Imagine your usual morning. Is it productive and relaxing or are you rushing for the door? Consider what a morning routine might do for you!
Many people wake up each day and automatically reach for technology—usually a phone or tablet. They must know what they missed while asleep. Professionals rationalize a need to check for potential fires at work. The younger set revels in how many "likes" last night's post reached. Even the truly old-school who don’t have such devices still grab the remote control to watch the news and keep abreast of current events.
I get it, I’ve even been guilty of it, but the fact remains: we need to start our days without electronics—especially social media. Rather than stimulate (I use the term loosely) our minds with information, we need to feed them. The best way to achieve this is a morning routine to boost happiness, productivity, and mindfulness. As a wonderful side effect, you’ll improve your connections with others by being more present in your interactions.
Your Brain Should Eat Before You Do
Pay attention to just about any successful person—a concept measured in far more than financial wealth—and you’ll likely uncover a morning routine they religiously follow each and every day before plugging in to the rest of the world. They value this time as sacred—not just for the solitude, but because the ritual sets the tone for the upcoming day.
You don’t need to follow their routine, but you should create your own. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Drink 16 to 32 ounces of water
- Write in a journal
- Express gratitude
- Read something uplifting and inspiring. (Save the nail-biters for the beach!)
Use It or Lose It
As a strength and conditioning coach, I know it's as important to feed your mind as it is to feed your body. More specifically, we should nourish our joints, especially after rising from our ideal eight hours of sleep. (Nighttime routines are important, too, which we'll discuss in an upcoming post.)
Every morning, I perform a ten-minute joint mobility sequence to improve the flow of fluid to my sleep-stiffened joints, reinforcing good joint health and ensuring proper overall movement. This is imperative. If we don't use our joints regularly, we'll lose the ability to use them freely. The body is in the game of efficiency, and when it detects you're no longer using something, it will stop maintaining its function. So if the extent of your shoulder mobility comes from taking the cookie jar down from the top shelf, you can't be surprised when you feel like your shoulder went through a meat grinder after a day of tossing the football around with your kids.
Each tool above can unlock your body's inner greatness and stoke the physical, mental, and emotional fires within. Once you tap into these invaluable reserves, you'll find your days are less stressful and more productive, with stronger relationships and a life that's all the more enjoyable for it.