Have you ever woken up every morning and feel sorry for what happened yesterday?
That’s what I felt when I smoked too many cigarettes, when I let the anger fill me the entire day, when I wasn’t productive enough, and a lot of when.
It’s annoying when I regret something when I just open my eyes. I wish for a great morning feeling, wake up with a smile and hopes, inhale the cold air and look at the rice field with a cup of morning tea. Oh, what a beautiful day!
So, I decided to be more disciplined with myself. A solid morning routine has long been the backbone of myself-care practice. As someone who deals with depression and anxiety, it makes a noticeable difference in my mental health (and I definitely feel an even bigger difference when I skip it).
Here is what I do every morning and this routine makes me more relaxed, calm, productive and feel healthier for the entire day. Keep in mind that everyone’s ideal morning routine will be different, so the suggestions on this list are meant to be starting points. Experiment with what works for you, and remember that the key is consistency.
- Drink Water
Before I start my day I always drink two glasses of water right away after I open my eyes. The six to eight hours of recommended nightly sleep is a long period to go without any water consumption. Drinking a glass or two of water right when you wake up, however, is a good way to quickly rehydrate your body. Most people have their coffee first thing in the morning, although it is a good source of antioxidants, it is also dehydrating. You can offset this with water.
One of the biggest indicators of low energy is that you are dehydrated. Because water aids in both body regulation and brain function, it is also closely related to balancing out our moods. After a long period without anything to eat or drink, the first thing you consume in the morning can be working and “can boost your alertness and low energy levels”.
“Please drink water right away when you wake up!” Vena says. My boyfriend is getting used to these words.
I found it’s a fun thing to do and work for me, it builds the feeling of being responsible (you can try the easy one).
Usually I wake up early, with no alarm, before I sleep I say to myself I’ll wake up around 7 AM and the next morning I wake up around 6:40 or 7:20, but I get some help from my dog “Sunny’’, he mostly scratches the door early morning. Usually, before I start my day I make my bed, but now I live with my partner and he is not a morning person. So, rather than make my bed I wash dishes plus sunny’s bowl and clean the house.
If I clean my house every morning, I will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give me a small sense of pride, and it will encourage me to do another task and another and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
- Wash my face with cold water
I don’t wash my face right away after I wake up, because I don’t really like my dirty hands after cleaning, to save time I choose to wash it when I clean my face (I just don’t like to waste a sec to only wash my hands and make it dirty again :D).
I need to have extra external push to make sure my brain is 100% alive because cleaning isn’t enough to make it on. Washing my face with cold water brings the refreshing feeling to my brain and my skin, it helps to do other things in the morning. I don’t know what science says, but I find it helps me a lot!
- Feed and walk my dog
Like I mentioned before, one task will lead you to another and another task. Feeding my dog has always been another therapy for me, because I need to use my creativity to make sure he wants to eat his food (he’s picky any way). Feeding him is not always easy, I can’t just take his dry food and give it to him, I need to cook vegetables, meat, eggs and other things to make sure he’s healthy. Yes, I treat him like my own kid, I feel responsible for him, and one thing for sure is to make sure he’s got enough energy for the rest of the day, just like me.
Walking my dog is always a challenge, sunny in the process of learning to socialize with other dogs. Means I need to practice leadership even when I just want to bring my dog outside. Learning to be in control to make sure he is calm when meeting other dogs, is a skill that I need to train myself every single morning. But it’s always fun when I see him slowly progressing.
- Drink a cup of tea
I’m a big fan of coffee but tea is my go to when it comes to morning routine. As I know tea is rich in antioxidants and caffeine; there are many health benefits of tea. It helps in recharging you in the morning and kick lethargy away, to make us mentally aware and focused. But there are other minus points of drinking tea or coffee in the morning, better to not drink both with empty stomachs.
- Practice Yoga
I’m not a big fan of yoga and meditation, really. But my mental health condition pushes me to do it and I feel the benefit of it. I found that yoga is a fantastic alternative to physical exercise, since it also serves to loosen up the muscles in the body while improving mental clarity and even increasing energy within the body.
