Your AM alarm goes off. You smash the snooze button. You eventually roll out of bed. With bleary eyes, you look at the time and say a gentle RIP to all the things you’d planned to achieve before breakfast.
We know that our morning routines are crucial to getting our days off to a strong start but throwing the covers back and stepping into the day the right way isn’t always easy.
The way we spend the first hour of our morning is so personal that we’re not here to prescribe a cut-and-dry plan to change your habits. Instead, to kickstart Reason Season in partnership with Swisse Multivitamins, we’re here to share the tools to craft a routine that works for you so you can produce positive results for your overall wellbeing and morning mood.
Set Your Intentions
There’s no use setting a sunrise structure in place without understanding your intentions and why you feel the need to change your current routine. When we spoke to wellbeing experts, Lachlan Bradford and Robbie Hicks, hosts of the cheeky and insightful Funny Business Podcast, one key insight they had for construction routines you can stick to is to ask yourself, 'why?'
Why do you want to shake up your morning routine? What’s your reason? What is and isn’t working for you right now?
Are you crashing mid-morning because you downed two strong flatties without breakfast? Did you snooze your alarm too many times and feel groggy for the rest of the day? Or do you want to carve out more time to ease into your morning without feeling rushed?
Robbie and Lachlan recommend posing thoughts to yourself like, “what is it that I really want to achieve?” Once you’re clear on what you want to change, then you can take action.
Invest In Your Sleep And Avoid Snoozing
While we all have different reasons for shaking up our mornings, there’s one thing that can improve everyone’s overall wellness, and that is quality sleep. There’s nothing worse than waking up tired, and it’s oh, so tempting to close your eyes for a little bit longer.
You don’t need us to tell you that hitting snooze repeatedly isn’t the best way to start your day. According to sleep disorder expert Dr Reena Mehra, putting off waking up when your alarm first goes off can have negative effects on your sleep quality.
“Much of the latter part of our sleep cycle is comprised of REM sleep, or dream sleep, which is a restorative sleep state,” Dr Mehra explains. “And so, if you’re hitting the snooze button, then you’re disrupting that REM sleep.”
None of this is to say that you need to start waking up with the sun. But if you know that your day is bettered by waking up with enough time to enjoy a cup of tea in bed while you do your Wordle or take a quick lap around the block to get the blood flowing, set your alarm early enough to achieve these activities, and give hitting snooze a rest.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Taking half an hour of your night to prepare for your morning can be the difference between a successful start to the day or a stressful experience that colours the remainder of it.
Simple things like planning an outfit and packing a work bag the night before can make a world of difference. While we know that weather predictions aren’t always accurate, we love to check what’s forecast for the following day and plan our outfits accordingly.
Similarly, if you know you operate better when you have enticing and nutritious meals ready to go on busy days, take ten minutes to get everything ready to go the night before. We know the easier it is to grab our lunch as we’re heading out the door, the more likely we are to remember it, eat it, and bask in the glow of saving some coin on eating out.
Drink A Glass Of Water
Super simple, and super effective.
As soon as your feet hit the floor and the reality of being awake sinks in, your brain starts demanding its morning beverage—whatever that might be for your morning ritual—coffee, tea, matcha, you name it.
Generally speaking, if it’s a caffeinated beverage, it’s also a dehydrating one. So making sure you get your fluids in before your coffee is a super easy but effective addition to your routine. It’s also a great opportunity to tick off a small goal every day like remembering to take your multivitamin, which will grow your confidence to tackle bigger goals day-to-day.
Don’t Make Checking Your Phone Your First Activity
You probably don’t need us to remind you that the world feels like a minefield for stress and bad news lately. So don’t bring that energy into the first moments of your day.
Invest in a clock radio to wake you up in the mornings so that your phone isn’t the first thing you look at. We also recommend seeking out something positive in the morning before you do take a peek at what’s happening in the world. This could be as simple as lingering in the joy of a hot cup of coffee or jumping a nice hot shower.
This advice also translates to the last thing you do before you go to bed at night to contribute to truly restful sleep. Setting your phone to do not disturb and minimising the temptation to check it is a great way to keep off your device before bed, and when you wake up in the morning.
Move Your Body
There are a lot of reasons why moving your body in the morning can set you up for success throughout the day. If you want to fit more movement in your day, but your nights are less structured, or if you work from home and feel more focused slotting in a walk between rolling out of bed and jumping online, there’s a case for making time in your morning for every routine.
According to habit and behaviour expert David Neal, tying your morning exercise to a smaller habit is a great way to engrain movement in your morning routine. Neal notes that "successful habit learning depends not only on repetition but also on the presence of stable context cues. Context cues can include times of day, locations, prior actions in a sequence, or even the presence of other people."
Creating a context cue for your own morning movement is as simple as taking a slightly longer route back from grabbing your morning coffee, jumping off the train a stop or two earlier, or factoring in a quick yoga or pilates workout after morning meditation.
Neal also recommends piggybacking new habits on already established habits. For example, his research found that dental-flossing habits were "established more successfully when people practised flossing immediately after they brushed their teeth, rather than before."
Eat Your Frog
No, we’re not talking about French cuisine. We’re talking about Brian Tracy’s tip for reducing procrastination and setting your day up for success from the get-go.
'Eating your frog' refers to the mentality of tackling your most daunting or unpleasant task first thing in the morning to prevent it from disrupting the rest of your day. Plus, ticking off a big to-do early in the day is a sure-fire way to get your good feelings flowing and launch you into your next tasks with a major win under your belt.
Eating your frog might not be the most appealing visual, but it’s a concept that could ease the stress from your mornings and move your thoughts to a more positive space.
Setting yourself up for success in the mornings isn’t a challenge you can achieve overnight, baby identifying what you want to get out of the early hours, and making small changes can have a huge effect on your overall happiness and wellbeing. For more tips on how to set goals, you can actually keep, head over here.
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Image credit: Urban List
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