Cultivating an energising and empowering morning regime is a fantastic way to start your day and can really set you up; not only to excel in your work and creative endeavours but also to provide you with the resilience to deal with life’s little frustrations.
It’s important to start your day with activities that set you up in a positive way, reducing stress and engaging your mind in what you would like to achieve in the day ahead. I believe a healthy morning regime should have three main elements: a physical element, a protective or preventative mental element; and, thirdly, an offensive or ambition driven element.
Here is a morning routine that I’ve used personally for several years now. I also coach my personal development clients through this routine to help them reduce stress and prime them to achieve great things in their private and professional lives. (Note: You can implement the whole routine if you have the time available or, alternatively, you can select the elements that you know work best for you (or that you know you have time for!).)
My 7 Step Happy Healthy Morning Routine
1. Early Morning Start
Getting an early start on the day sets you up for maximal achievement. The early bird catches the worm so to speak! Getting your day off the ground nice and early means that by the time most people are still hitting the snooze button for the third time, you will be well on the way to a textbook day. Don’t get up early at the cost of your sleep though; getting to bed early is part of the discipline - unless you know you can make it up with a significant nap later on that day.
2. Heart Rate Variability Test (HRV)
Now this element probably isn’t going to be for everyone but I wanted to mention it because in my opinion it’s a breakthrough development in measuring the effects of stress on the body. Conducting a simple HRV test each morning allows you to see how fatigued your body is or know how well you have recovered from the previous day’s activities. This allows you to manage your levels of fatigue, letting you know when you can take on a considerable strain or when you should pull back!
Using a Fitbit Alta HR to check your HRV as you can also use it to monitor your fitness, heart rate, sleep and many other elements that contribute to a happier, healthier and more rested you.
3. Get Comfortable In Your Environment
For optimal happiness, relaxation and productivity, it’s important to make yourself comfortable in your environment. Whatever works for you – from brewing a fresh coffee, having a morning shower or taking your dog out etc. – make time for it. This may seem obvious but many people still don’t do it so it’s still worth mentioning.
4. Morning Mobility
It is a good idea to prepare your body for the day ahead by performing some basic mobility drills and bodyweight exercises that allow your joints to flow through their full range of motion, align your spine and begin to generate energy in your body.
You’ll have a hard time getting through a busy day with no energy. These drills might be what are considered a ‘work-in’ to build energy rather than expending energy as you would in a traditional ‘work-out’.
5. Gratitude / Law Of Attraction
For the esoteric minded out there, this is where I spend 10 minutes experiencing and ‘attracting’ the opportunities and circumstances that I would like to see manifest in my life, with faith that my very thinking about them will help them to ‘become flesh’. For the more traditional minds, use the time to give thanks for your health, that of your families and the opportunities and moments of joy that have come your way; not in a dogmatic sense, just because it makes you feel good and, psychologically, it will prime the day to be a positive one.
I recommend spending 10 minutes soothing your mind with daily meditation. This will allow you to separate yourself from ego driven thoughts and anxieties by helping you gain perspective and reduce your stress levels. If you are new to the practice, you can download an app like Headspace, which will take you through a guided meditation.
7. Daily Purpose
The final part of my morning routine (equally you could do this as the last thing at night) is to set out the primary goal of the day, and any other auxiliary goals I am looking to achieve. It’s important to take a step forward towards your major targets in life each day so setting this list up in the morning stacks the odds in favour of you reaching your goals.
Recommended Exercises For Step 4: Morning Mobility
1. Jefferson Curl
Why? To begin with, perform this exercise with no weights until your body learns the movement. Remember to engage your glutes and core throughout.
2. Energy Gathering Jumping
3. Shoulder Mobility
4. Hip Mobility
5. 8-Point Around the World Lunges