There’s an old adage. If you get out of bed with the wrong foot, it will ruin your entire day. While scientists cannot identify the guilty foot, you can sway the odds in your favor. Here are ten morning habits that are free and easy enough to mush into a busy morning schedule.
Morning habits for positivity and productivity
How you start your mornings can have a big influence on how the rest of your day goes. That’s why putting in the work to fix your morning habits and morning routine can be a huge benefit. Below are some suggestions for you to start with.
1. Give Thanks – Whatever That Means To You
Expressing gratitude is very personal. Especially when it’s a little abstract and you’re not thanking an actual person standing in front of you. For some, it’s a moment of faith and prayer. Others like writing in a gratitude journal. You can even just sit with your morning brew and thankful thoughts. No action required.
It doesn’t matter if you’re thankful for the same things most days. Gratitude or thanksgiving isn’t a well that runs dry because you’re only allowed to name your newborn once.
Instead, the point of the exercise is to hone your ability to spot the gems that exist in your life right now. No matter how big or small. You’re allowed to name something for as long as you’re grateful for it.
Positive reflection brings peace in the moment and strength for the rest of the day.
2. Wash Your Face (And Indulge)
Let’s face it. That face is not a pretty face once you peel it from the pillow – and we tend to feel the sleep on our skin. The tightness, the not-so-rightness. Ah, that’s where the magic of a washcloth comes in.
This habit is a great one to start with, right after you get up. It’s simple and refreshing, capable of waking even those who don’t know what species they are until they’ve had their first cup of coffee.
While this habit is mostly about sleeping in your washcloth for a second before waking up, you’re welcome to go the extra mile. There’s plenty of evidence that suggests you can boost your confidence by sprucing up. But as important as routine hygiene is, don’t make it all about that.
Do something that’s an absolute spoiler. That vanilla-flavored face scrub that’s not necessary but makes you feel like a queen? That one. Indulging in a favorite product is a deeply positive thing to do for your mood.
3. One Rep, Two Reps – Or Just Stretch
This one is entirely optional… Because we understand. Some people and exercise don’t mix in the morning.
That being said, if you struggle with waking up then you might want to consider gentle stretching. Chances are that even a slight attempt to stretch a few muscles will clear the brain fog and provide a pleasant physical buzz. Indeed, these are the perks that drive those who love intensive exercise in the morning.
Don’t worry, this paragraph won’t nag about the health benefits of exercising. Everyone knows how important movement is these days. But in the spirit of exercise being critical to good health, let’s cover one more benefit of morning mojo. A busy day leaves most people too tired to crawl over to that yoga mat when they get home. But when done first thing in the morning, nothing can prevent you from growing fitter, stronger, and healthier.
4. Freshen Up With Meditation
Meditation is like a washcloth for the mind. Sure, the Zen might not scrub the dirt off yesterday’s worst moments but that’s not the purpose of your morning routine. The purpose of being monkish in the early hours is to relax and loosen yesterday’s grip so that you can face today.
Meditation shares a drawback with exercise – not everybody likes doing it so early. For this reason, you really don’t have to be politically correct here. There needn’t be a yoga-certified cushion, home studio or oriental music piping in the background. Meditation can be done sitting on the sofa and a five-minute session can center somebody who meditates regularly.
To foster positivity, focus on starting fresh. Give yourself permission to let go of the emotional baggage of yesterday and try again today. If this is too upsetting for some reason, don’t do it. Instead, rely on an old faithful – just be aware of your surroundings, feelings, and thoughts but don’t attach yourself to them. Just observe. This also breaks the draining bond we share with bad memories.
Top tip: Don’t try to be perfect. Enjoy and relax into the process. Acknowledge any frustrations and release them.
5. Plan your day
Here’s a gremlin that kills morning joy – feeling unprepared for a busy day. The best antidote is to work with a plan. Even a rough draft (literally just a To-Do list) can do wonders for mental tension. When you know what must be done and in what order, things no longer seem so overwhelming.
You can devote a few minutes each morning to plan your day. If you’d rather create your schedule the night before, you can use the morning to review any preparations for the day’s meetings, appointments, and projects.
Once again, don’t aim for perfection. You’re up against a hard fact of life – nearly every day is derailed by one or two unexpected things. The idea is to follow a realistic schedule that removes a good portion of stress from your routine.
6. Vegetate Like A Champion
You’ve been waiting for this one, haven’t you? Well, now you have permission to make “doing nothing” a positive morning habit.
The best time is before the rush of the day’s first chores. For instance, while the kids are still sleeping or you have enough time before going to work. This habit is a wonderful way to ease into the day.
If doing zilch for half an hour gives you peace of mind, then carve out that slot like you mean it. Sit in your slippers or work shoes, hold that heavenly caffeinated drink between your palms and vegetate with zeal.
