Own your morning
Being honest, I’ve been struggling with creating a healthy morning routine for years. Probably because I’ve never really thought I need one till I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and my therapist told me that If I want to get better I need to develop good habits especially in terms of a morning routine. The reason for this is quite simple, healthy morning routine has the power to set the mood for the entire day. If your goal is to stay motivated, productive and creative during the day you, have to start your day with a positive mindset that will help you get through every single task of the day without stressing out too much.
How to set a positive mood and avoid morning anxiety
For my personal experience, I can tell you that, healthy morning routine has an incredible impact on the energy and productivity levels. Not to mention about being in control of your life. Of course, we cannot control everything that goes on around because that job belongs to the creative force of the entire universe. Indeed, that is way beyond our reach. Yeah, I know sometimes it’s really hard to accept that some things in our life just happen, and all we can do is to accept them without asking too many questions. At some point, there comes a time when we realize that having an adversarial position toward life it’s just not a good idea. Why? Because it can lead only to disillusionment, and uncontrollable bursts of anger. So as you can see, not the best mentality to live your life with. Especially if your main goal just like for most of the people is to find your happiness and personal satisfaction in life.
In other words, we all should try and I mean try really hard to let go of that need to control everything because it’s just impossible. Being a controlling freak can be extremely exhausting especially when you realize how much time you’ve wasted trying to change things that are beyond your control. Sometimes instead of encouraging our own self-destructive urges, it’s better to just let go, stop, observe and take a deep breath. It’s the best option we have when anxiety kicks in. Trust me, if it works for me it will work for you. I know exactly what I am talking about because dealing with anxiety is an important part of my daily routine. And you know what? Ever since I accept this I feel much better, more positive and less stress out. I cannot even count how many times I’ve been told that the moment I accept feelings and emotions as natural phenomena rather than fight them I will find my peace, my vital equilibrium. And you know what? I am still learning how to do that BUT I know that I am on the right path now.
In my opinion, the best example that every emotion is Naturally Occurring Phenomenon it’s our body’s response to perceived threat or danger which results in fear. Of course, stressful situations can activate emotional triggers that can be the result of past traumatic events rather than of the current situation. BUT it STILL means that we feel endangered and by perceiving fear our mind tries to save us. It’s the context of the situation that can help us to understand if the threat is real or “only” imaginary. Indeed, the only healthy and effective way to deal with emotional triggers is to understand what activates them. This is where it gets difficult because we are talking here about a process rather than a single activity. But, like always in life
Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living. – just like Anthony Douglas Williams said.
However, let us get back to the point, healthy morning rituals which in my opinion equals with “Take control over you can and accept what you cannot control”. In other words, we should always ask ourselves a question: How can we influence certain events? Well, the answer is always the same: through connection with our intuition and mindfulness practices. Because it’s all about a practice that makes us perfect! So, all we need is to pull ourselves together and create a healthy morning routine through good habits and practice it every single day. We are creatures of habits – that’s a fact. If you want to achieve a GOAL you have to create habits to get there, to the place where you want to be. I know what you think, it’s easier said than done BUT if you don’t try it you will never know.
Well, after this incredibly long introduction we got to the point of my today’s post: Life changing healthy morning rituals to start your day to avoid morning anxiety and set a positive mood for the rest of the day!
Please remember that everyone is different and unique so the healthy morning routine should be. I am describing here my every morning habits and activities which I consider to be healthy. However, I am sure that everyone’s routine will be and should be different and personalized. Having said that, let’s get to the point.
My example of “Life Changing Healthy Morning Rituals”
(in the following order)
Open your eyes early in the morning
First and the most obvious tip is to wake up early in the morning. Trust me is the real life changer. I used to stay awake till 2-3 a.m., sleep for about 3-4 hour, wake up in the early morning and struggle with getting up and doing simple activities. I’ve lived this way for many years, not knowing how I was damaging my own health. Of course, my sleeping habits were the result of severe anxiety and insomnia that I developed in the early childhood. BUT as soon as I understood how unhealthy not getting enough sleep really is I decided to do something about this. Actually, it’s not that hard as you may think. It takes time, patience and effort to form a new habit but it’s possible, feasible and incredibly satisfying when we succeed.
Remember that changing a lifestyle always starts with a decision. First, you have to be sure what you want to achieve and then go for it. So I did. It took me quite a lot of time but I was worth the effort. My grandpa used to say that we should always get up with the rooster because nature is never wrong! And he was SO right! That’s why now I try to wake up around 6-7 to my favorite song (it works for me) because I just hate alarm sounds which only make me angry in the early morning and I start my day with my morning routine.
