Best Morning Routine for a Productive Day: How I Start My Day
Best Morning Routine: Did you know that how we start our day sets the tone for the entire rest of the day? It’s essential to become aware of your personal needs and come up with a morning routine that works best for you. If you are more introverted, taking that self-care time before “peopling” is very important. You wouldn’t want to hop straight out of bed and start answering emails. Everyone can benefit from a morning routine, but what works for one person might not work for you, and that’s okay! I use to think to be “enough,” I had to do a ridiculous amount of meditation, journaling, stretching, etc. Doing those things does not make you a better person. Doing what nurtures YOUR soul is what’s best for you—and will help you to put YOUR best foot forward in the world. Don’t let the “personal development” and “spirituality” guru’s swaying you to think any differently. You don’t need to do any morning routine whatsoever, and you’re still enough. Still worthy. Often these people are bypassing their bullshit to appear better. So I want to start by saying, if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
With that said, we can all benefit from some basic morning routines catered to our own needs, as I have outlined below:
Set Intentions For the Day
You want to have a good day every day. How can you start your day off, right? When you wake up, set those intentions. How you set them is entirely up to you. Some people enjoy taking 5-10 minutes of meditation. Other people enjoy journaling. Some love to experience a beautiful stretch. For me, I like to stay in that calm (half-awake) stage while slowly waking up, and I allow my thoughts to come in.
I pay attention to what fills “sticky” or uncomfortable, and I take the time to process where it’s coming from. It’s kind of like a little check-in with myself. I remind myself that whatever I’m feeling is just feelings, and I don’t have to cling to it. This mindset allows me to start my day more relaxed. I do this before even making my coffee. It’s a very peaceful, relaxing time for me. I look forward to it. The key here is that you are setting your tone for the day.
How do you want your day to play out? Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Remind yourself if today is a day that needs to be gentle. Maybe you’re in the second half of your cycle and starting to feel things more deeply. During this time, tell yourself, “we got this!” “Today is going to be a good day,” “whatever comes my way I will do my best to handle it with grace.” Some people find that prayer and meditations that ask for guidance and direction are also great ways to set the intentions for a good day!
Best Morning Routine: Get Sunlight/Grounded!
Our modern lifestyle has us pretty much cooped up indoors, sitting throughout most of the day. We are disconnected from our planet more than ever before. Many people wear thick, factory-made rubber-soled shoes (which we start wearing as infants), we have hard floors and desks. Many of us are keeping our body off the earth when touching the ground has impressive health benefits. Earthing or grounding reconnects us with our natural earth environment, through a transfer of electrons from the earth, into our physical body. The earth’s surface possesses a limitless and continuously renewed supply of electrons. Does this all seem too ‘woo woo’ to you? Research is proving; grounding is legit.
Earthing possesses incredible health benefits, and it’s free of cost!
Connecting with the earth decreases feelings of depression and anxiety, reduced pain, improved immune health, cardiovascular health, and sleep. Earthing shifts the body from a sympathetic (fight or flight) to a parasympathetic (relaxed) state. The only requirement? Go outside and walk barefoot. Earthing in the morning also helps with getting adequate sleep. Many people have a difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep, and modern stress is a huge reason for this. The sleep medication industry makes a fortune in sleep aids. The earth’s negative electrons help to create an internal rhythm within our body, which in turn helps to set our circadian rhythm, or sleep cycle, telling our body when to secrete specific hormones like cortisol and melatonin appropriately.
Less cortisol = better sleep = better overall mood.
The earth’s electrons also neutralize free radicals and boost the health of our immune system. Our ancestors not only walked barefoot or wore animal skins (which the earth electrons are absorbed through), oftentimes they slept with their body directly on the earth. This contact with the ground while sleeping neutralizes free radicals, and stabilizes all of our organs, tissues, and cells.
Getting outside and connecting with the earth for as little as a half-hour per day can have a significant positive impact on our overall physical and mental health! Plus, it doesn’t cost anything. Granted, it is more challenging to get outside and ground in the colder months, especially for those living in colder climates. However, there are special conductive shoes that can be worn outside. Unlike synthetic factory-made shoes, animal skin moccasins, as our ancestors wore, are also conducive to the earth’s electrons.
Best Morning Routine: Intermittent Fast
Intermittent fasting is the act of mindfully restricting your eating window, daily. Technically we all fast every single night (hence the name break-fast), but most people mindlessly eat for a substantial portion of each day. On top of countless other benefits, Intermittent fasting in the morning can help with increased brainpower and energy throughout the day. Eating doesn’t necessarily mean having an entire meal; it can be grabbing a banana or a spoonful of peanut butter. Once you consume anything but water, your fast is broken. Play around with different eating windows to find what works best for you! I like to intermittent fast five days a week, and eat regular meals for the other two days. On the five days, I fast during the week; I typically consume between 12 pm and 6 pm.
Get Yourself in a Parasympathetic State Before Starting Work.
Are you feeling stressed about the day ahead? Try to get yourself relaxed first. When you are in a relaxed state, you can get MUCH more work accomplished. You also digest better, recover quicker from workouts, and handle life stress in general better. You can do this through breathwork, journaling, yoga, and even walking. My favorite way to relax is listening to binaural beats.
What are binaural beats? According to www.mindfithypothesis.com, ‘Binaural beats are auditory brain-stem responses which originate in the superior olivary nucleus of each brain hemisphere. They result from two different auditory impulses or sounds, heard from opposite ears. This binaural beat is consciously heard as the human hearing range is from 20-20,000.’ Different brain waves are stimulated with various beats. Beta brain waves are the fastest when we are very alert and using a lot of mind power. Alpha brain waves are slightly slower, and this is when you step out of a beta state to take a brief rest— to decompress and relax. Theta brain waves are still slower yet, and often occur when you are spacing out or daydreaming. That moment when you first wake in the morning, yet even in a ‘half sleep.’ Finally, Delta brain waves are the slowest, and when you are in a deep sleep. Listening to binaural beats has shown to be favorable for creativity, attention, relaxation, decreased anxiety, and a happier mood!
*It’s essential to use earbuds when listening to get the full effect!
Best Morning Routine? Create Your Routine and Stick with It!
The above are simply suggestions to help improve your morning routine and, therefore, your quality of life. The most important thing you can do in the morning is honoring your personal needs and what feels best for you. Just be sure you are not distracting yourself, spending too much time on social media in the morning, and ignoring your personal needs. Put your oxygen mask on first—you’ll be a better mom, partner, and more productive.