Life can be stressful at the best of times. Finding a manageable work-life balance without making too many sacrifices in either place can feel overwhelming. It seems like from the moment you wake up, you’re rushing around and have a day’s (sometimes week’s) worth of stress weighing you down. This can affect your patience and energy, your relationships and your overall well-being.
If your day starts by hitting the snooze button before rolling out of bed, scrambling around looking for something to wear, then eat, all the while checking emails on your phone, the problem could lie in your morning routine.
There is a better way.
Find the calm in the chaos
Establishing a good morning routine can make a meaningful impact on your day—perhaps more so than you may imagine. Starting your day off the right way, every day (no matter what’s going on), can help to create a sense of calm control.
While it may seem contradictory to add more to your day, developing a good morning routine ultimately helps you set the tone and steer your day in the right direction. You’ve certainly heard many anecdotes highlighting the habits of highly successful people. They almost always show that productivity is improved by having a morning ritual—one that you control, rather than the morning controlling you.
Give yourself one hour each morning – before the kids are up, before work needs you, before the distractions get in the way – the results can be powerful, and you’ll likely notice the difference in every facet of your life.
Avoid the snooze button
Though it may seem obvious and perhaps overly simplistic, set your alarm for the same time every day. Getting your body into a routine can make the act of getting up every day a little bit easier. That’s not to suggest that you should wake up before the sun rises—5 am may work for Silicon Valley’s finest, though it doesn’t mean it’ll work for you. Similarly, it doesn’t mean that 30 minutes before you’re due to start work is the best time either. Instead, wake up at your right time.
Rehydrate, with a twist
If tea or coffee is your typical morning pick-me-up, this tip may seem particularly unfathomable. However, we’re not suggesting you give these up entirely, just postpone them.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is a crucial step in rehydrating after a night of sleep. Because that groggy, foggy feeling many of us experience upon first waking – that’s dehydration. The key thing here is to hydrate. Drinking water in the mornings will kickstart your day, boost your metabolism and help provide you with energy for the day ahead.
Now enter the lemon. By squeezing just half a lemon into your water, you are aiding digestion, adding vitamin C and potassium, and preventing oxidation – just to name a few benefits.
Back to your morning brew. Feel free to enjoy your tea or coffee, just hydrate first and let your body and brain fully wake up.
Maybe you already meditate or practice mindful breathing exercises. Maybe you have no interest in it at all. But finding a way to calm your thoughts and mind is key to a successful morning routine.
Meditating or practicing mindfulness is one way to get there. But there are other options. It could be journaling, reading, a quiet walk or yoga. Whatever it is, find a way that works for you to clear your mind.
While it can be easy to skip this step, doing so can lead you to feel rushed and stressed. Practicing stillness can help you collect your thoughts and feel grounded, leading to a more positive and productive day.
You’ve heard it a million times and you know the science behind it. But it’s worth reiterating that exercising in the morning is an excellent way to start your day. It boosts your mood and metabolism and gives you more energy to tackle the day’s to-do list.
Some people swear by doing push-ups and sit-ups, while others prefer the fresh air that comes with a morning run. Whatever form of movement you chose to get your heart rate up, just 15-30 minutes of exercise each morning can change the trajectory of your day.
Just get up
For some, the most challenging aspect of incorporating these elements into a morning routine isn’t the physical act of doing any of them. It’s having the motivation to get out of bed and get going. Instead of viewing your morning routine as an optional hour of your day, think of it as your most important meeting of the day.
Invest in yourself and see how this one single hour focused on you (and only you) can lead to a more positive and productive day.
This post was created in response to the COVID-19 virus and its impact on tax and finance professionals. For more information to help support you and your business, visit our COVID-19 resource center.