October 1 is annually celebrated as International Coffee Day and since a cup of coffee is a non-negotiable element of how I start my day, I would like to talk to you about morning routines.
There is a lot of hype about how successful entrepreneurs follow specific steps that set the rest of their day up for productivity and there is also a lot of talk about self-care practises that help us feel healthy and rested instead of stressed and overwhelmed.
Do you wake up and immediately feel rushed and like you’re already behind? You can stop the cycle by creating a morning routine. It will give you the power to start your day feeling calm and in control.
Author Mason Currey writes in his book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work about the habits, routines, and rituals of hundreds of artists. 161 inspired—and inspiring—minds, among them, novelists, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians, describe how they subtly maneuver the many (self-inflicted) obstacles and (self-imposed) daily rituals to get done the work they love to do, whether by waking early or staying up late; whether by self-medicating with doughnuts or bathing, drinking vast quantities of coffee, or taking long daily walks.
According to Aristotle “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
Creating your routine, means you choose to follow regularly a sequence of actions and create your own personal rhythm in your daily life.
The best morning routine is the one that fits your lifestyle and personality. You can make intentionally space for the actions that will put you in an optimal state of mind.
Here are some ideas:
Make a gratitude list
Set a positive tone for the day by writing down the three things you’re grateful for. It doesn’t need to be life-altering things. Try to notice the little things in life and to focus your attention on the things that make you happy. When you appreciate the things that are positive in your life. the negative things don’t seem so negative. Share your grateful thoughts with the people around you and remember to acknowledge them. You will feel more connected, and you will experience the feeling that every small detail in your life, every moment can be magical and powerful. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude opens the pathway for more goodness and compassion, and keeps you in the present moment.
Have a morning drink ritual
Are you a tea drinker or a coffee lover? Either way start off your day with a fresh cup of coffee or cup of tea in your favourite mug. You might prefer a nice kale smoothie or a freshly pressed orange juice. Having a drink will give you some time to fully wake up and start your day with the pleasant taste of your favourite beverage.
Have a proper breakfast
Choose foods that will provide you with the energy you need to get started working for the day and will satisfy your food cravings. Take some time to enjoy your breakfast, sit at the table and try to avoid checking your emails or checking your instagram feed at the same time.
You can use a meditation cushion or bench, or you can find a spot that feels comfortable and stable, and create your own routine. Focusing on your breath you can create an anchor to the present moment and you can bring yourself back in this state of mind during the day. Practicing mindfulness helps you create space between yourself and your thoughts, emotions and reactions, approaching your experience with curiosity and kindness and letting go of being judgemental or expecting a specific outcome. It helps you feel centered and grounded, both essential for your mental and emotional health.
You don‘t have to be in perfect shape or do an intense workout. Invest 10-30 minutes every morning to activate your body. Do some yoga poses, stretch your body. There are so many great videos on YouTube that can help you stay consistent to a specific routine. Also morning walks result to multiple health benefits and according to a Stanford study it also improves your creativity. You can also bring mindfulness in your walking and enjoy also the benefits of practicing meditation.
Simplify your schedule
Do you always feel busy and overwhelmed because there isn’t enough time to do everything you want? In your daily plan narrow down what you want to do during the day and focus at the three most important tasks, the ones that actually add value to your life.
Sticking to the intended schedule and putting all of your efforts on getting them done is the key to make every day more productive and more meaningful.