We would all like to say that our mornings involve a smooth and seamless routine. However, the reality is that for many of us our mornings involve oversleeping and chaos as we rush around and scramble to get out the door. Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had positive morning rituals that would set the tone for the day and start it off right?
The night before your next workday make sure you have a few things in order. Decide what you’re going to wear the next day. You don’t need to lay it out, but at least have an idea in mind so you aren’t standing in front of your closet all perplexed the next day (and wasting at least ten minutes of your time). Next, pack all of your necessities, such as your computer or needed paperwork in your chic tote. This will also save your time and will prevent a potentially disastrous situation, like forgetting that important assignment or project. Lastly, if you usually bring your lunch to work, prepare it ahead of time and have it ready so you can simply grab it and go the next day. There is nothing worse than going hungry all day because you didn’t have time to pack something nutritious.
Get up early.
I know, I know, this isn’t ideal, but if you get up with the time needed to actually do your make-up, style your hair and eat breakfast without running around like the Tasmanian Devil, you will feel calm, cool, collected and ready to tackle the day when you finally arrive at the office. I’m not saying you need to get up at the crack of dawn on a daily basis, but allow yourself enough time to get ready without too much fuss. Taking care of yourself by practicing healthy morning rituals will allow you to then extend your efforts and energy to others. So the more time that you devote to adhering to a healthy routine in the morning, the more likely you will carry that same balance and level of productivity into the workplace. It’s a win-win!
Meditation is an excellent morning ritual to incorporate into your daily routine. A common misconception is that ample time must be set aside in order to meditate. However, you can meditate at practically any given moment and for any duration of your choosing. For example, while your eating your breakfast in the morning, take a couple slow deep breaths; enjoy your food not just for the taste, but also for the smell and texture. When your mind begins to wander on the upcoming “to-dos,” refocus your attention to your breath. What you’re actually doing is enjoying the present moment and practicing your ability to be aware of the “here and now.” This awareness when applied to other situations as your day progresses, not only reduces stress, but it can actually widen your perspective and enhance your creativity.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably wondering how you can possibly fit in a workout before work, especially since you barely make it to work on time as it is. The fact of the matter is that if you’re dedicated to living a balanced lifestyle, sometimes you have to put in a little extra effort. All you need thirty minutes! Whether that’s thirty minutes of cardio on one day, or a thirty-minute session of circuit training on another, those thirty minutes can set the tone for the day ahead. Not only does early morning exercise jump start your metabolism, it also awakens the mind, increases your energy level and helps regulate your sleep patterns. So once you get in the routine of fitting in a sweat sesh, your body will adjust and it won’t be a struggle to rise and shine a little earlier. Plus, how awesome do you think you will feel knowing when you already hit the gym before your co-workers even have their morning coffee? That’s definitely super girl status.
Now that you’ve had a chance to eat some breakfast, meditate, hit the gym and get ready with plenty of time, while you’re on your way to the office, create a mental (or physical) list of goals for the day. This will make you aware of tasks to be done and will ensure that your day continues on a productive path. After your goals are organized, have a few positive affirmations written in your phone that you can recite. This is a great reminder of your valuable attributes, while providing you with any needed motivation to tackle the day ahead. And with that, you’re ready to carpe diem!
Although some of these changes may not seem realistic or sustainable for some of us, practice makes perfect. Make your morning rituals a non negotiable part of your daily routine. The more you adhere to these positive changes, the more likely they will become second nature.