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    That Morning Routine That Sets You Up For Success

    That Morning Routine That Sets You Up For Success

    Morning Routine
    Morning Routine

    Time and time again, we are told that having a morning routine can set us up for a more successful day, or will help us handle stressful situations more effectively but we rarely hear why, or how it might be beneficial. 

     

    Today, Charlie Webb – founder of Nurtured Minds Wellness – dives into the science behind priming your day, and setting yourself up for success.

    Tis The Season To Explore New Routines

    For many, the Fall season can be a month of adjustments. Many of us are adjusting to new schedules, going back to school (or sending our kids back to school), or even cramming in some extra activities before winter arrives. And when our days get busier, they start to feel a tad bit chaotic; and at times, it can start to take a toll on our mood, our stress levels, and our motivation. But the perfect way to avoid that feeling of “burning out” is to try and develop a morning routine that can set your day in balance.

    How Does A Morning Routine Provide Balance?

    Picture this…You’re going to work, and your alarm goes off at around 7 AM.  You roll out of bed and make a coffee, then maybe quickly check your messages, your social media, and then suddenly you get stuck in a scrolling frenzy. Mind overload initiated.

    Then you realize you are running late so you fly through the door, hop in your car or public transit without eating, and head out. By the time you’re at work you’re already feeling stressed…your heart rate is up, and your body is deprived of the nutrients it needs to get you through the day.

    What happens at this point is your body starts over-producing cortisol and becomes harder and harder to get your day back on track. And it makes it difficult for your mind and body to deal with stress in a highly effective manner because your body is already shoulder deep in a stress response.

     

    Stress

    Conversely, if you have a day with nowhere to be, the lack of morning structure may cause you to lay in bed longer than you may have intended. Now you’re feeling lethargic, so you throw on some Netflix 8 episodes of Schitt’s Creek later, you realize its 3 pm and you never did put that load of laundry away, the dishes are still piled up, and somehow we are still too tired to do anything about it.

    Now not everyone scrambles to get to work in the morning, but on average, the majority of us have responsibilities that need to get done. And if we try to tackle those responsibilities without a proper routine that sets us up and preps us for success, then our ability to handle any challenge that comes our way because all the more difficult (and of course, much much stressful),

    Starting Your Morning Routine The Right Way

    So where do you start? Unless you are a self-proclaimed morning person, the thought of setting your alarm any earlier than you have to probably sounds downright awful. But, by gifting yourself an extra 20-60 minutes of time in the morning you can actually salvage hours of time back later in the day. How do you ask? It’s all about balance- the balance of time, balance of productivity, and the balance of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals). 

    Here’s what you need to do: 

     

    • First, determine how much time you can afford in the mornings- this will help you select and prioritize specific activities that will be beneficial to you and your lifestyle.

     

    • Next, write down the activities that you would like to include in your morning routine. Start simple, you can always add more down the road.

     

    • Finally, set your alarm and wait for the magic to happen! Try not to snooze, the quicker we get out of bed the more productive we feel.
    To Do List

    The Morning Routine You Need To Try, Today

    • Make your bed:

    This provides a sense of accomplishment within minutes of being out of bed. When we feel accomplished we release dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel pleasure. Our brain will want to feel this again and again, so when we complete a task early in the day it boosts productivity for the remainder of that day.

    • Don’t check your phone right away:

    Seeing or reading negative news can trigger a stress response, putting you on edge for the rest of the day. Feeling overwhelmed by new messages and increased “to do’s” will have the same effect. Wait until you are primed for your day before scrolling.

    • Drink a cup of warm water (with lemon if you fancy):

    This flushes out the stomach and balances the lymphatic system which helps to build our immune systems, boosts metabolism and increases energy levels.

    • Brain dump (if you haven’t already the night before):

    By writing down all your active thoughts and tasks, it prevents them from rattling around and taking up important brain space. This not only helps you become more productive throughout the day, but checking off your “to do’s” will give you a rush of dopamine (hello again pleasure!) making us feel motivated to do even more. Check, check, check!

    • Journal:

    Reducing mental clutter, starting the day on a positive/ grateful note, improving focus and productivity, and aligning with intentions can all be captured in this powerhouse of a tool. They all provide balance for the day ahead.

    • Listen to music:

    Listening to music releases serotonin, boosting our mood and reducing stress. The perfect morning primer!

    • Read / listen to an audiobook

    Another great and easy primer to start your day feeling inspired, motivated, empowered and focused.

    • Practice affirmations

    Attack those self-sabotaging thoughts from the get go. Repeating affirmations retrains negative and fear-based thoughts patterns by using the simplest cognitive restructuring tool.

    • Stretch:

    Stretching relieves any pain or tension from previous nights sleep, as well as increases blood flow and energy levels.

    • Exercise:

    Increases blood flow and energy levels, while also releasing  neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine) which then increase mental focus, clarity, and attention span.

    • Eat a good breakfast:

    Studies show that when we eat a good breakfast, our cognitive function improves, increasing concentration, memory, and energy.

    • Set your intention for the day:

    You can come back to this anytime you feel your day starting to get away from you. Now go forth, prime your morning and crush your day!

    Comments

    • October 30, 2021

      Hopley Tina

      Even being retired, there are some great ideas here that can be incorporated into my morning routine, which starts with my canine alarm clock!

      reply

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