One thing that I talk a lot about with clients (and am passionate about myself) is having a morning routine. Introducing a few standard elements to the start of your day can benefit you in so many ways - from boosting your energy to firing up your metabolism.
For many the idea of routine sounds boring. "What!? Do the same thing EVERY morning?" Yet evidence suggests having routines in place can enhance your well-being by reducing the amount of glucose and dopamine your brain has to expend on decisions. Not only that, by starting your morning in the right way you can introduce greater calm, focus and positivity into your entire day.
FACT: When we wake we only have about 2 hours of dopamine available (the fuel for the decision making part of our brains) and when that's gone you are left feeling brain dead (usually early afternoon). A morning routine is beneficial because it cuts down the amount of decisions we have to make. And you'll be in good company. Lots and lots of successful people have morning routines – Obama, Jobs, Oprah, Aniston, Churchill to name a few.
So what would a typical morning routine look like?
1. Wake up - put your alarm on for the same time each day to help regulate your body clock
2. Hydrate – drink a mug of warm water with lemon juice to alkalise the gut and top that up with a litre of water. Doing this before you eat with boost your metabolism and energy.
3. Exercise – there so many options - walking, running, swimming, the gym, yoga… and I don't have to tell you how good it is for you both physically and mentally.
4. Meditate – incredibly effective at increasing focus and lowering stress levels. As a start simply focusing on your breath (the feeling of the inhale and exhale of air) is effective.
5. Nourish – avoid a high sugar or high carb start to your day and opt for protein, good fats and greens. You can make things easier by having three standard options that you rotate through to limit your decisions – i.e. green smoothies, avocado and tomato on sourdough, poached eggs with spinach and tomato.
6. Unplug – keep your phone off until you are energised and ready for the day! Remember all those notifications, texts and emails are someone else's schedule!
7. Dress - standardise your wardrobe, hair and makeup so that you don’t waste unnecessary time dithering over the way you look! This can literally save hours over a month.
All this doesn’t have to take a long time. 10 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes exercise followed by a great breakfast could be enough to put you on the right track for your entire day.
Whatever you choose, the most important things is to decide what you want the rest of your day to look like and get it started in the best way possible!