Happy Motivation Monday!
It seems that everywhere I look (or listen) these days, people are discussing their morning routines. The morning routine has been getting a lot of attention in health circles lately, and I think the attention is well-deserved.
The inspiring bestseller, The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, came at the perfect time for the storm of attention. Many of the podcasts I listen to have taken to asking their guests about morning routines (Katie at The Wellness Wonderland does so every episode, and Pat Flynn interviewed Hal Elrod and then uncovered his own morning routine here). I even found a fun website dedicated to learning about the morning routines of various successful people.
So why all the hype about morning routines? Think about the tone you’re setting for your day when you hear the alarm clock, absolutely dread waking up and feel bitter towards the world that your day is about to start, hit snooze several times, then immediately roll over and check your email, only to be bombarded by a long list of things people need from you.
It would be tough to feel refreshed and ready to go after that, right?
Compare that feeling to waking up feeling excited for what’s to come, expressing gratitude for the positive things in your life, taking a few moments to give yourself what you need, and then getting started on the day. Your entire day would look different after that!
I believe that checking email first thing in the morning sets you up to feel frantic throughout the day. Basically, your email inbox is all about the things people need from you, and adds to your to-do list immediately. If, instead, you were to start the day feeling fulfilled, balanced, and relaxed, how much better would you feel throughout the entire day?
Now, I’m sure you’re thinking “yeah, that’s all great, but I HAVE to check my email first thing in the morning.” I hear you. 79% of adult smartphone users have their phone with them 22 hours per day, and 80% check it within 15 minutes of waking up. I used to be so addicted that I would wake up multiple times in the middle of the night to check my email, just in case someone needed me. And heaven forbid I even brushed my teeth before responding to my inbox first thing. But take a moment to reconsider. I’m not asking you to spend several hours away from technology. I’m really only asking for 5 minutes. No one will even know if you wake up 5 minutes earlier and don’t check your email until you’ve spent 5 minutes on yourself. And you will feel so much better because of it!
My Improved Morning Routine
Over the past several months, I’ve tried to develop a healthier morning routine. I got a real alarm clock and don’t keep my phone in my bedroom anymore (as “scary” as this sounds, there are huge health benefits to doing so, which I can go into in another post!). I brush my teeth, wash my face, and use the restroom not knowing what emails have come in. I turn on the coffee maker, write in my gratitude journal, take a deep breath, and then open my computer. Only 5 simple minutes have passed, but I feel dramatically different and more relaxed.
Once a week, I try to get in my workout even before I check my email (I admit, this is still hard!). And a few days per week, I try to spend an additional 5 minutes either focusing on my breath or listening to a guided meditation (incidentally, Oprah and Deepak Chopra’s newest 21-Day Meditation Experience starts today … I love these and they’re free to register. Also, just searching YouTube for “5 minute morning meditation” or something similar will yield a lot of results).
In the future, I have aspirations of starting each morning with yoga or a walk, doing an hour or two of creative work or writing before getting into email, or getting better at meditation and trying it more often. But for now, keeping my phone out of my room, writing in my gratitude journal, and staying away from email for just a few minutes have made a dramatic difference, and I’m proud of the forward progress.
**If you are looking for some St. Patrick’s Day inspiration, check out last year’s post with a day full of green meals!**
So tell me in the comments … Do you check your email before you even get out of bed? What is your morning routine like?