Morning routines matter – here’s how to improve yours

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Monday morning arrives. You groan and roll over to snooze your alarm.

You snooze once, twice, maybe even three times. And still you find it hard to get out of bed. Your mind is still swimming in the remnants of last night’s dreams, and your body feels heavy. The coffee pot is calling.

Whether you realize it or not, you do have a ‘morning routine’ – we all do! Whether it is a good routine or a bad one… well, that’s a different matter.

I used to have a morning routine that I am less than proud of today. I would snooze my alarm three times, only getting up on the last alarm as I knew that by now I was running a little late.

Perhaps you are familiar with this too?

No matter what I had planned for the day, my first stop was always Starbucks for my tall, vanilla latte with two sugars and extra milk. This was always my order because I really didn’t like the taste of coffee. But I needed it so that I could totally wake up before my day got going.

The weekend, however, was a very different story. No alarms needed – yay!

I would sleep in often until noon, but by that time half the day was gone. It felt like my weekends would rush by, not giving me enough time to catch up with my friends, or indeed with myself.

Although the weekend was mine, I usually found myself too tired to really enjoy it. So I would sleep it away, and then feel a little bit cheated on Monday morning. I used to believe that how I spent my weekend mornings was how I would like to spend every morning.

But that belief has changed a lot over the years. Now that I have my sleep in check, and have developed better routines, I no longer lose my leisure time to tiredness.

You follow a set of steps to get you out of the house in the mornings too. But are those steps enjoyable, or are they steps of an unconscious routine that you don’t enjoy, and that don’t serve you?

Think about it a little… what is your morning routine?

A good routine that is personalised for you will help you to start your day flying. Where as a bad routine will keep you tethered to the ground, dragging your feet through your day.

It’s about choice in the end.

So how do you want your days to feel?

Morning routines that I create with my clients include a couple of key elements to get them going in the mornings. These elements help them to not only physical get up, but to be really mentally alert too. This sets up their whole day to be more productive.

Have you ever considered the physiology of waking up in the morning?

It’s more than a mental battle. Your body needs to produce the hormone cortisol to keep your circadian rhythm doing its job.
Daylight is a natural trigger for this. You can help nature along with a simple tool such as a sunrise lamp.

Lumie (www.lumie.com) is my brand of choice, and I recommend this to many clients. These lamps often wake you up without the need for a noisy alarm too – it’s so much gentler on the body and mind.

Here are a few more tips to get you not just up, but alert and ready!

Once out of bed, wash your face with cold water. This works because your body will naturally react to the temperature. You can start with warmer water first if you want to, but the point of this is to wake you up, so turn the tap to cold and let’s go!

Get breakfast in your stomach before your first coffee. We all know the nasty feeling of having the coffee jitters first thing in the morning. This is partly because your blood sugar is a little low from sleeping all night. So eat something sensible!

Remember the saying: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dine like a pauper. This will also help you shift from having big dinners in the evening, which can cause digestive problems at bedtime, disturbing your sleep.

Do something that brings you joy in the mornings. Seriously, lift your mood up! Listen to your favourite song while you are getting dressed, write in a gratitude journal, or wear your favourite underwear – whatever brings you that smile first thing in the morning. Starting your day with joy and even laughter will transform you from grumbling about your mornings to chirping along with the dawn chorus.

Have you got any good morning tips that you love? Comment below, I’d love to hear them.

Of course you can also send me an e-mail to beatrix@thesleepdeepmethod.com

Beatrix

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