How to Finally Start Maximizing Your Mornings
Mornings are SO important for living well!
It’s the time of day that you’re at peak operating capacity and so you NEED to make the most out of those hours if you’re going to get the most out of your life.
And until just a few months ago, I was seriously guilty of wasting them, or, at the very least, not using them effectively (day after day…).
It was truly heartbreaking to realize that a whole decade had gone by since I was graduated from college, and I was still not a fully functional human from just 7 am every weekday…
As more time goes by, you realize just how precious time is, and how using it well can help you to grow and experience more things as a human.
Here’s what I recommend doing to get the very most out of the very vast majority of each and every weekday (and possibly some Saturday) mornings these days…
Get Dressed As SOON As You Get Out of Bed
Or directly after you brush your teeth and wash your face etc. Don’t wait until after you’ve applied your make-up or styled your hair.
If this is the first thing that you do, you’ll get your professional mode on immediately and you’ll feel like you’re already right in the swing of being ready to get to work (or start work at home if you work from home!).
It helps to wake you up more and get your brain into work mode faster.
Write Your To-Do List As Soon As You’re Up
OR set your schedule and to-do list the night before – if you don’t have a diary, that’s fine, you can use asana.com or monday.com to help you organize everything you have to do the day before or weeks before.
You might also like to look into bullet journaling if you haven’t come across this before. Bullet journaling is great because you can keep track of everything you need to do soon, have already done, and intend to do in the far future. It’s amazing for serious organization.
Change Your Lifestyle to Feel A LOT More Awake
I actually wrote a whole article about how to feel more energized naturally that you might find useful.
When you feel more awake, you’ll get more stuff done. It seems obvious but how many times have you kinda just glossed over this?
I know I have.
In the distant past, I rarely took really good care of my health, and if I did, it wouldn’t last long. I’d usually slide back into eating chocolate bars just before bed, sleep too little or too much, and stuff like healthy meal planning, yoga, meditation, and self-care was just never on the menu at all.
Here are some ideas to consider for experiencing way better (and more productive) mornings:
Step Out Into Natural Sunlight
If there is any, of course!
I would 100% advise against ‘Sun Gazing’ which is a thing, honestly. It’s essentially looking directly at the sun which is a very, very, very bad idea.
Just opening your window and sticking your head out into the daylight or popping onto your balcony or into your back or front yard for literally 2 minutes should be enough to perk you up and help program your body clock.
Take up Stretching
My doctor told to stretch when having anxiety attacks and although that kinda seemed hella insulting at the time, it has actually worked amazingly well.
Stretching has been scientifically proven to increase blood flow to your muscles, to the brain (especially when accompanied by deep breathing) and it really does steady and calm the mind and nerves.
Drink Herbal Teas
There are SO many herbal teas to choose from. Wow. I mean, really, the amount of conceptions that are available today blows the mind. And new creations just keep popping up everywhere.
If you don’t like herbal teas, I get it. When I was a kid, they put the fear of hell in me. I thought they tasted like various inedible items from the garden.
BUT, it doesn’t have to be the mandatory, kinda boring herbal teas everyone knows about like chamomile or peppermint.
Personally, I’ve grown to love those, but exploring other options has been really effective for me. I LOVE apple and cinnamon, orange and cherry, and turmeric and rooibos teas.
Just have a look at the plethora of delicious herbal teas online and you’ll probably come across something super interesting you never even knew existed! You can even buy whole flowers such as rosebuds and make a pot of tea from those.
I love grounding. Ever since I found out about this seemingly quirky thing, I’ve been enjoying the benefits of it. Read my article on what grounding is and how to do it here.
Quit the Caffeine
We all know why caffeine is bad for us, so I won’t bore you with all that. This point is simply a gentle reminder that it isn’t good for you, pretty much ever.
If you can’t ditch it for good, try cutting it out for the foreseeable future or even just a week or two.
I know you can do it. I did.
I was a HUGE black tea drinker. Felt like I couldn’t even get up to brush my teeth without my first brew BUT I managed to cut it ALL out for good and honestly, I feel a lot less sluggish and murky headed.
As a small, yet pretty vital side-note, if you’re a vegetarian or a vegan, you’ll want to be reminded that the tannins found in certain teas, like black and green tea, can reduce the absorption of plant-based iron so avoid drinking tea shortly before or after taking a plant-based iron supplement or eating high iron content plant-based food.
Set Your Intentions for The Day
Set the intention of getting everything on your list done that day – if you have to and you’re well, PUSH yourself to get everything done. You’ll feel so much more satisfied and accomplished at the end of every day.