In my personal opinion, waking up around 6-7 a.m. even if you don’t have a typical office job or you have a rest day makes you much more productive, creative, motivated, inspired and positive – don’t believe me? Try to wake up around at midday or even in the afternoon and notice how you feel. Let me guess; do you feel unproductive, unmotivated and overwhelmed with this terrible feeling that you just have wasted the best part of the day.
2. Get some natural light
As soon as I wake up I try to get some natural light, I open the blinds which gives me an idea of what kind of whether I have to deal with. Then it’s time for me to go on the balcony, take some deep breaths and check how my plants and herbs doing. Not having a garden I just had to turn my balcony into the small garden. Of course, in the winter it becomes slightly difficult to wake up in the early morning and get immediately natural light but there is a great solution for this and it’s called: sunrise wake-up light alarm clocks! Never heard about this? Google it! It makes wonders! First, when I heard about this “magic clock” I was skeptical but I decided to give it a try. And so I did. I’ve bought one of these sunrise wake-up light alarm clocks last winter and I have to tell you that I am amazed by this idea. These special clocks really work, especially in the autumn or winter season. I can honestly recommend this particular clock to everyone who struggles with waking up in the early morning.
3. Rehydrate yourself
The next step in my morning routine is quite obvious. After couples of hours of sleep and not consuming any water we should definitely rehydrate our bodies (with water, not caffeine!) Why is it so important to start your day with water and not other drinks? It’s because water keeps us hydrated and removed toxins from our body (caffeine it’s a great source of antioxidants but it also dehydrates our body which we should avoid shortly after waking up). In my case, it looks like this: Woken up by my magic clock and some natural or quasi-natural light I am heading into the kitchen to prepare myself a hot lemon water which not only wakes me up but also boost my energy levels. Not to mention about speeding up metabolism and improving digestion (just in case you have some problems in this particular area). Then after drinking at least ½ litre of water, I can finally prepare my first cup of coffee. Yes, coffeeholic reality never changes. I don’t know about you, but my first cup of coffee is really a special one, it’s a real caffeine ritual that binds a spirit – my caffeine spirit (a little too far…but you know how it is)
Anyway, I make myself a delicious cup of long, black coffee with a dash of almond milk and a teaspoon of coconut oil and I am ready for the next step.
4. Meditate – Wake up your mind
Start your day mindfully. I really try my best to do a guided meditation for positive energy, productivity, concentration etc… every single morning because it keeps me grounded and focus on my goals. When I’ve first heard about mindfulness from my therapist I was not convinced about it at all. He was telling me about how living in the present moment is important because the present moment is the only one is real, the only one we can take a deep breath in… Honestly, I had mixed feelings about mindfulness techniques because I just didn’t believe it could help me to deal with anxiety, depression and other ugly stuff I had to accept to live with. I was living in the past, constantly thinking about what happened years ago. Living in the past it’s a trap, it’s like you created your own prison, and now you have to exist in it. What is even more disturbing and depressing is the fact that if you dwell in the past you live an illusion, you cannot take a deep breath because there is no air in the past moments, they are empty shells nothing more. Obviously, I am talking here about hard times not about pleasant, purely happy moments because it’s a completely different thing. Those who have been living in the past for most of their lives know exactly what I am talking about… If it’s your case, don’t give up. There is salvation and it’s called mindfulness. First of all, through meditation, you train your mind and redirect your thoughts. Secondly practicing meditations reduces stress and anxiety, teaches you to stay mindful and focused on the present moment and what is the best part, it helps you to connect with your higher self, with your intuition and inner voice which are our best guidance in life.
Remember that practising mindfulness through guided meditation it’s not the only effective way to do this; you can also practise mindfulness during walking, taking a shower or even eating your favourite meal (try to use all your senses during your meal, focus on what you are eating, how it smells, how it tastes, what is the structure of this particular food you are eating…and yes you can hear particular sounds when your meal is being prepared!
Mindfulness changes your perspective, opens your eyes, helps you to create a healthy relationship with yourself, helps you to connect with your intuition (my favorite 6th sense!) and teaches you how to live to the fullest.
5. Exercise – Wake up your body
It is scientific fact that physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, these chemicals that are produced in our brains are directly responsible for our mood. Even a simple 15 min morning workout can help to clear your mind and set a positive mindset for the rest of the day. To tell the truth, since I’ve implemented physical activity in my morning routine I feel much better, more relaxed and less anxious. Of course I don’t do a 40 minutes cardio every single day immediately I woke up to boost my energy levels and improve my metabolism, but I start every day with one of my
6. Take a shower 🙂
Let’s just say that morning shower is incredibly refreshing especially after doing a workout. Furthermore, it’s a wonderful opportunity to practice mindfulness by paying attention to your senses, getting touch with your body, refreshing your mind and learning how to live in the present moment. I’m sure it won’t be an exaggeration if I tell you that in my opinion shower it’s truly a feast for the senses… However, morning shower should not make you sleepy, lethargic and too relaxed. In order to avoid this, I advise you to take the contrast shower in the morning and always end on cold water! There’s no better way to wake up and de-stress at the same time that by splashing cold water on your body (or even face).
