6 Simple Ways to Rethink Your Morning Routine

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With our rhythmic schedules of wake up, eat, work, sleep, and repeat, it gets difficult to break out of a rut and do something different. If you find yourself rushing through the morning and spending the rest of the day sluggish, listless, and unfocused, consider rethinking the way you spend your mornings. A re-engineered morning routine that incorporates positive, reflective habits can help you prepare for a more productive, focused day. Here are a few to help you get started. 

Prep the night before
You can save time in the morning and avoid decision fatigue by leaving the hardest actions for the night. Pick out your clothes for the next day and make your breakfast (like these easy overnight oats by the blogger Cookie and Kate) ahead! Save yourself some extra time in the morning and leave the decision-making efforts for highly prioritized issues. 

Meditate
Taking the time to sit down in silence and pay attention to the present can reduce stress while increasing calmness and clarity. Though meditating on your own is possible, beginners should consider starting off with guided meditations that can be found online, which will teach the basic foundations of meditation. We've enjoyed using easy-to-use apps like Headspace and Calm, and read more about meditation in a detailed guide written up by the New York Times

Stretch
Combat stiffness from sleeping and sitting at a desk at work by stretching in the morning. Lengthening and stretching your muscles can reduce muscle tension and increase blood flow throughout the body, contributing to better posture and less anxiety, allowing you to perform your daily activities with much more ease.

List daily goals
When you find yourself bogged down by a flood of work, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed, losing focus of your tasks. Listing and setting small goals for the day and accomplishing them one by one, by order of importance, can help you keep track of your priorities.

Write
Starting off your morning by jotting down ideas and thoughts, journaling, or writing a few short poems can help declutter your mind and foster creativity that stays with you the rest of the day.

Exercise
Exercising in the morning, whether it’s a calm walk around the block, a pop-fueled jog in the park, a bodyweight workout at home, or a session at the gym, can give you more energy, clear your head, encourage healthy decision-making, and give you the confidence of having accomplished something early in the day.

Experiment
You don’t have to try incorporating these different habits all at once-- try choosing just one and making sure you consistently make it a part of your morning, then slowly start adding more so that you don’t overwhelm yourself. Don’t be afraid of switching out certain habits for other ones, and do what works best for you. 

Cultivating and sticking to a morning routine can help you feel calm, collected, and prepared to meet the day head-on-- a quiet moment of peace in a loud and busy day. 

Yooyeon Shim