In today’s fast-paced world, there is endless literature on how to best slow down and create a healthy lifestyle for mindset and success. One of the key components to accomplishing this is forming and sticking to a morning routine. Some of the most successful people in the world relentlessly follow their morning routines and psychological research continues to discover the benefits of maintaining one. Even a short routine followed regularly can have a large impact on the overall mood of the day.
In the morning, our bodies begin to produce the stress hormone cortisol, bringing it to higher levels that prepare us for action. But, coupled with today’s busy, demanding lifestyle, cortisol levels are often too high resulting in increased stress and anxiety. Balancing cortisol levels can help us get the most out of our day and into a healthy mindset, and the best place to start is in the morning. While there is no perfect recipe, there are a few habits regularly touted by experts that are definitely worth incorporating into your morning program to make the most of your day! And for easy organizing and accountability, the Ramona & Ruth Desk and Home collections contain all kinds of tools to keep you on track and moving forward with clarity.
When the alarm goes off, the first thing many of us do is reach for our phones, and either hit snooze or begin poking around on the screen. In doing so, our minds go directly from a resting state to work, or emails, or to-do lists, which can be a major source of stress, right from the get-go. Instead, Hal Elrod, author of the Miracle Morning, suggests that the first minute of our morning should be spent in silence. That opening minute of the day should be devoted to being in the present, breathing slowly, and finding a sense of calm. Elrod also mentions the benefit of visualizing how you want the day to look, or reflecting on something you’re grateful for. Either way, an important first step to a morning routine, is to not look at your phone or other devices, but to relax and engage in a moment of silence.
Light movement or exercise in the morning, awakens your body and signals that it’s time to sink into the day. This doesn’t have to be rigorous, a simple 10-minute stretch or walk outside will get the blood moving, release endorphins and switch on the senses. This also gives you more time to be with yourself and in a calm state of mind before jumping into work mode. And while many of today’s jobs find us sitting at a desk all day, incorporating some movement in the morning is especially important for our overall health. By making this a regular part of the morning routine, it can lead to more focus and a happier attitude throughout the day.
Spending anywhere from a couple of minutes to 30 minutes writing in the morning can have profound effects on your overall mindset throughout the day and beyond. Whether it’s a simple pause to write down something you're grateful for, or goals you want to accomplish, or writing for a longer period about the thoughts and emotions in your mind, the practice of writing is shown to bring mental clarity and better prepare us for the day ahead.
The Daily Overview Notepad is a great tool for a quick, morning writing routine with designated space to jot down goals, priorities and gratitude. Working this in daily can help break down the day into more manageable steps.
A super simple way to hydrate and refreshen the body and wake it up is to drink a large glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. This can be more awakening than coffee! Not only that, but lemon water in the morning on an empty stomach can serve as a detoxification, cleaning out the toxins that accumulate while we sleep. To make it easier and more likely to follow through, consider preparing the lemon water the night before so it’s all set to go first thing.