7. Nourish your mind, body, and soul
Prepare a good quality breakfast to nourish your mind, body, and soul and boost your energy levels! Breakfast it’s the first and the most important meal of the day that’s why it should be on your priority list. Do not make this mistake to skip it because you are in a rush because you will end up binging in the evening. Running out of time in the morning? There’s a trick to that. Prepare your breakfast in advance; you can try healthy overnight oats recipes, chia pudding recipes, vegan, nutrition bars, healthy breakfast cookies, keto brownies and many other delicious breakfast ideas you can easily find online and prepare the day before without much effort! You don’t have any excuses anymore! So get your ass over to the kitchen and prepare your breakfast in advance! But if you have some time in the morning you should try a nutritious smoothie bowl, poached eggs, and avocado toast! Struggle to choose what you want to eat in the morning? Google healthy, nutritious breakfast ideas and do it!
8. Write a journal
Writing a journal it’s an important part of my daily routine (morning, evening and self-care to be more precise). Writing especially creative writing has always played a great role in my life. It’s not only my passion but also a great way to regain my focus, liberate myself from overthinking and understand I exactly feel and what are my micro and macro goals. Sometimes I even write faster than think or talk. It may sound strange but it’s just my reality. Writing is incredibly therapeutic. It helps us to reflect on our life choices, goals and everyday activities. In my personal opinion, there isn’t any better self-help tool than writing. If you have never tried writing a journal, just start doing this. Trust me you will not regret it. Just do it. Put your thoughts into words, and then your words into action!
9. Get inspired & Set positive mindset
I have the impression that we often forget about this incredibly important part of a morning routine. Which in my opinion is quite ironic, because finding inspiration and motivation in the morning it’s exactly what makes us productive and creative during the whole day.
I know that sometimes it’s really hard to stay positive especially if we have a stressful day or we are going through a tough time but it’s possible. Not easy BUT possible. Remember that positive mindset does not mean having a giant smile plastered on your face and radiate positive energy and extremely good vibes all the time. Staying positive is more about surrounding yourself with a positive energy, believe in yourself because you are capable of anything you just have to trust in your abilities, skills, and talents. How can you achieve this state? Well, the answer is always the same – By practice! Everyone is different and has a different background. Life isn’t always fair which means more or less that we do not start in the same place BUT no matter how many obstacles we find on our path, how many times we fall (literally and figuratively) we can STILL achieve our goals. The core components of the success (in my opinion) are conscientiousness, focus, patience and hard work. So stop comparing yourself to others because you DON’T lack anything! Everything you need you to have inside of you!
Obviously, there are many different ways to get inspired and motivated. If I am struggling with finding motivation and inspiration during the day I watch ted talks, listen to podcasts, meditate or read other people’s stories. Of course, it doesn’t mean that I am always motivated and focused because in my personal opinion it’s just impossible. Sometimes everyone has a bad day, but it’s still ONLY a bad day NOT a bad life. And tomorrow’s a new day!
10. Set realistic goals for a day
I always try to set realistic goals for every single day because it’s my way to get organized and motivated. To be precise, by “realistic goals” I mean objectives that are specific, relevant, ambitious and consistent with your idea of the future. Some people say that our goals should be risky which obviously makes sense. However, everything depends on how you understand the term “risky”. Because if you set a goal that will only stress you out, makes you incredibly anxious and overwhelmed perhaps you should rethink your goal or maybe (it’s usually the best option) break it into micro goals and adopt a step by step approach. Personally, I prefer to set many different small goals rather than go immediately for macro goals. The main reason for this is the fact that I find it extremely hard to stay focused and motivated when I am anxious and stressed out. Not to mention about this whole idea of multitasking. How bizarre is that? Quite insane, I would say. Gosh, I hate when somebody claims to be able to do 100 000 things simultaneously and then when it turns out that results are inaccurate, imprecise and it would be better if somebody does everything once again from the start. That’s what I call procrastination, irresponsibility and some kind of madness. We have to avoid this, for god’s sake. Considering that we all have ONLY 24 hours in a day we should be smart about using our time in a constructive, efficient and rational way. That’s why we should always strike a balance between being extremely ambitious, determined and enthusiastic and keeping our sanity, at least a little bit. I know it’s hard because I myself struggle every day with setting realistic goals which in my reality means: do as much as you can during the day but don’t forget to de-stress, relax and switch off your brain in the evening.
As a final point, my best advice to you would be to start with the most important and most challenging one and just go for it even if you are scared!
Be mindful, stay positive, feel awesome!