One of the things I’ve realised I can’t live without – structure.
In any shape or form, without structure I feel like my whole day just won’t go as I want it. With a morning routine, I just feel like my mood can go from a 0 to a solid 6. I like the thought of knowing I have certain things to do daily in order to lift my mood and try to make me feel like a more productive person. Having a morning routine also helps calm my mind – I find that having a solid structure stops the panic from looming in, and stops the niggling anxiety.
As I’m more of a visual person, I love to have things written down, I always try and make sure I plan my day the night before in order to eliminate any stress the next day – this doesn’t always happen as sometimes I’m too busy, but I find that without planning, it has a serious impact on my mental health. In the morning, I always try to follow these five steps in order to make sure the day is as productive as it can be!
1) Have a set time to wake up. Obviously if you work 9-5 then this can be hard as sometimes you have no choice but to set an alarm and get up at ungodly hours, but, whilst I am still doing my Masters and only working evenings – I find that this really helps me. I’m not much of a sleeper throughout the night, but you can bet as soon as 4/5am rolls around that I am sound asleep – I have been setting my alarm for around half seven for the past month and have been making a conscious effort to GET UP. It’s ok waking up, but sometimes we can spend far too long in bed and before we know it – the morning has gone. Getting into a set routine will help the body and overtime you will find it easier to get up!
2) Move around and stay hydrated. As I have been on Slimming World for three months – I have now started to incorporate exercise into my morning routine. I do 30 minutes, 5 days a week on the cross trainer – and it’s actually unbelievable how much better I feel, both physically and mentally. Sure exercising helps you to lose weight and to keep fit, but it also helps to release positive endorphins and allows the body to become relatively stress free – I love having this step in my morning routine. I also drink up to 3 litres of water a day – again, another amazing benefit for the body, but it also helps you to feel more awake, less tired and ready to feel more motivated.
3) Always eat breakfast. Before joining Slimming World, I would miss breakfast and sometimes not eat until late morning – but I have found that having my breakfast at the same time every day helps to keep me focused throughout the day, my body feels full so that’s one less thing I feel I need to worry about throughout the morning. I have better concentration and the morning goes soooo much quicker.
4) Write a realistic to-do list. As I always plan in the evening, I always make sure I do my to-do list of a morning. This will help you feel much better – you won’t know what mood you will be in, in the morning, so wait and see how you feel. If you are feeling particularly overwhelmed or lacking motivation, don’t over crowd your to-do-list. If you are struggling to complete what you need to do – section things. Write down only 2-3 things on your to do list and tackle them before you do anymore. If you push yourself to do too much throughout the day, you will probably find that you lose motivation much quicker.
5) Take a mid-morning break. Again, if you’re working, you may not be able to do this, or you may find it harder. But allow yourself 5 minutes away from your desk, stretch your legs, walk to the loo, fill up your water bottle, go to your car, water your plants, do something that distracts you from your task for a couple of minutes – this will help refocus the mind. Remember that it’s important for your mind to have a break – being constantly on the go only means you are going to tire yourself out and feel overwhelmed!
Let me know if you have any rituals you can’t live without in the mornings!