Rise and Thrive: 6 Ways to Make Mornings Your Most Powerful Time of Day.
The first moments you spend after your eyes flutter open first thing in the morning are precious. Why? If you’ve ever started your morning in a scramble, then you know what I’m talking about. Those moments are precious because they set the tone for the whole day, until your head hits the pillow again.
How you spend your morning is how you spend your day. Your routine sets you up for a whole host of thoughts, behaviors, and actions. How you interact with people. How patient you are with others and yourself. What kinds of choices you make, and how you react to stress.
Successful entrepreneurs tend to be religious about their mornings. Some even wake up before their alarm clock goes off or the sun rises so they can spend some extra time journaling, exercising, or meditating. One site, My Morning Routine, even interviews writers, entrepreneurs, and creatives about how they spend their mornings. Not surprisingly, most are early risers who revel in the quiet stillness of the morning, when the world is fast asleep and they can get a leg up on their goals before the day breaks.
If you want to follow their lead and make your morning a mood-booster instead of a drag, try these simple ideas out for yourself:
1. Layer in some lemon.
You hear me talk about this a lot but I swear by it! The first thing you should reach for a better morning? A cup of warm water with freshly sliced lemon. Not only does it taste refreshing, but it wakes your entire system up. Imagine going without any fluids for 8 hours – that’s what your body has just done! This hydrates every cell in your body while also preparing your digestive system for the day. To save some time, pre-slice your lemon the night before, and try putting a hot water kettle on a programmable timer so it’ll be ready to pour by the time you’re awake. You might also enjoy in a hot water dispenser, so your hot water is ready to go anytime.
2. Find a snuggle buddy.
I love snuggle time with my three fur babies, especially in the morning! Snuggling and physical touch release oxytocin in the brain, that feel-good love hormone that reduces your heart rate and lowers your stress levels. Take an extra five minutes to give your loved ones some LOVE in the morning. It’s good for you both!
3. Practice stillness.
Gabrielle Bernstein, motivational speaker, best-selling author, and self-proclaimed #spiritjunkie, begins her day with 10-20 minutes of stillness. No social media scrolling, no inbox-checking. Just the joy of pure silence that comes with listening to the birds outside and the creak of your home. If you’re a meditation beginner, 20 minutes can have an adverse effect, causing you to become frustrated. Instead, try a minute at a time and build from there.
4. Get motivated.
My hubs knows that I don’t allow the news any time of day in our house, but especially in the morning. Staying up to date on worldly affairs can wait until later, but I like to start my mornings without the stream of negativity, stress, and tension that the media tends to perpetuate. Instead, we use our mornings to get motivated for the day ahead by reading books from successful people, watching inspirational videos, or listening to podcasts. It just takes 15 minutes to wake up your mind and get new ideas going! Find what inspires you first thing in the morning, or check out some handy apps like Pocket, Overcast, and Flipboard which allow you to bookmark your favorites for easy access.
A few of my favorites that are currently on my reading list:
- Tony Robbins anything
- The School of Greatness by Lewis Howes
- Gabriel Bernstein
- TED Talks
- Danielle Laporte
- Jess Lively
5. Move it, move it.
Morning movement helps the body wake up by putting breathing on autopilot, so you oxygenate faster and think clearer throughout the day. Find the ways you like to move first thing in the morning, whether it’s a group class, outdoor adventuring, or neighborhood running circuit. You don’t need to run a marathon, though. In fact, 10-15 minutes is enough to get the blood moving and booty shakin’.
6. Set an intention.
Intentions are mini-bursts of clarity that lead to breakthroughs in our behavior. Intuitively feeling, identifying, and asking for what we need from ourselves is a powerful form of self-love that you can give yourself each and every morning. You don’t have to set the be-all end-all of intentions for your whole life; put your hand to your heart and listen for what you need to have an amazing day.
Here are a few examples of intentions that I love:
I intend to respond first, and then react.
I won’t sweat the small stuff.
I will ask for what I want and need with no shame.
I will open my heart and mind to learn something new today.
I will let the universe guide me in the right direction
I'd love to hear some of your morning routines! Head on over to my Instagram page and let's chat!