One of the things that has the biggest impact on our days and on our life is how we spend our first hours awake.
As you might guess, waking up in a rush to quickly grab some coffee, some clothes and head off the door already exhausted and sweaty is not ideal for our body and mind. And it doesn’t even end there.
This poor morning experience will easily influence our mood for the rest of the day – and even our work performance.
That’s why it’s so crucial to have some morning habits and routines that are put together strategically to improve our productivity for the rest of the day. And day after day this will change your life for good, of course.
Today, I’m going to share in this post the 14 most-effective habits you should start adopting to have a happier morning experience and head off the door feeling calm and ready to take on the world!
Of course, you don’t have to integrate them all together in your routine, you can either pick the ones you like the most or integrate one at a time.
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1. DRINK A GLASS OF WATER
As soon as you wake up and crawl out of bed, you should drink at the very least a glass of warm water (but 1l would be ideal!). With some lemon, if you like.
Water is great to activate your metabolism and wake your organs up. Your body hasn’t been drinking for 6-8 hours, it’s pretty dehydrated.
2. OPEN THE BLINDS & MAKE THE BED
Another easy thing to do as soon as you wake up that can, however, have a huge impact on the rest of your day is to make the bed and open the blinds.
Aside from being a way to create another obstacle to you crawling back into bed (it’s definitely harder to go back to sleep after you’ve made the bed and got exposed to sunlight), this quick and easy action is a message to your brain that you’re being productive and organized – which will motivate you to stay ahead of your game for the rest of the day.
3. MOVE YOUR BODY (even for as little as 5 minutes)
One of the best things to do in the morning is without a doubt moving your body. Think about it: your body has been lethargic and lying down for 6-8 hours, your muscles are probably still sleeping and need to stretch.
Now, I don’t expect you to do a full 30-minutes workout when you’re still feeling sleepy and unmotivated, but if you force yourself to move your body (even with some low-intensity exercises) for as little as 5 minutes, it will be a game changer, I promise.
It’s been proven that working out in the morning – even with some light exercise – can boost your metabolism up to 22% for the rest of the day and reduce tremendously sugar cravings.
Moving in the morning will get your heart pumping, your metabolism to speed up, while also making you feel more alert and active for the rest of the day.
4. WASH YOUR FACE + SKINCARE
Since I’m firmly convinced that skincare is a form of self-love, it’s something I try to never skip in the morning.
Washing and cleansing the face is definitely the most important step – and my skincare usually takes around 5 minutes – but in the weekends or when I have some extra time I also indulge in making natural face masks.
I can’t describe how good it feels to read a good book while having a sheet mask on!
You can read about my natural and simple skincare routine here: “My Everyday Skincare Routine”
Related: “Homemade Skincare For Oily Skin”
5. PRACTICE A MOMENT OF GRATEFULNESS//TAKE A MOMENT TO SAY ‘THANKS’
Human beings tend to get used to what they have and do every day pretty easily. This causes us to often forget how much we have and take for granted things that can be considered a luxury for others.
Having the possibility to grab some water from the fridge and drink it at any time of the day is a privilege not everybody gets.
Whatever your religion is, taking the time to reflect on what you are grateful for, thank a higher power (call it what you want to!) and visualizing what you want to accomplish that day is crucial in setting the mood for the rest of the day.
Having a 5-minute journal can be really useful with that.
Basically, as the name might already suggest, this journal will take only a few minutes everyday to be filled out.
Here are the prompts:
- I am grateful… (3 things)
- What would make today great? (3 things)
- I am… (2 things)
If you’re interested in g0ing deeper into this topic, I LOVED this podcast interview (The Science of Gratitude and Simple Behavioral Change) with the creator of The 5 Minute Journal and highly recommend listening to it!
6. WRITE OR REVIEW YOUR TO-DO LIST
I personally like writing my to-do list at night, before going to bed, and then highlighting the 3 most important tasks for the day – but some people prefer doing it in the morning.
However, even if it’s just for a quick review, grabbing your to-do list for the day and thinking about what you’re gonna do step after step is definitely gonna help you be more focused and productive throughout the rest of the day.
7. READ 10 PAGES OF A BOOK OR LISTEN TO AN AUDIOBOOK
If you’re always telling yourself how much you’d like to read more but simply “can’t find the time” then this is a perfect thing to do first up in the morning.
If you think about it, reading 10 pages daily is hardly anything – it’s not intimidating at all – but if you keep up with it, you’ll finish reading an average size book every month.
That’s why this is definitely one of the best habits to include in your morning routine!
8. WRITE MORNING PAGES
Related: “How to write consistently everyday”
9. THINK OF A ONE-WORD DESCRIPTION
“In only one word, think about or write down how you feel about the day ahead, where you are in your life right now, or what you need to hear. Put that word somewhere where it’ll be visible during the day.”
I’ve heard about this only recently and decided to test it out in my own morning routine.
I found it to be pretty funny but also challenging and inspiring at the same time.
10. VIDEO JOURNAL
This is a great alternative to morning pages if writing is not your forte.
Record a short video diary for the day (one to two minutes). You can talk about virtually anything: what’s happening in your life, what you’re grateful for, what you’re thinking about, or simply choose a random speech topic. You can then decide to share it with others (maybe on a Youtube channel?) or keep it private.
11. PHOTO JOURNAL
A quicker alternative to a video journal, a photo journal – or photo log – is quite easy to maintain nowadays.
12. LISTEN TO A PODCAST
Here you’ll find a list of some interesting podcasts to follow (not limited to millennials!): “7 Most Inspiring Podcasts For Millennials”
13. WATCH A TED TALK
Try to take in a good TED talk during your morning routine. There are so many good ones out there.
Each one will either give you something curious and interesting to think about for the rest of the day or will be a good discussion prompt with your colleagues at work (you’ll appear SO smart!)
14. WORK ON A CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Perfect to relax and kick your brain into gear at the same time, a crossword puzzle is another good idea to add to your morning routine.
My mother has started her day this way for decades and absolutely swears by it.