Yoga also helps me to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety, and as I experienced regular yoga practice has been associated with overall improved physical and mental health and well being. There are a lot of great reasons to try out a regular yoga routine, but it turns out that practicing yoga the very first thing in the morning is perhaps one of the best ways to really reap its many health benefits.
Putting yoga in my morning routine helps my body to regulate its sleeping habits. One of the more important benefits of morning yoga that i have personally noticed is how it allows me to remain more calm and relaxed throughout the entire day, even if it ever gets to be very hectic and stressful.
- 10 Minutes Meditation
After my yoga routine, most of the time I wrap it with meditation at the end of the yoga practice. I did it to make sure I feel my body, the flow of my blood, the beat of my heart, above all I try to be mindful with my own body.
One of the biggest myths about meditation is that it takes a long time. You can meditate for a long while, absolutely, but you don’t have to. You can meditate with whatever time you have, even if it’s only five minutes. Personally, I’ve been meditating for ten minutes almost every morning, and these are the biggest benefits I’ve seen in that time. It’s never about the quantity, but quality, how you can be entirely present.
I noticed morning meditation sets a tone of calm for the entire day, I found that it helped me start the day much more peacefully. That feeling of calm and control didn’t just last through the morning. It carried through the rest of my day.
Morning meditation makes me feel more awake and alert. I’ve also noticed that I drink less caffeine throughout the day, which means there’s no midafternoon energy slump.
This one came as the biggest surprise to me. Having ten minutes of silence and stillness each morning allows my subconscious mind to do good work behind the scenes, which means that i go into each day with a clear focus on what my priorities should be. I’ve been able to maximize my productivity because morning meditation gives me so much direction and clarity.
My life hasn’t really changed much since I started meditation. I have the same demands on my time, and my to-do list can still be kind of overwhelming. What has changed is the way I feel about it. I feel capable of handling everything on my plate with grace and poise. I feel an overall satisfaction with my life. I’m a happier person because of my morning meditation.
- Heavy Exercise
I have always been a big fan of heavy exercise, and the gym is a great place for me. After all my yoga and meditation, I love to have an extra sweat and after that i will feel complete again. I’m not a person who will do this only to be in shape, but this morning exercise always brings me extra energy and motivation to face the day. When I close my morning with exercise it feels like drinking water after finishing your main course. I can start my work right after that, non stop until lunch time, my muscle feels more strong and in shape, I noticed my skin is naturally glowing (believe me, I have no skin care routine). I think it’s just me, but when I do my research, research and studies found that people who exercise in the morning have more radiant, glowing, and blooming skin than those who exercise in the evening. Why? The sunlight, heat, and daylight are apparently great factors that affect the bloom and health of your skin. It is much easier for you to hydrate and wash out your pores during these times, which makes it really beneficial for your skin.
But the real thing is the same with my Yoga and meditation, morning exercise helps me to get a better sleep.
- Write or review daily to do list
I have more that 3 things to focus on when it comes to work, i run my own business in different type of industries and i need to plan everything since morning start
For some people an ideal morning is a protected bubble wherein work isn’t allowed. Totally valid. But for others (like me!), It’s the perfect time to get some strategizing done before becoming distracted by the inevitable deluge of email or slate of meetings. When you take the time to write out or review your game plan for the day, you’re once again getting ahead of making decisions based on your mood.
This is great for productivity, yes, but planning is important on a larger scale too. My favorite explanation for the importance of planning your tasks and schedule ahead of time comes from the book Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. He writes, “When we don’t purposely and deliberately choose where to focus our energies and time, other people-our bosses, our colleagues, our clients, and even our families will choose for us, and before long we’ll have lost sight of everything that is meaningful and important.”
Every individual is different, mine is not always suitable for you or might suitable for you. The things that you need to keep in mind is everythings is about consistency. We wish to be the best version of ourselves but we doubt about how many times we have, and how limited and tight the schedule is to start these morning routines. We need to be honest with ourselves , is that only an excuse or are we just not capable of being the best version of ourselves?
Everything is possible, you can be the best version of yourself, you just need to start and be consistent with what you aim for.