The snooze button. Our favorite little function until we’ve pressed it one too many times and only have 10 minutes left to get out the door. The toothbrush still in your mouth while you tie your shoes and hop on one foot over to pack your bag. Your mind is all muddled, you knock into the door frame on your way out, and usually forget an item or two. You didn’t have time to eat breakfast, so your noshing on blueberries on your drive to work, but you’re wearing white and we all know what happens when you drop those little suckers. Hello stains! And on top of your now polka dot ensemble, your hair looks like you got electrocuted and your eyes permit you to join the racoon family. Because your body hasn’t even fully awoken, your alertness is low and you nearly get into a car crash, but swerve into the slow lane and your carton of blueberries just turned into paintballs with the passenger window as their target. Your heart rate is at 6 thousand beats per minute, then boom… your phone rings and it’s your boss telling you to bring the files you forgot at home. Let’s just say, not the ideal way to start your morning.
Okay, now pick up your remote and press rewind. Let’s try this again, but this time, implementing a routine that can change the whole course of your day. In fact, these little practices may even turn your morning from something to despise and whine about to something to rise and shine about. So, wake up and smell the coffee! It’s time for a new morning routine.
Step 1: Set Your Alarm an Hour Earlier
I know you are already looking at me like I’m insane, but just trust me on this. Giving yourself more time in the morning will actually help you enjoy it. Mornings shouldn’t consist of the rushed space between opening your eyes and being wherever you need to go. Think of this part of your day as more you time. Sort of like your lunch break, or a relaxing evening off. What will help with this step is going to bed an hour earlier (or 5 hours earlier if you’re a night owl or part of #TeamNoSleep... which I think is absolutely ridiculous, but that’s another whole Blog).
Preparation is important. And that means a good night’s sleep. When that alarm goes off, you can press snooze, but only once! I know how rewarding that button can be so treat yourself to a one-time-tap. Make sure your alarm is something that isn’t jarring. You aren’t trying to warn the world of a natural disaster, you’re just trying to get up. The new iPhone update has a great feature that lets you set reminders for bedtime and morning alarms, and has a way of slowly fading in the sounds for a gentler way of waking up.
Step 2: Hit it Maestro
TV shows start with a theme song. Why not start your day the same way? Pick a tune that gets you going and puts you in an cheerful mood. My favorite morning melodies trade between Esperanza Spalding’s iTunes station, Strunz and Farah on Pandora, or some type of French Café music. Whatever beats get your body up and moving. Do a little two-step beside your bed, then ‘shake what your mama gave ya’ in the mirror.
Step 3: “Breath, Stretch, Shake, Let It Go”
If you were born any time after the 90’s, those lyrics may not relate to you, but they still apply. Whether you do 5 Sun Salutations, bend over and touch your toes, or do Tai Chi, the method doesn’t matter as much as the motion. Get your blood flowing and undo the creeks and crimples from staying stationary in fetal position for the last 8 hours. Unless you sleep on your back, which in that case go you, because it has been said to be way better for your body. Especially if you’re lying on a hard surface, but that’s not really my jive because… pillow-top mattress.
Step 4: Something That Inspires You
Flip through a Vogue magazine while drinking your morning latte, or read a nutritional blog. Fill your brain with beauty in whatever way that means to you. Something that doesn’t require full concentration power, but enough to get the wheels rolling. Treat this as a warm up for your mind. Kind of like a car in the snow, you can’t just rev the engine and floor it. You have to wait for it to defrost a bit. Read, watch or listen to something that lifts your spirits and gets you motivated for the day. It can be anything from a page of quotes, positive affirmations, a guided meditation, images on Pintrest or your favorite website. Maybe even write something of your own, a dream, an idea, a list of your goals. Give yourself at least 15-20 minutes to fill your cup, both metaphorically and literally. Coffee please!
Step 5: Build a Beautiful Breakfast
Yesterday at lunch we were discussing how there was a study where food was put into two jars, one with a positive saying on it and one with a negative saying on it. The food with the negative saying on it ended up rotting. The energy you put into your food when you are making it will feed your body in more ways than we are familiar with. Put time and care into preparing your breakfast and you’ll receive some incredible benefits. Instead of grabbing packaged food and shoving your face as you rush out the door, gift yourself the time to sit and enjoy your meal. This is your first fuel for the day so make it nutritious and delicious. Use your favorite dishes, drink from your favorite mug, and take time to chew and enjoy the flavors.
Step 6: It’s a Fashion Show Dah-Ling
Most of us don’t take the time to pick out an entire outfit when we are having a madness morning. But, dressing up and putting together your favorite pieces makes you feel great and gives you the confidence to go about your day with care, passion and initiative. Let yourself try a few items on, and if it doesn’t feel right, take it off and try again. Put effort into what you wear and watch the ways it will impact your mood. Add some accessories, take time to do your hair and makeup up, and slip on your favorite shoes. It’s all in the details.
Now your mind, body and soul is ready to take on the day with vigor and success. And all it took was a little less morning madness.