studies show that exercise sharpens focus and helps you make better decisions throughout the day. If exercise isn’t your thing pop on your favorite playlist and dance. Another fantastic way to release those endorphins.

Stay off your phone

One of the worst habits people have is checking their phone or email when they first wake up. Once you start looking at your phone and checking messages, the downward spiral begins. You either get overwhelmed thinking about all you have to do but can’t do from your bed.

Or, you go down a social media rabbit hole and waste precious time browsing aimlessly. Both are a major waste of time and against everything successful people say they do during the first hour of waking up.

Eat breakfast

Research shows that eating breakfast directly affects your energy levels for the rest of the day.

Your breakfast should include protein like Greek yogurt, eggs, nuts or salmon, whole grains in the form of cereal or bread and some fruit and/or vegetable.

You should avoid refined carbohydrates and saturated fats where possible.

Make your bed

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It might be a small accomplishment, but making the bed sets the tone for the entire day. I first saw this in the book, “The Power of Habit,” by Charles Duhigg. According to the author, daily bed making becomes a keystone habit, something that kickstarts a chain of other good decisions throughout the day, and gives you a sense of taking charge. Duhigg claims that these keystone habits cumulatively lead to "a greater sense of well-being and stronger skills at sticking with a budget."

A made bed also shows that you care about yourself and your home, and that feeling of being cared for helps lift your mood for the entire day.

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