There is this viral video where a little boy is seen walking merrily down a street, a bounce in his step and waving as he starts shouting, very enthusiastically, “Good morning! Good morning! Good morning!” at passersby. Have you seen it? The video leaves me smiling every single time I watch it.
How awesome would it be to wake up with that kind of boundless enthusiasm and good energy? Ok, maybe for me, I’d probably dial down the peppiness by about 10 and I might need a triple shot of espresso, but still, it would be nice to feel that energized, wouldn’t it? Since I have no idea what that child eats for breakfast that’s doing it for him, I can only share with you dear reader, these simple tips for setting a morning routine to improve your mood and get your day off to a good start. Yelling ‘Good morning!’ to strangers is optional.
7 Simple Tips for a Better Morning Routine
#1. Evaluate how you are waking up by checking your sleep habit.
If you repeatedly hit the ‘snooze’ button on your alarm and you feel sluggish when the alarm sounds, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate how your sleep habits.
- Are you going to bed early enough to ensure you’re getting a decent amount of sleep and good quality sleep?
- Is there anything you can do in your day to increase your sleep time so that when the alarm goes off you are less likely to groan and be annoyed?
Those first few seconds you open your eyes can help set the tone for your day. Make them count.
#2. Wake up a little more slowly.
Instead of jumping out of bed and rushing to get your day started, set aside a few minutes to allow yourself time to ease into your morning.
If you’ve adjusted your sleep schedule to meet your needs, then maybe instead of jumping out of bed, you take a moment to breathe deeply or give your body a nice big stretch and be in the moment.
Use these few moments as a calming way to start your day even if you don’t have a ton of time in the morning.
#3. Pause and give thanks.
As the song goes, “the sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar there’ll be sun.” True enough. The trouble is that there is no guarantee that we’ll be around to see it.
Some people see a new day as a gift to be appreciated every day. So, before getting out of bed, take a few seconds for gratitude. Give thanks for another chance to start over and do better, do different, do more.
#4. Make your bed.
Making your bed each morning can be an easy and effective way of intentionally training in mindfulness. Don’t just toss the duvet and pillows on but slow down. Think about this as just one way to create order and calm and to set yourself for a successful start to your day. Plus, who doesn’t appreciate a nicely made bed with pretty sheets and pillows?
#5. Make sure you moisturize, protect and hydrate (your skin).
Want to look alert and refreshed in the morning without makeup? Apply a good moisturizer and the right sunscreen. Take your time and enjoy the feel of the products on your skin, then step back and admire that fresh-faced glow up!
Now, if you want to be extra, channel your inner Lizzo, look in the mirror, do a hair toss and say, “Hey there beautiful, you’re lookin’ good as hell!”
#6. Find a few moments of stillness.
If you have more time or want to cultivate a calmer, more grounded start to your day, you can take time for a 5 – 15-minute meditation practice.
If you don’t have the time for this, consider ways you might incorporate some elements of stillness into your day, you can engage in walking meditation, breathwork or mindful eating. Anything that will give you a moment to pause, be still and try to be present in the moment.
#7. Move your body, even if it’s for a few minutes.
Moving your body by doing gentle stretching, dancing to your fave song while you shower or make coffee or a more vigorous workout session.
It’s so easy to spend most of our day seated and not realize it – from getting out to bed, sitting for breakfast, to sitting at our desk, then sitting to have lunch, then sitting on the sofa to sitting for dinner.
Taking time to move your body in the morning (and thorough the day) in any way you can based on your schedule, ability, and commitment, is better than remaining mostly sedentary. It can be as little as a few minutes of short full body stretching, a short walk, or mini workouts. It doesn’t have to be time consuming or complicated.
This post first appeared on the Swell Life Blog.