5 Ways to Cultivate an Invigorating Morning Routine
When you’re busy, it’s easy to feel the need to roll straight out of bed and “hit the ground running” – whether that be getting kids on the school bus, or getting yourself to a computer screen. While a morning routine should be realistic and tailored to your needs (not all our body clocks agree with a 5am wake-up and that’s okay), a few easy routine switch-ups and new rituals will help you feel invigorated, in control, and in the right headspace for higher productivity.
With this in mind, here are five simple switch-ups to help you get up and at ‘em each day.
1. Allow sunlight to wake you up
Waking up with the onset of sunlight doesn't just create an alerting effect but it also harmonises our circadian rhythm, which creates healthier sleep patterns. Get into the habit of rising with the sun by leaving your bedroom curtains open during the night, or opt for a sunrise alarm clock which offers non-invasive, time-exposure light that mimics that of a natural sunrise.
2. Don't look at your phone
the morning. Not only does this prime our brain for distraction by bypassing the theta and alpha stages of sleep (when thoughts and visualisation are most free-flowing), there's is a pretty good chance you'll feel discouraged, stressed or anxious about the stream of emails, text messages, and news alerts greeting you. Try not to look at your phone until you're in 'work mode' and in the mindset to tackle it.
3. Take a short, cold shower
Researchers can wax lyrical about the benefits of a cold shower – from reducing inflammation, pain, stress levels and muscle soreness to improving blood circulation. Studies also show that cold water increases white blood cells, which protects against diseases. More instantly, it'll send electrical impulses to your brain, which can jolt you into alertness and clarity.
4. Spend 5 minutes meditating
Taking just five minutes for meditation each morning is enough to lower stress, help clear the mind, improve brain function and mood, and, in turn, set you up for a day richer with patience, perspective, creativity and self-awareness. New to the practice? Find a place that is quiet and calming, set a time limit, feel your breath, notice your body and mind, and be kind to yourself in the moments your thoughts wander.
5. Write in a gratitude journal
Journaling notes of gratitude consistently can take your brain from a place of dallying (or even despair) to a more positive mindset. You only need a few minutes to do this, and there really are no rules on where to find gratitude. Not sure how to start? Try note down something positive that happened the day before, no matter how small, or look to the things you often take for granted, like good health or simply being alive.
Looking for more help easing into a morning routine?
Here are three places that offer the alternative medicine technique:
These links are shared with the only intention of being helpful, and have no affiliation with The New Moon.