The importance of a meaningful morning routine is becoming more prevalent in today’s fast-paced society. People tend to be going to bed/sleep later due to being kept awake by reality TV shows, social media and technology in general. Their quality of sleep is also not ideal due to their subconscious always being “on” and hence they wake up already in an already stressed and anxious state to the sound of their dreaded alarm. They jump out of bed, rush to have a shower with their mind already jumping between everything they have to do today and scoff down their breakfast as they run out the door or even skip this important meal all together. What they don’t realise is the toll this is having on both their mind and their body.
A meaningful morning routine has many benefits including:
- Waking up in a calm and well-rested state
- Starting the day on the right foot (not rushed and stressed)
- Preparing the mind and body for what lies ahead
- Sets you up for a more productive day
A lot of people don’t consider themselves to be a “morning person”. The reality is you can train yourself to be a morning person! It’s just a matter of forming a habit.
Example: My ideal morning routine
5:55 am – Alarm goes off!
I set my alarm for this time every single day (except Sunday), even when I don’t need to be up that early. There are some days when I may need to be up earlier but I find this easy to do as I usually wake up about 30-45 minutes before my alarm anyway.
6 am – Meditate
I am lucky enough/ have set up my life so that I do not have to rush in the mornings. I used to wake up at 4:30 am and be out the door by 4:45 am to drive 30 minutes for a 5:30 am client. Now I usually meditate for at least 20 minutes first thing in the morning and right before going to sleep at night (See my blog post for more on my night time routine). I have found that even if you meditate for just 5 minutes in the morning, it starts you off in a better frame of mind for the day. This is an absolute game-changer, trust me! You can read my blog post on Meditation for more information and mythbusters if you are a newbie!
6:20 am – Gratitude Journaling
Here I write down whatever comes to mind and make sure I feel it in my body. I found this exercise difficult to begin with, which in hindsight is absurd because no matter who you are, you can always find something to be grateful for. It may be the most simple thing like the air you breathe or just waking up to experience a new day! You may even be grateful for the hardships you have endured as it has shaped you into the magnificent person that you are! When you focus on what you DO have rather than what you DON’T have, you see things differently and attract more of that abundance into your life.
6:30 am – Splash face with cold water
I know this sounds horrible right?! What if I told you I’m actually working myself up to splash my whole body with cold water! Crazy, huh?! The reasoning behind this is that cold causes the constriction of blood vessels (vasoconstriction). This means that the blood circulating in the periphery such as the limbs, gets pushed back into the centre of the body and towards the heart and lungs for reoxygenation. It, therefore, causes an increase in heart rate and rate of breathing, where the “fresh” blood can be redirected to the brain and muscles, causing you to become more alert and “waking you up”.
This physiological state also promotes the release of adrenaline and endorphins which are the chemicals making you feel good. Furthermore, this practice also trains your mind to be fearless and to act without hesitation. It is the first hurdle for the day out of the way and allows you to overcome the discomfort and feel empowered to take on whatever the day throws at you.
6:35 am – Rebounding
This is something that I have only just introduced recently as I have heard good things about it from some very successful people. Many health benefits are evident from the use of a mini-trampoline such as promoting lymphatic drainage and adrenal/thyroid function, supporting bone density and muscle tone, improving balance and most importantly, circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body. My intention for using this tool is to prime my mind and body for the day by changing my physiology from a restful to an energised state. Have you ever noticed that when you do less it makes you feel like doing less? Or that you feel more energised after a workout? Energy comes from energy so I’m getting my body moving first thing to be ready to go! Stay tuned for the verdict 😉
6:40am – Stretch
If I’m honest, sometimes I may skip this step. Being a physio, I know how important this is for everyone to do. As I train a lot, I do incorporate mobility and stretching before and after my sessions later on in the day and throughout the day so it’s not the end of the world if I don’t do it first thing but it does make me feel good. I would usually go through 3 sun salutations which is a type of vinyasa flow yoga, maybe adding in a few extra poses here and there depending on where I feel tight or stiff.
6:55 am – Apple cider vinegar shot and bone broth
There has been a lot of hype around gut health recently, and with good reason. Our gut is paramount to our well-being due to its role in critical bodily functions including digestion, our immune system and our mental health. The “good” bacteria in your gut helps with nutrient absorbency, toxin elimination and hormone regulation to name a few. We name the gut also as our “second brain” due to the vast impact it has on regulation both our physiological and mental state. Both apple cider vinegar and bone broth have gut healing properties for your gut. And it will not only make you feel good, but look good as well. I take a 10ml shot of the vinegar (be careful, it burns!) and then stir 1 tsp of bone broth concentrate into a cup of boiling water and drink it while I make breakfast.
7 am – Breakfast
My favourite meal of the day. Two things I always try to include in my breakfast are eggs and spinach, while bananas are a necessity as they are my favourite. It’s the perfect combination of protein, fats and carbs. I believe it’s important to have a decent breakfast to set you up for the day. It will help avoid snacking mid-morning. Personally, I am a bit of a sweet tooth, so my go-to is a big green protein smoothie bowl which fills me up! If I eat breakfast after I train then I might make something a bit more substantial such as an omlette with spinach and beans or lentils.
BONUS BIOHACKING TIP: I usually find I don’t really need a coffee mid-morning but if I have one I also use MCT oil in it for the keto and cognitive benefits!
IMPORTANT: Notice that I haven’t even looked at my phone yet! This is super important
Phone are addiction to us these days. And it’s crazy how a tiny piece of technology can not only have such a strong control over our emotions, but also our physiological state. If, for example, we get a nice message from a loved one it gives us a little dopamine hit, which makes us want to come back for more! On the other hand, if we see an email notification pop up with less than ideal news, we become stressed which releases cortisol into the body having various negative effects on blood pressure, inflammation, chronic pain and fat storage to name a few.
I absolutely LOVE waking up in the morning! I take time to enjoy my morning routine and it makes me excited for the day! Now don’t get me wrong, I am human and I have my bad days too. But I have found that since starting my days like this, they are becoming less and less. I also didn’t start all of these together, but rather have gradually incorporated them one by one. Try at least one of these tips to start off with and see how you feel, even if it’s just setting your alarm 5 minutes earlier. I guarantee you will not only feel better about yourself, but you will also make others feel better too if you are in a good mood 🙂 That shit is contagious!