As said in Buddhism, all the experiences we have are created by our minds.
During the time of COVID-19 or even other times for a little positivity and a lot of energy for the day, it is good to have a morning routine.
If you google "morning routine", you will find many set time tables, charts, morning routines of millionaires etc. That is not my cup of coffee and I do not want to encourage anything like that.
I am just going to give you some ideas for creating your own routine. There is nothing like "the best morning routine". It is always special when you prepare your own morning routine cause all of us are unique in our own ways. I am a morning person and the points I am going to mention are mostly tested on myself and that is what I am going to suggest. I have been practicing a routine naturally from years, so I do many things in the morning but you can differ.
You do not have to do everything, but trying to think and find out what is good for your body and mind will make it easy for you. Also, remember to stick to this routine so your body will get used to it. We are animals of habits, so routine is what we naturally like.
Ideas for your morning routine
1. Wash your face!
The first thing I do when I wake up is brushing my teeth and splashing some water on my face. Splashing water on the face as you know is a hygiene act. It makes me feel fresh and also cleans the eyes keeping them healthy. This is something I cannot live without as it marks the beginning of my daily routine.
This is very important and we have to do this. After a long time of dehydration, our body needs the water to rejuvenate the cells and cleanse the digestive system. The human brain is made up of 73% water, hydration can serve the brain and also boost alertness. Drinking water in an empty stomach can also give us a glowing skin 😊 (that is the easiest skin treatment!). Read more on the benefits of drinking water in the morning.
“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.”
3. Make your bed
This might sound silly, the third I do is making my bed in the morning and it comes with its benefits. Studies show that a clean house/room can help in having better mental health and also gives room to think. Also, psychological studies show that this is a small task but when we complete it, subconsciously we feel accomplished and efficient. Keeping flowers in a vase can be perfect and lighten your mood bringing positivity and a happy morning.
4. Open the drapes
Sun, the source of energy. After waking up opening the windows and curtains bring fresh air and light inside the room. The light decreases the melatonin concentration and increases alertness and make you feel fresh. Exposure to bright sunlight is effective against insomnia, premenstrual syndrome and gets us more Vitamin D which is very important for skin protection and also reduces depression. I generally face the sun and enjoy the warm feeling for 5-10 minutes as I feel I draw energy for the day from the sunlight.
5. Enjoy nature
This is something I love to do always. I enjoy observing my surroundings and nature. There are minute things that we miss in our busy lives and so much to learn from nature. The green colour of trees and plants has healing power and is understood to be the most restful and relaxing colour for the human eye to view. I knew the benefit of staring into the distance from the vlog of Jay Shetty. We always stare into our phones or laptops and that creates so much stress to our eye muscles, looking at something far can compensate this imbalance.
6. Eat something
It is advised to have something in an hour after awake as the body needs the energy for the day.
Some people believe to skip breakfast ( that is a personal choice), but having something light can help you in starting the day better. Studies show that a healthy breakfast can help in boosting energy, brainpower, reduced chances of illness, alleviates mood, weight control etc.
Including eggs, blueberries and almonds in the morning breakfast can be very good. Eggs are rich in choline which is good against depression, memory loss, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and even a mental condition called schizophrenia. Flavonoids in blueberries are associated with better cognition and good mood and Vitamin E in almonds decreases anxiety-like behaviours and increases immunity.
Many articles show having a slice of cake or chocolate can improve your mood and also hold back your cravings for sweets during the day. Read more on 10 healthy food and mental health
7. Move around
Stretching your body or doing some exercises can be very good to boost your energy for the day. Exercise benefits physically and psychologically by enhancing mood, self-esteem, brainpower etc. If you do not like weight training or anything hard, you can do 3 rounds of jumping jacks or 3-5 yoga poses or just dance to your favourite music. Cardio exercises can increase your lung capacity and increases blood circulation. But be very careful and stretch before anything vigorous to avoid injuries. Some exercise ideas during the lockdown.
“Movement is so important for helping me to clear my mind and set the tone for a positive and productive day.”
–Dempsey Marks ☀️
8. Meditate and gratitude
Using 5 minutes at the start for the day to concentrate on oneself and listening to self can be very powerful. Every day we deal with everything in the external world, turning towards internal noise and silence in our body and mind can help us to ground ourselves and feel more conscious. Studies show morning meditation reduces stress and anxiety and increases creativity and efficiency to the functioning of the inner faculty.
Mindfulness meditation and practices can help us to calm our minds and relax our bodies so that we can accept reality. See for easy mindfulness exercises at home. Practicing gratitude or writing a journal can all benefit in having a more positive outlook towards life, improve psychological well-being and begin the day with a smile, rather than seeing all the work emails and getting tensed and stressed. After all, stress cannot get your job done!
9. Read/ do something creative
I generally like to read or study something in the morning as I feel my head is clear and very receptive in the morning. This can change from person to person. But doing something you love in the morning can give you a positive start. It can be anything from gardening to just watching an episode of your favourite series. But just remember not to get absorbed in series or mobile games. That can do more harm than benefit. Some studies show that creativity is more when you wake up due to the effect of dreams so it is better to do something creative in the morning. But again it differs for each individual.
Sometimes dreams can help you to have new ideas ( like for Beatles), writing it down and keeping a dream journal will be really good.
10. Prepare yourself for the day
Many say "your day starts the night before". This means how you sleep decides your day. But it is not just about sleep, preparing and planning for the next day at night can make your day easier and less stressful. Deciding what to wear or what to cook in the morning or even preparing your lunch for the day can take off the burden of small decisions. You do not have to plan your whole day, but knowing the first thing to do at work or anything gives a focal point and your mind and body prepare for that.
You can now have a thought on the first thing you do in the morning and see how it can affect you and your day. Practising morning routine daily can help you to grow a habit and make you get used to it.
Until next time....