7. Ditch The News For Inspiration
The stories we hear on the news are mostly bad. So much so that some people have abandoned listening to news broadcasts altogether. It remains each person’s choice to tune in to the BBC or buy a newspaper.
But for the benefit of creating a positive morning habit, how about shifting your usual news slot to a later time during the day? We might not personally know that politician messing up another policy or the toddler who got caught in the crossfire of two gangs. But unsettling reports like these dampen our spirits.
When big news is afoot, chances are that somebody will tell you anyway. Sometimes we cannot control when a friend or family member spills the beans. However, you can control the start of your day by shutting off the news.
Read one inspirational article instead of the news. You can make it random by just searching the Internet. These reads are legion and you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Another option is to digest a solution to something you’re struggling with at the moment. It could be anxiety, finances, your business, wanting a new bullet journal spread, or how to reignite your passion for a hobby.
The difference cannot be overstated. Sure, the news has its place – but it rarely pushes you forward on your own journey. The news doesn’t really care about you.
On the other hand, inspirational articles can bring a dramatic change in anyone’s life. It takes a single piece of advice to resonate with you. When that happens, blocks are removed and things move forward. They can also provide strength to survive difficult times. The good news is that these benefits are available even when inspirational articles are limited to twice or three times a week.
8. Spit And Polish A Drawer
Alright, don’t spit. This part does involve cleaning but you don’t have to take out the mop and energy drink.
Just pick a small area to organize, like a shelf or drawer. The bedside stand or the dog’s basket. Pack things away, throw away what you don’t need, arrange items in a useful and aesthetic way, and wipe the area down. Eventually, they’ll add up. For example, if you do this every morning then around 30 spaces a month inside your home gets organized. That’s a lot!
This is a positive habit for several reasons. A neat room calms the mind. A messy environment tends to do the opposite. This is also an effective way for busy individuals to get a handle on clutter. The same counts for those without the energy or physical strength to spring clean an entire house or room.
You’ll feel inspired knowing that you organized so much in a single month and barely spend five minutes on the task every day.
PS: You can check out these great bedroom organization ideas if you’re looking for tips!
9. Slay An Epic Goal
You don’t have to devote hours a day to achieve your biggest dreams. To be honest, it’s not always feasible to spend that much time on a goal when you have a family, career, and problems that need tending to. But before you know it, the years pass without any significant personal milestones. Your first-draft novel sits in a box for a decade. That degree never materializes. And your life becomes filled with regrets.
Epic goals are hard to achieve. Believe it or not, but there’s a higher chance of success when you whittle that monster down with achievable steps.
The biggest mistake people make is to get carried away with excitement and then rush things. They invest massive amounts of emotional or time-bound actions. Most either burn themselves out or end up resenting the effort. What used to be a dream suddenly feels like a chore. One without any rewards. This is one of the reasons why people give up on major goals.
A 10 to 15-minute slot in the morning could prevent such frustrations. It could make you more excited to work on the goal because you know there’s only a tiny window allotted every day. This keeps the work interesting and fresh. Additionally, you can also go about your day knowing that you contributed a meaningful step towards something that’s personally important to you.
10. Have A Positive Conversation (Or Avoid A Negative One)
For this recipe, you’ll need another person. Only add a positive human being to the mix and stir.
Alright, reality check. Not everyone lives in a house full of perky people. There’s bound to be a grouch in the home. Hey, sometimes you’re the crabby one. But don’t underestimate the power of putting negativity on the shelf for just one conversation.
Keeping a talk on track takes practice. But when two people can just be together in the morning and hold a conversation that they know won’t get weird, what happens? They feel safe. There’s a sense of camaraderie and relaxation. The loneliness fades.
A morning can also be peaceful without a conversation. No talking is sometimes better than a fight. We’ve all experienced that regrettable moment right before work when a talk went south. An argument so early (and probably unresolved) often ruins the rest of the day with icky feelings.
For this reason, mornings should only be filled with a hearty topic or golden silence – or even a hearty-golden-thingy in between.
Reclaim Your Mornings And Make A Difference
Modern life consumes time with an insatiable appetite. There must come a point when you say, “Enough,” and put your foot down.
It’s critical to devote time to yourself, your family, and personal goals. Since most things are mapped out for later hours, the morning is a forgotten haven where life can change. You can lose weight, become fitter, get a grip on anxiety, write a novel, relax, and get to know your loved ones. The list is as endless and long as your own imagination.
As you can see, cultivating positivity in the morning and developing good morning habits isn’t about grand gestures. There’s no need to strain an over-stretched budget. The best things are free and available at home.
This list is packed with good ideas but you can add anything, really. But remember, when you experiment with your perfect mornings – only keep the activities that lift your mood and energy!
You might also enjoy these posts:
- 20 Deep Self-Reflection Questions To Ask Yourself
- 10 Valuable Things You Will Regret Not Doing Sooner
- 30 Easy Ways To Practice Self Care You Need To Try This Year
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