Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl we all know the importance of sticking with a routine.
I’m an obsessive podcast listener and many of the podcasts I listen to are interviews with accomplished individuals. No matter which podcast it is I’m vibing with I noticed that one of the questions usually has to do with asking how they start their day. And I realized… I have NO ROUTINE. I don’t have anything I stick with every single morning. No way in which I do things, or time that I wake up consistently. The constantly changing schedule at my bartending gig has made it nearly impossible to fall asleep and wake up at the same time every day and I’ve noticed that it’s been throwing me off. I’ve been feeling slugglish, unmotivated, and lazy. Always wanting to press that snooze button again.
As it’s the beginning of the New Year I thought that this was a good time as any to share all of the healthy habits I’ve heard about and try them out myself to see what sticks!
Make Your Bed: It seems like a silly thing, but you’d be surprised how many people feel that this is an important step to starting their day. I never had this ingrained into my daily habits - mostly because I was the worst teenager and anything my step-mom said was good for me I immediately dismissed. (I even hung my blankets and sheets from the ceiling to make a fort one day because I was so sick of hearing her tell me to make my bed. I know - such a rebel…) HOWEVER, I am not a teenager anymore - I can take 1 minute out of my morning to my sure my bed looks clean and welcoming!
Take a Cold Shower: From increasing alertness to relieving depression it seems that turning that knob to the blue setting while you’re in the shower can do a whole HEAP of things for your health! (If you’re looking for specifics on the subject, go ahead and search “benefits of a cold shower” there’s tons of info on it!) Now I’m not saying that you have to take away the comfortability of a nice hot shower in the morning completely, but at the very end of your shower turn the water to the coldest setting and see how long you can go. I've been starting with just 30 seconds (although some health professionals recommend anywhere from 90 seconds to 3 minutes) and I notice a big difference in my attitude on the days I turn that shower cold from when I don’t do it at all.
Drink Water!!! You just slept for (hopefully) 8 hours, so your body needs some aqua! It is recommended to drink 8-16 oz when waking up just to get your body going. Often our bodies confuse dehydration with cravings for salt or sugar. So, instead of grabbing that late morning snack just pour a glass of water instead. I’m still going to drink my soy lattes and matcha in the morning, but I could get down with drinking some water first thing.
Journal/Reflect/Meditate: Before you open up your phone, grab a notebook. Take 5 minutes or even an hour doing some self-reflection. I have always been a huge advocate of journals and have been writing down my daily feels, actions and daydreams since I was a little kid so this tip comes with no surprise to me. More than spending some time writing down whatever you need to, take some time in the morning for you. Turn off your alarm and lay in silence for a couple minutes. Visualize what you want your day to look like; what you want to accomplish this morning, how you want to feel on the subway/car to work, maybe try to quiet your mind and just be present for a minute or two. On the days I don’t snooze my alarm, but simply turn on the lights above my bed and lay down in silence I feel more at peace then when I have to toes back my covers, leap out of bed and rush to get out the door.
Hold Off on Screen Time: I used to sleep with my phone in my bed. I got really paranoid that someone would need to get in touch with my while I was asleep and if I didn’t wake up it would be the end of the world. I promise you - the reason your phone is buzzing at 3am is more likely a drunk text than a cry for help. And if you’re receiving a cry for help at 3am, to be completely honest - it’s time you need to set boundaries and get your friend a therapist (I’ve been that friend, and I have to say I didn’t know the meaning of boundaries… I’m better off not having meltdowns and worrying my friends during the late hours of the night). When we pick up our phones first thing in the morning we’re immediately becoming reactive. We're starting our day responding to others’ needs instead of putting ourself and our own routines first. It’s so easy to say, “oh, I’ll just check this one email” or “I’ll just check my notifications on Instagram real quick”, suddenly it’s 45 minutes later, we don’t even remember what we wanted to journal abut in the first place, and we’re jumping out of bed once again rushed and anxious that we’re going to be late and unprepared for our packed schedule. Keep your phone on the other side of the room at night (or out of the room all together if you can), make sure you have to get OUT OF BED to turn off your alarm, and get your day started! Try to wait until you’ve done all you have to do to get your mind in the right space before you check your phone.
Now, I don’t know if I’ll actually be able to stick to all of these every single day… (C’mon I’m still in my 20s I’ll have my fair share of hangovers and lazy days) But start with just sticking with one. Make it so ingrained in your routine you can’t think to NOT to do it! Then, add one more. Before you know it, people will be asking you what gets you so pumped up to be such a productive beam of light !!!