Mornings can be tough. Your alarm sounds at the break of dawn, and you hit snooze. Once you find the energy to drag yourself out of bed, you rush to get out the door. You feel groggy all day and struggle to stay awake during your afternoon meeting. Is it the end of the day yet?
Mornings don’t have to suck. We’ve rounded up some morning rituals that will make a difference in your work day — and allow you to slay all day.
1. Don’t hit snooze
Hitting snooze can throw off your entire day. Not only does it continuously trick your body into thinking it doesn’t need to wake up, it makes you feel sluggish, which is never fun. When your buzzer goes off, rub those luscious eyes and hop to it. Your body will thank you, and your day will feel a lot less sleepy.
2. Do some light stretching or meditation
Whether you’re on a yoga mat or still in bed, starting your day off with some light stretching or meditation can help your body, mind, and soul feel energized. You can follow a routine or keep it interesting by starting with something new each day.
3. Make your bed
It might sound simple, but making your bed in the morning is a great way to boost productivity. You’re completing a task before you’ve even started your day; giving you a feeling of accomplishment that will inspire you all day long.
4. Keep a journal
Remember when you were a kid and you couldn’t wait to get home from school and write about your day in your hot pink diary? Journaling isn’t just for kids. In fact, it’s something every grown-up should take the time to do. Start each morning by reflecting on your mood, feelings — or even jot down what you dreamt about the night before. Keeping a journal can be therapeutic and is a great way to help you feel inspired for the day.
5. Listen to a killer playlist
Who says listening to Beyoncé is only for your Saturday night pre-game? Turn on your favourite jams in the morning and sing your heart out in that hairbrush. If you need to stay quiet while other people in your household sleep, pop in some headphones
6. Wash your face
Have you ever woken up in the morning with your makeup still on from the night before, only to load on more so you can quickly run out the door? Chances are your skin felt oily and unpleasant for the rest of the day. Nip that in the bud by washing your face with warm water every morning. Even if you have a solid night routine, a fresh face always feels good.
7. Sip hot water with lemon
The benefits of drinking hot water with lemon are endless, but it’s a sure way to kick-start your day in a really good way. The warm water is a lot easier for your body to process than cold water, and the lemon gives you a healthy boost of vitamin C.
8. Sit down for breakfast
How many times have you grabbed a half-toasted bagel and a banana while you’re running out the door, or opted for the fast food drive-thru for breakfast? Probably more than you’d like to admit. Taking an extra ten minutes to sit down and enjoy your breakfast (even if it’s still that half-toasted bagel) is a lot better than eating junk — or nothing at all.
9. Write down your goals for the day
If you find yourself worrying about your endless to-do list first thing in the morning, take a moment to write down realistic goals for the day and prioritize your tasks. If getting everything done isn’t possible in your eight-hour workday, save some items for the next day. Even checking off “drink water” can be fulfilling!
Instead of scrolling through social media, flip through your favourite magazine, or read a chapter from a new book. Your brain will feel stimulated, and you’ll finally be able to check off some novels from your reading list!
11. Walk the dog
Taking Fido for a walk around the block is the perfect way to spend some quality time together, and to reflect on the day ahead. Whether you’re taking the extra few minutes to clear your mind or gather inspiration for your morning meeting, getting an extra couple steps will benefit you in more ways than one!
12. Meal prep the night before
Though meal prepping in the evening isn’t technically a morning ritual, it certainly helps you save time the next day and ensures you’re well-nourished during the day. You can even prepare breakfast the night before like these easy overnight oats.
If you can’t convince yourself to go to that 6 a.m. spin class, going for a jog around your neighbourhood, or even practising some yoga at home is still a great place to start. You’ll feel more energized and awake throughout the day while getting a workout too!
14. Stay unplugged
If you find yourself reaching for your phone as quickly as you hit snooze, cut the habit and try to stay tech-free. Not only is it easy to get distracted by the endless scroll on Instagram, reading up on the latest news of the day can also curb your mood. Stay away from social media until your morning commute if possible.
15. Give it all a chance
After reading through all of these rituals, you probably found yourself saying “I’m not a morning person, so it will never happen.” Our advice – just give it a chance. The late Steve Jobs used to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and ask himself, “Am I happy with what I’m going to do today?” If the answer was no too many times in a row, he knew it was time for a change.
If you find yourself in the same boat, switching up your morning routine even a tiny bit can make a big difference. Start small and work your way up from there.