While the world sleeps in the early hours of the morning, you have the opportunity to seize the day and change your life, and it all starts with these 10 morning habits. No matter what time you go to sleep, it's important to wake up early and get that jump start to the day.
"When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive, to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love" - Marcus Aurelius (Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180)
1) Wake up and get up early
Set your alarm and whatever you do, DO NOT press the snooze button! How many of us have hit the snooze button and accidentally wake up 3 hours later? Definitely not me...
A healthy breakfast to start the day is always a good idea. I find that if I don’t eat breakfast in the morning as soon as I wake up, by lunch I have zero energy and a thumping headache. On the go? Make a smoothie the night before to grab before you head off. Making your own smoothies saves a shit ton of money, and you know that you’re not paying £3 for a smoothie with 80% grapes and full of sugar.
These are definitely some of my favourite smoothies, and they’re all easy and quick to make with 5 ingredients each from Greatist. If you’re looking for the perfect solution to a healthy breakfast on the go, this is it.
I use my trusty Hydro Flask to keep my smoothies cold and after using mine for years, I absolutely swear by it. It’s the only flask I’ve bought that keeps your smoothies cold and fresh all day, and it means that when spending long days at the beach I don’t have to go hunting for cold water which also saves money.
And if you haven't already got yourself a smoothie maker shoved in the back of the cupboard somewhere, there are some quality blenders I've recommended below that are well worth the money, they don't cost an arm and are specifically designed for busy women on a budget.
There are so many benefits of meditation. To list a few, meditation induces mindfulness, relaxation, decreased drug/alcohol abuse, protection against mental health, less anxiety, a natural flow of creativity, decreased stress and better concentration.
But, for those of you (like me) who find it hard to sit down in silence and clear your mind, especially in the mornings when there are a million things bouncing around in my head, why not use an online meditation walk-through video? There are hundreds on YouTube, including some funny ones like the ‘fuck it meditation’ where you’re told to “breathe out the bullshit” which is absolutely perfect for me.
Get yourself a cute little notebook and leave it next to your bed so the first thing you see when you wake up is your “gratitude notebook”. Every morning write down 10 things you’re grateful for. This can be anything you want. Try not to repeat the same ones everyday so that you can look back each week and physically see the many beautiful things in your life that you’re grateful for.
"If you want to find happiness; find gratitude - Steve Maraboli"
5) Set yourself a goal
Start each day with an intention or a goal, no matter how big or small. I find this really helpful when I have a busy day to help me focus on what’s important and stay motivated on future goals. When I know it's going to be a crazy busy day, one of my intentions is to focus on not getting stressed over the things I can't control. When I'm struggling with my depression and it feels like I can't get out of bed, I focus on one intention of simply going outside into the garden for a few minutes to get some sun and fresh air.
Living with anxiety makes simple tasks seem too much most of the time, so by writing a few things down in the morning, I can start to wrap my brain around what I have to do today and where I should be focusing my energy. It's nice to look back at the intentions/goals during the evening so I can clearly see how productive I've been.
6) Move yo body
If you’re not into the gym like me, there are plenty other options for exercise. Take your dog out for a walk, walk around the block, go on a hike, go surfing, swim at your local pool, do some yoga or try the squat challenge (never a bad idea ladies). What’s your excuse?
Try some affirmations in the shower. Most of the ones I use are easy to remember so that I can constantly repeat them with easy. While you're practising your affirmations, visualise all your negative energy being washed away by the clean water. Here are a few I use in the mornings, or better yet, make your own personalised affirmations!
8) Vision board
I bought a cork board for a few quid, got some old fabric and personalised my vision board without having to spend a lot of money. Take a look at your vision board every morning and if you have time, add a new quote or picture to it daily. Pinterest is also a good idea if you’d rather have it on hand where its convenient to look at on the go. I have an obsession with Pinterest, and I love how much inspiration you can find on there. Check out some of my boards if you're running low on ideas!
I absolutely love reading and I honestly feel like you can never read enough. I’ve learnt more from reading books in the past few years than I did during my time at university (seriously). Go online or to your local book store and find a book that looks interesting and makes you excited to read it. Check out my recommendations below for my favourite vegan cookbooks! All three of these were a godsend when transitioning from vegetarian to vegan and made it so much easier for me.
10) Be kind to yourself
This one is important because if you don't love, respect and show kindness to yourself, how do you expect others to? You're a work in progress, if you had a bad day yesterday, don't bring that negativity into the next day - start fresh and forgive yourself for any mistakes. Take the opportunity to get to know yourself better. Discover all the little things you love about yourself. Aim to be the best version of yourself. And most importantly, be kind, be proud and remember that you matter.
How important do you think it is to “seize the morning” as opposed to putting off work for later hours?
- It’s extremely important! Some of the most successful people in the world live by the fact that they get up early in the morning to seize the day and that's how they are more productive than most. Dwayne Johnson for example is one of the highest paid actors in the world and he has posted on Instagram many times about getting up at 4am before the rest of the world wakes up.
What are some ways to ease the early-morning waking process?
- Going to bed at a reasonable hour is obviously going to help getting up in the morning, but making the intention to get up early is the morning is the most important thing because you're putting it out to the universe that you are determined to wake up and seize the day before the morning has even arrived.
Are there any morning activities or routines that might help motivate workers out of bed?
- Yoga & meditation. Yoga is exercise - always good for the morning to get your heart racing. And exercise has been proven to increase happiness, and therefore start the day on a more positive note. And meditation gives you chance to relax and set your intentions for the day. After meditation I usually have a shower and say some affirmations out loud as a morning routine.
What is some advice you would offer those who struggle getting out of bed before late morning?
- I used to struggle to get out of bed before 11. And even if I did, I wasn't up and ready until after 12 and that's about 7/8 hours of productivity wasted. The best advice I can give is to start slowly. If you're used to getting up at 11am and you set an alarm for 4am, it's not very likely that you will actually wake up and get up at 4am. So start with getting up an hour earlier each day and hopefully by the end of the week your body will be used to the early starts.
Do you guys have any amazing morning tips to share? Comment below!