Create some new healthy habits before Monday gets the better of you! Here are 8 things to do before 8.30am (or whenever you start work) to ensure you get the most out of your day…
Let’s talk morning routines…
Why do you need a morning routine? Well, the perfect morning routine essentially sets the tone for the rest of the day. A good morning routine can make you feel fresh, awake, motivated, nourished, and ready to face the day ahead. When you don’t have a morning routine in place your mornings might end up being a bit all over the place. You might mean you sleep in, hit snooze half a dozen times before you actually wake up, and then have drag yourself out of bed feeling tired, sluggish and unmotivated. You’d probably rather grab the duvet cover and drag yourself back to bed thanks very much, right?
I’ve been in both camps, as I’m sure most people will. When I was a bit younger I could probably get away with staying up much later and rolling out of bed at the last minute – although I never ever skipped breakfast! I’m always absolutely starving in the AM.
So why do you need a morning routine? Well, I know that whenever I wake up and do the things that I want to do before I have to start work I feel fresher, more motivated, and ready to face the day. If I’ve already skipped a workout or slept in or not eaten a good breakfast (like I said, a real no-no for me) I don’t feel as energised as I could do. When you have a demanding day at work ahead of you that’s really not a good thing.
I’m sure you have a busy life, though. Most of us do and if you’re anything like me you don’t have a huge amount of time to spare in the morning. So let’s be real here: I’m not saying that you have to bounce out of bed at 4am. I’m not saying that you have to go for a 10km run before work. And I’m not saying that you have to follow this morning routine to the letter every day of your life – because everyone likes a lie in every so often, and your body does need time to recharge and reset after a busy week.
What I am saying is that a simple morning routine like this is a good thing to aim for most mornings, and particularly from Monday to Friday. A good morning routine is all about creating healthy habits. It sounds simple, but even making small changes can have a much bigger impact – possibly bigger than you might think. After all, if you feel more energised and more productive then who knows where that might lead you?
1) Go to bed at the same time every night
If you want to get the next day off to a good start then it makes sense that you have to start the night before, right? I make sure I go to bed at 11am every night so I’ll have had a full eight hours sleep by the time I need to wake up – so even if I don’t bounce out of bed the next day my body is rested.
2) Get up at the same time each morning
Make this non-negotiable. I wake up at 6.45am each day because I know that’s the latest I can get up if I want to do everything I want to do in the morning. Just to keep it real for a second – it’s perfectly OK to allow yourself a couple of snooze button slams. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t! My alarm goes off at 6.15am and 6.30am so by the time the third alarm goes off at 6.45am I’m ready to wake up.
3) Give yourself 10 minutes to wake up
I’m not an advocate of leaping out of bed straight away. You might want to have a a cup of coffee or give yourself a leisurely 10 minutes to read a few pages of your book. For me, I scroll. I lie in bed and check my Pinterest and blog to see how my latest pins have performed. I then just have a general scroll to see what’s happening in the world; social media accounts, the news and celebrity gossip.
4) Get some exercise
Going for a short run in the morning a few times week can set you up for the day really well – particularly during this Covid-19 crisis. Never have I appreciated the fresh air so much! I keep it short, I don’t track it, and I don’t beat myself up if I stop to catch my breath – it’s more about enjoying being outside rather than putting pressure on myself to hit certain goals. Make it as enjoyable as possible by creating a playlist of your favourite songs, listening to a podcast or even an audio book.
5) Have a warm shower
It sounds basic but just having a shower can be a wonderful thing – it’s ten minutes just to relax and unwind and after twenty minutes of pounding the pavements I always appreciate that. I usually keep my music (or podcast) on so it’s even more enjoyable and finish off my slapping on some moisturiser or gradual tanner. I know, I know, nobody is seeing me but it just makes me feel more normal!
6) Eat a healthy breakfast
I have pretty much the same breakfast everyday – porridge with blueberries. The reason I have it is because 1) it only takes five minutes to make 2) it’s super filling and 3) it’s healthy at the same time. I’ll also have a cup of tea with it – one of the many cups of tea I’ll get through over the course of the day. You can tell I’m British! If I want to mix it up I might have overnight oats or eggs on toast.
7) Get ready like you’re going to work
I’m never going to argue against the transformative effect of make-up on your mood and general well-being. That shit is powerful. I always do my make-up in the morning, even if I’m working from home and don’t have any scheduled meetings, and that’s part of getting myself ready and armed to face the day. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. Stick on an episode of your favourite TV show while you’re applying it and it’s even more fun.
8) Get dressed and spritz on your everyday perfume
Even if you’re just putting on lounge wear to work in (I do) try and make sure you get dressed every morning. That way you’re at least presentable if you have an unexpected video call. The perfume I wear is the one I’d wear to the office and it’s my way of getting into work mode. Smell is such a powerful sense so if there’s one way of tricking your brain into thinking it needs to clock on then this might just be it.