It’s super easy to set intentions, too. You can write them down or just say something like the following:
I intend to accomplish every task I have listed for the day.
I will complete all the work / things on my to-do list / errands / chores today with ease and grace.
Then just picture yourself at the end of the day feeling satisfied with all that you’ve accomplished in the day for a few seconds. How would that feel and what would it look like?
Obviously, if you’re not feeling well emotionally, mentally or physically, don’t push yourself. It won’t be productive at all if you get sick from working too hard. Relax and take some time out until you’re back on top, but otherwise, focusing on your work and getting through it all can really help to get way more stuff done and out of life.
Totally FORGET About Social Media
It’s straight-up useless to you in the morning!
Honestly, we all know that scrolling through Insta photos of the latest hair trends or crystal collections is not a viable use of the most alert time of the day.
Sure, it’s nice to look at pictures of your favorite Instagrammers on the bus to work, or after dinner, but never when you’re getting ready to go to work / complete chores in the morning.
Unless you’re a YouTuber or an Instagrammer yourself and it’s part of your business to know what others around you in your niche are up to, you know that you REALLY DON’T need to know what Person X was doing last night. Or what the people you follow have posted on Insta this morning.
It just isn’t productive and won’t help you get the most out of your working day.
Schedule in specific times for social media like after 6 pm, for half an hour directly after work, or while you’re making dinner or just before you go to bed – but avoid looking at any posts in bed! If you see something you don’t like, it can pee you off and get your adrenaline levels up. Blue light is also really bad for inducing sleepiness because it inhibits melanin production.
Try being firmer with friends or relatives who might call you during the day, make it clear that you’re working and don’t have time to talk but that you’d love to talk to them once you’re done or in the evening — if they’re free.
But mornings are for getting stuff done and you can’t afford to get sidetracked.
If you have children, try to find someone who can sit with them while you’re working or if they’re old enough, simply try explaining to them calmly and quietly that you need to focus on your work during certain hours of the day and to only let you know if there’s any kind of issue or if they need something. I know it’s hard — I couldn’t do it with my stepson when he was young!
Practice More Self-Care
RELATED: Self Care Tips for HSPs
Especially if you’re a highly sensitive person, or you experience anxiety, and often feel overwhelmed and, or depressed.
Sometimes anxiety and depression can hit us upon awakening and we can get lost and side-tracked with repetitive negative thinking.
If you experience anxiety or depression, that can be hard to overcome completely, but if you can manage it well, you’ll probably find that you get more out of your days.
Counseling alongside medication and / or energy healing modalities may be really beneficial here. I’m an empath plus I experience horrendous anxiety at times.
It used to be so bad I couldn’t leave the house at times but it’s now a lot better and that changed happened with a ton of energy healing and inner work, not to mention a change in lifestyle and diet.
Which brings me to my next point…
Lead a Way Healthier Life Overall
This basically goes hand in hand with my point above about feeling more awake; these two are essentially inextricably linked but I thought it was worth stating by itself.
Forget the empty carbs, forget the cigarettes and the e-cigs and the sodas, the junk food and fast food and whatever food.
Eat right, take some natural supplements if your doctor says you need to top up any vitamin or mineral levels, workout and make room for some high-quality you-time.
You might also want to cut out or reduce the time you interact with negatively orientated people (or let’s not sugar coat it here – toxic, time and energy-zapping folk).
When you’re healthier and your body is working at a more optimum level, you’re just going to have so much more energy so you’ll be able to wake up feeling more energized, happier, calmer and that means you make the most out of every day going forward.
Pretend the Media Doesn’t Exist
No YouTube. No TV. No radio. No news. No media period!
Watching anything on a screen can be such a mega time suck. It’s usually easy not to notice when a whole 15 minutes goes by.
Avoid watching anything while you’re eating breakfast – instead, go outside into your yard if you have one and eat in the fresh air, or listen to an uplifting audiobook or some awesome affirmations.
Avoid Returning Personal Texts, E-mails, and Calls
Identify certain times of the day when you’ll definitely have time to make any personal calls, messages, e-mails, or return any communication from loved ones, colleagues, staff and so on.
Doing this will help to take the pressure off the busiest times of the day.
Tidy Your Home and Keep It Tidy
Do you misplace your keys often? I know I do!
This might not stop you losing your keys, but by making sure your home is always tidy, you’re way less likely to misplace items you need to find fast including items of clothing, documents, and pretty much anything else that’s small and needs to be found quickly.
One of my favorite old teachers always used to say that “organization is key” to getting ahead in life. And I personally think it’s totally true!
Let me know in the comments below if you have any ideas for feeling more alert and awake in the mornings and getting the most out of them!