The way you start your day has a big impact on how it your day develops. So it makes sense to establish a solid morning routine that starts your day off right. Many of us feel we don't have time for a regular morning routine. We feel we have to 'hit the ground running', and use every minute of our morning for essential tasks, but a morning routine doesn't have to take very long. These 10 suggestions take about a minute each. The best part? Several of them can be done before getting out of bed.
If you feel like jumping out of bed and doing some stretches in the morning, great. But you can start waking your body up with some gentle stretches, before your feet even touch the floor. Cosmopolitan's fitness and health editor, Elizabeth Narins, suggests doing these 6 stretches every morning, before getting out of bed. Even one or two stretches will help you get going and take just a minute to do.
Taking some deep, intentional and mindful breaths first thing in the morning can help you wake up, physically and mentally. For something that's so natural, it's surprising how many of us are breathing 'wrong'. According to an article in Best Health Magazine, most of us can benefit from giving a little more thought to our breathing techniques. Why not start with a little intentional breathing each morning?
We've all heard of the benefits of gratitude, and many of us may finish our day with a prayer of gratitude or even writing in a gratitude journal. Starting your day with gratitude can set you up to be more positive and optimistic, too. Just take a minute to think about a few things you are grateful for, before you get up and start your day.
Following up your minute of gratitude with a prayer of thanks can be a wonderful spiritual way to start your day. Meister Eckhart is often quoted as saying:
"If the only prayer you ever say is 'thank you' it will be enough."
You may or may not agree with that, but starting your day with a one minute prayer of thanks can be a wonderful habit to get into.
Set an intention
Again, this can be done before your feet touch the floor. Simply decide what you will do, be or achieve today. Setting a goal can take less than a minute. It can be as simple as "today I will be patient, compassionate and kind", "today I will parent with love and understanding", or "today I will achieve everything I have to do with grace and dignity".
When we feel happy we smile, but apparently, it's also true that when we smile we start to feel happy. Research shows that smiling can actually make us feel better, so start each day by consciously remembering to smile for a minute or so. When it comes to happiness, we really can "fake it 'til we make it".
Drink some water
According to natural health expert, David Wolfe, drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning has multiple health benefits. That's an incredibly simple, one-minute morning habit that can have a significant impact over time.
Do a crazy simple exercise routine
OK, so now you're out of bed and maybe you've already done your stretches. A quick burst of aerobic exercise can also provide a burst of energy. Depending on your health and fitness levels, it could be as simple as running (or marching) on the spot, doing some jumping jacks, or even dancing for a minute to an upbeat tune. Anything that gets your body moving will have a positive impact.
Make your bed
Many psychologists believe that something as seemingly insignificant as an unmade bed can contribute to "broken window syndrome". Our "broken windows" are small signs of disorder in our life that can contribute to a general feeling of overwhelm or lack of control. Author Gretchen Rubin describes "broken window theory" succinctly in this Psychoogy Today article. Who knew? It seems that making your bed can actually help you feel more in control of your life.
What better way to start the day than by saying "I love you"? Obviously this is easiest if you live with loved ones and expressions of love come easily to you. If not, it's still possible. You could make it a habit to text a loved one before brushing your teeth, or make a quick daily call to check on an elderly relative (along with a quick "I love you") part of your morning routine.
Using the first ten minutes of your day right can make a big difference to how the rest of the day goes, so it really is worth getting into a few positive, one-minute, morning habits.