“Every morning you have two choices: continue to sleep with your dreams, or wake up and chase them.”CARMELO ANTHONY
This sentiment is hard hitting, but waking up and chasing your dreams is a whole lot easier if you have a morning routine. A recent goal of mine has been to nail down a routine that works for me. Whether it consists of nurturing your mind, body or soul, figure out what works for you and it’ll set you up for success! I’ve compiled a short list of things that I, or those around me have implemented in their mornings– check it out below!
MAKE YOUR BED
Alright, first things first: Make. Your. Bed. Just do it! Trust me, it is so important and will stop you from being guilty of crawling back in later. I’ve had days where I have literally gotten up to brush my teeth and still crawled back in after seeing how cozy it looked. As soon as I get up, I try to make this one of the first things I do. Even if you do have the will power to stay out of bed after waking up, leaving it unmade just makes everything in your room look 10 times messier. Just do it.
MINDFULNESS & GRATITUDE
Mindfulness and gratitude can be practiced in a variety of ways. When I am super groggy, I like to listen to a morning visualization meditation on the Headspace app. If you don’t have Headspace, there are so many resources through which you can find a meditation that works for you. Simply searching it up on YouTube will give you endless options. Next, I recite a list of daily affirmations that I have written down – these are statements that have an emphasis on positive thinking, self empowerment, and manifestation. I also make a point to remember all of the wonderful things about life that I am lucky to experience, and express gratitude. This step has started my days with happiness, peace and clarity.
After taking some time to clear your head, doing something healthy for your body is a good next step. Don’t get me wrong, it requires a ton of practice and motivation to wake up early enough to workout, but feels absolutely amazing once you do it. I am still working towards making this a daily habit, but getting in that physical activity really energizes me! I also find that when I don’t get it out of the way first, the odds of me pushing it off till tomorrow are a lot greater (oops). If you don’t have enough time for a full blown workout, even just some light physical activity, like stretching or going on a walk can make the world of a difference.
Unfortunately for me and many others, working from home is still a reality. When I was going to the office everyday, it forced me to get up and get out. Even in the cold winter months, I really had no choice. As much as I may have hated it at some points, working from home has made me realize exactly how important it is to get the heck out of my house and how easy it is to stay in. This is why I try to make it a point to get some fresh air at the beginning of the day (and during my breaks at work) – whether that means walking around the block, or chilling on the balcony or patio.
WRITING IT DOWN
So once I’ve done the whole body mind soul thing, it’s time for me to jump into the endless list of things to do. I personally always have multiple things on the go, and if your life is anything like that, organization is key. I won’t lie, this has not always been my strong suit and is a continuing work in progress, but when I write it all down, I am able to dump my scatter brain onto a piece of paper and see that it isn’t so bad. Visually seeing what tasks you need to get done will not only remind you of them, but you can then break them down into smaller tasks. This makes it much easier to tackle. Virtual options like google calendar are obviously great too, but physically crossing an item off a list might actually be the most satisfying feeling in the universe.
LETTING GO OF TOXIC THOUGHTS SURROUNDING A POSITIVE MINDSET
This one is not an actual thing to add to your morning routine but is possibly the most important point. Being productive can be tough, especially during times like these. The point of a morning routine is to set yourself up for the day but don’t bring yourself down if you can’t always get it done. Sometimes, in an attempt to stay motivated, we invalidate any other real feelings we might have and feel ashamed for not living up to the crazy standards we expect ourselves to be at. Rather than telling yourself to have “positive vibes only”, try to remember that all energy and any vibe you feel is natural – even if that means saying “screw it” to the morning routine and staying in bed. Failure is an important part of growth and above all, you are human, need to take a break sometimes, and shouldn’t feel ashamed to do so.
So there you have it! These steps have genuinely changed my mornings and have made my days better. I encourage you all to try them out and see what works for you! And don’t forget, if all else fails, coffee will always be there.
Article written by Imaan Walji.
Imaan Walji is Fresh Magazine’s social media coordinator, based in Toronto, Ontario. She has a strong passion for writing, communications and digital media. Imaan has worked with various small business’ and organizations, to create and manage content and write blogs/articles. She loves travelling and in her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and discovering new places to be in the city!