Morning routines—some people swear by them while others are too busy hitting snooze to even try them. Although I’m not one to have an official plan of action before 8am, the end result tends to be a combination of me stumbling to find my car keys and calculating if I have enough time to buy my $5 coffee (#adulting). When I (finally) decided to take control of my mornings, I chose methods that didn’t involve me having to wake up at an abnormally early hour or engage in an outrageous workout plan. This being said, here are five morning routines I tried, my experience with each one of them and who I believe they’re best suited for.
1st Choice: Work Out
While running three miles before work seems intense at the best of times, it's pretty much impossible when you're thinking about it from the comfort of your bed. The trick to working out in the morning is to remind yourself that the task is always more difficult in our minds than in our reality. Even though you don't have to look forward to your workout, you don't have to dread it.
I woke up with the goal to go to the gym—and chose to not listen to the excuses for why I was too tired to do so. After 30 minutes of cardio, I was completely refreshed and wondering how it was only 8am. Thus, this option was easily my first choice because it energized me for the day and fulfilled my need to feel productive immediately. With mentality being a huge factor in our everyday lives, the quick 30-minute workout allowed me to relieve stress, feel accountable and take pride that I started my day as strongly as I wanted to end it.
Who would benefit:
- People who are groggy in the morning and wish for a natural remedy to wake up.
- People who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or want to create a workout schedule (but find themselves too tired after work).
- People who hold the feeling of productivity as a high priority.
2nd Choice: Listen To A Podcast
Instead of turning on my favorite playlist, I decided to indulge in a podcast. Whereas your go-to song may get you pumped up in the morning, a podcast can motivate you in a different way. From inspirational talks to informative ones, there's a genre for every interest and something to learn from every episode.
I chose a podcast on career tips for creatives, one that would help me look forward to starting my tasks. By the time the episode was over, I was not only completely moved by the story but also convinced I was capable of anything, which is what made this option so ideal for me. I engaged my mind with a higher level of thinking and felt encouraged to produce work that reflected that. Who would benefit: People who want to stay informed (without necessarily having to read or focus on one task at a time). People who deem being inspired or motivated important to their productivity. People looking for a way to jump-start their thinking in the morning.
3rd Choice: Unplug
As your alarm goes off, you reach for your phone either to snooze or to scroll. Whether you're reading emails, replying to texts or checking social media, the cost is unfiltered information and unnecessary pressure.
With my natural inclination to constantly check my notifications, I stuck to this routine by leaving my phone on airplane mode while getting ready for my day. Without any distractions, I was able to simply be in the moment and gather my own thoughts (without the knowledge that Andrea posted about her newly engaged status seven hours ago). As someone who works remotely, it's difficult to avoid my habit of staying engaged online, thus, this option wasn't my first choice. Nonetheless, the ability to live in a quiet world for a little longer gave me the much-needed breath of fresh air to plan my day and the time to ground myself before pursuing it.
Who would benefit:
- People who have a habit of being late because they get caught up refreshing their social media.
- People who are easily distracted or lose track of time.
- People who want a quick way to gather their thoughts before the day.
4th Choice: Meditate
The idea is simple—in order to truly take on your day, your mind has to be clear enough to comprehend it. While many of us wake up with thoughts racing through our head and a to-do list that seems just as overwhelming, meditation comes in as a way to calmly consider our responsibilities and beat the anxiety.
As someone with little experience in meditation, I aimed for a ten-minute session. Even though the amount of time was doable, I was surprised by how I struggled to focus on my breathing. I could feel my mind wandering—how many new emails did I have? Where did my dog go? Which booties should I wear with my outfit? Had it been ten minutes yet?
Regardless of the difficult time I experienced, I felt the positive effects. While this option was out of character for me (and truly didn't feel like a fit), I would be willing to do it every now and then instead of every day. The meditation not only helped me recharge in the midst of potential stress, but also made way for a better environment in the morning and was reason for my brighter mood throughout the day.
Who would benefit:
- People who fall victim to their thoughts and don't know how to filter them.
- People who enjoy the feeling of sitting in silence with zero distraction.
- People who are trying to have better control of their thoughts or trying to further understand themselves.
5th Choice: Drink A Tall Glass Of Water
There's no better way to reach your goal of drinking the suggested amount of water than to start first thing in the morning. In a society where coffee is the universal sign of love (and energy and motivation and every other positive word that exists), the gesture of drinking a glass of water before even thinking about a shot of espresso could be difficult to accomplish.
Nevertheless, there I was gulping down water before giving in to an iced vanilla latte. As my morning continued, I realized I felt more awake and less in need of a snack to satisfy my stomach. Yet this is my last choice simply because I've never been an avid water drinker and found the option of working out a more beneficial way for me to get my water intake and exercise in. Regardless, a glass of water in the morning was a nice (and natural) change—to have my body feel cleansed and my mind feel cleared. Along with kick-starting my metabolism early in the day, this routine was hydrating and helpful.
Who would benefit:
- People who are wishing to cut down on caffeine.
- People who can’t work out in the morning.
- People who are mindful of their water intake and consider it important to them.
This article was originally published on The Everygirl.
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