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How did you begin your day today? Take some time to think about it.
Did you check your email? Wake up with a hot shower? Eat some toast or a green smoothie? Coffee or tea? Brushing your teeth? Was the television playing in the background? Did you kiss your partner or your kid’s goodbye? Were you scrambling to get out of the door on time only to be met by traffic?
Take a deep breath (Ahhhhh)! I promise these questions aren’t here to stress you out but to demonstrate how much chaos can happen before our days even begin.
Mornings are my favourite part and the busiest part of my day. I love mornings because of the possibilities that exist to create the day you want. But if you’re a night owl, continue reading but insert “evening” or “night” for “morning” as needed.
Creating a morning on your terms makes the rest of your day exactly what you want and need it to be. A life prioritising wellness is about the little habits we create. There’s no better place to build healthy habits than at the beginning of each day.
Think of the last time you had a bad day. Like a really bad day! It is likely it wasn’t one single event that went horribly awry. But a series of smaller events that snowballed into something much bigger. Starting your day off with positive habits can not only help you avoid bad days, but it can negate the negative events that may happen in your day.
Research shows once you create a foundation of healthy habits, you don’t have to think about making
healthy choices. This frees your mind up in the morning, your mental space and reduces your stress. Each
little choice or habit you make in the morning may seem insignificant on its own. Like choosing a green
smoothie over white bread with sugary jam. Or holding off on checking email until you get to your office
or desk for the day.
The cumulative effect of the healthy habits we make each morning impacts all aspects of our lives. From our health and productivity to our financial security and our happiness. All good things, right?
Let’s run through a few good habits to get your brain and body into a healthy routine in your morning hours. Start with one healthy habit you want to create, like running, for example.
It starts with a simple cue, like setting out your sneakers, running tights, your sports bra, singlet, and setting your phone alarm before you go to bed.
The rewards? You get to choose! From the endorphin rush to allowing yourself to have a midday treat. Or getting to track your fitness progress. Your brain will start to expect the reward – craving it in fact! Plus, your body will begin to expect the habit each morning. The cues of setting out your clothes will create action and a reward. Setting your brain up for craving more of the healthy habit.
Running is just an example of a way that you can integrate a healthy habit into your day and bring a sense of calm. Maybe for you, it’s yoga, meditation, a long walk with your dog, or writing in a journal. Whatever it is, give yourself at least 5 or 6 days of setting cues and telling your brain what to expect in the morning.
When you wake to the cues, your brain is primed and ready to make a healthy habit. Put three or four healthy habits together in the morning and you’re well on your way to a foundation of zen mornings and lifelong habits that support wellness.
Better mornings and healthy habits start with quality sleep. Power down all your electronics and allow
your brain to slow at least an hour before bed. You can swap out your social media or TikTok scroll,
with reading for a few minutes to wind down.
Get a healthy dose of sunlight in your day so your biological clock knows when it’s ready for bed. And make time for exercise to release any stress, relax your body and quiet your brain.
In the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often forget to take time out of our day that is truly for ourselves. Whether that’s waking up 10 minutes earlier to write in your journal or doing a mediation before bed. It’s important to have some time that is spent off-screen and with your own company.