You’ve been rising–but have you been shining?
Mornings can be a difficult time for many, with the hustle and bustle of the start of the day overtaking time for intentionality and gratitude. And whether you are looking to revamp your whole life or simply make small changes, your morning routine is a great place to start.
Most days, the only thing louder than your alarm is the call to hit the snooze button just one more time. But studies show that early rising affects mental health, lowering risk of schizophrenia and depression and increasing overall wellbeing. Aside from the clinical benefits, developing a morning routine helps us feel grounded, in control, and ready to take on the day.
Ready to wake up your wake-ups? Here are some of our favorite ways to take on the day each morning.
Pick a Reasonable Hour
It’s been proven that waking up at the same time each day actually helps you sleep better at night. With that in mind, you’ll want to pick a time that actually feels attainable for you to wake up. While wellness gurus and lifestyle influencers may swear by their 5 a.m. alarm clock, the same practice doesn’t apply to everyone. If you are more likely to snooze at 5:30 than you are at 6:30, go with the latter. You want to feel good about waking up, not guilty that you overslept your alarm.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed first-thing means that you can check an item off your to-do list immediately. And that sense of accomplishment will carry you right until you untuck the covers at night.
Read a Book
We are always trying to read more, and the mornings are a great time to do it. Make a cup of coffee, light a candle, and enjoy a few chapters of your book. This practice can help spark creativity and imagination throughout the rest of the day.
Drink Water with Your Coffee
Speaking of coffee–why not pour yourself a glass of water while it’s brewing? Kicking off your hydration early sets you up for success over the course of the day. If water really doesn’t excite you, try some of our favorite herbal infusions.
Take a Walk
There’s no fresh air like morning air. A stroll around the block can lower blood pressure, boost your mental and emotional health and increase your energy throughout the day.
Tend to the Garden
Gardening provides a multitude of health benefits, for both physical and mental wellbeing. Spending time tending to your plants in the morning, like walking, gets you outside, moving and breathing fresh air. Bonus: seeing what is ready to harvest each morning can help inform your meal planning for the rest of the day.
Write in a Gratitude Journal
We are always trying to recognize our many blessings. In the hustle and bustle of the day, filled with work calls, family needs, and other routine woes, it can be hard to feel truly and deeply appreciative. Start off by writing three to five things for which you are grateful, and watch your attitude shift over the course of the day–even your whole life.
Meditation is incredibly good for both mind and body. Try an app such as Calm or Headspace if you want something more formal. If the idea of being along with your own thoughts is scary (it’s not, we promise!), even taking a few deep breaths can help reduce stress and clear your mind.
How do you greet the day? Let us know in the comments!