Morning routines. They can make or break your day before you’re even out of the bed – especially if something interferes with that first cup of coffee, or someone beats you to the bathroom. A morning ritual; however, is something different. It is deeper. It gives you the opportunity to start the day on a positive note – no matter what the rest of the day entails.
Why Are Morning Rituals So Important?
Morning rituals give you a certain sense of control over your day. By controlling what you do in the first hour or two of your morning, you can set the tone for your entire day. They also signal your brain that it is time to prepare for the day ahead.
The key to a successful morning ritual is to find things that reduce your stress throughout the day, allow you to focus and sharpen your mind as you face your day, boost your energy, and create a tone of positive energy that can grow throughout the day.
Here are a few of our favorite morning rituals. We hope you like them and that you consider adopting one or two of them as your own.
Make Your Bed
It’s a little thing. It takes little effort on your part and it can have a positive impact on your well-being and behavior throughout the rest of the day.
It’s a small task, but it’s an accomplishment to begin your day. Then, no matter what else happens in your day and goes wrong along the way, when you come home, you’re returning to a bed that’s made and ready for you to sleep in.
Exercise Your Body
Exercise in the morning is an excellent way to get your mind and body in order, for whatever life is going to throw your way during the day ahead. Whether you prefer a good morning run, or you’re more interested in yoga or Pilates, get moving in the morning to get the blood flowing to all areas of your body, and set the tone for a wonderful day ahead of you.
Write in Your Journal
While some people consider journaling an evening or relaxation tool, it can also be an inspirational tool. Journaling is a great way to organize your thoughts and write down your goals for the day. Then take some time to focus on all of the things that you are grateful for (which is also an ideal way to begin your day).
Exercise Your Mind
While exercising your body is a terrific way to start your day, exercising your mind in the morning guarantees that all your neurons are firing and revving up for a productive day. There are a variety of things you can do in the morning that will help to exercise your mind. Some of the more popular choices include:
- Reading (whether you’re reading newspaper or a magazine, reading keeps your brain active and engaged)
- Crossword Puzzles
- Crafting (knitting, quilting, woodworking, painting, sculpting, etc.)
Not only can doing these things stimulate your brain, but they can also relieve stress, so you can face the day feeling calm and prepared. The bottom line is that incorporating mental exercises into your morning ritual is every bit as important as working physical exercises into your morning routine.
Eat A Healthy Breakfast
There is a reason breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day. If you start your day with a healthy breakfast, it provides fuel to help your body get through the day, powers your brain, and helps keep your glucose levels stable. What you may not know about breakfast is that it also helps reduce your susceptibility to certain illnesses, and it limits your temptation to snack on unhealthy choices in the mid-morning and afternoon hours.
Healthy breakfast choices include eggs, oatmeal, whole grains, fresh fruit, yogurt, protein shakes and fresh fruit smoothies. Include healthy breakfast choices as part of your morning ritual, and see what a difference it makes in your health, your mood, and your hunger throughout the day.
If you’re worried about being pressed for time in the morning, and unable to prepare a healthy breakfast, try overnight oats, which you prepare the night before and enjoy in the morning.
Perhaps the most important part of your morning ritual is that you practice it daily. Do the same things every morning without fail. They will become habit and second nature to you over time. But, the real benefit is that you will signal your brain that now is the time to gear up for maximum productivity. The combination of the pieces and parts of your ritual work together to make your mornings better and brighter, and enable you to be more productive at home and at work. Keep in mind, you should stick to the same morning routine on the weekends too, if you want to reap the rewards and benefits of your ritual every day.
While morning rituals aren’t a one-size-fits-all endeavor, the key is to find a morning ritual that works within your morning schedule, the constraints of your family and work, and that reduces stress rather than causing it. Also, include things that you can do consistently, so you can enjoy the full benefits of your morning rituals.
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