In my school days, my mom used to never switch on Television in the morning. She used to ask us to exercise for 5 minutes and then read the lessons for the day. Songs, TV, entertainment, arguments – none of these were allowed.
There lies my foundation of morning routine.
Just that I did not know that it can be called a morning routine.
But as I grew older, I kept adding activities to it. When I was 14, I started drinking luke-warm water with lemon and honey. After a few more years, I started doing yoga and meditation. And now, when I have access to all morning routine materials, I do a little more.
I have progressed over time to become what I am today. My morning routine did not get built over night. It happened gradually over ages.
But as time progressed, I kept removing a few and adding a few more. What my morning routine looks like today is different from what it was a few months back.
But why do you need a morning routine ?
When you wake up in the morning, your brain had already had at least 8 hours of rest. It is ready to take the best decisions and can grasp anything quickly. If that time is lost, the next best time if after nap in the noon. But not everyone gets a chance to take nap. And that is still not as effective as the morning time.
Here is the entire list of things I did as a part of my morning routine. You can pick a few to start with.
1.Wake-up without alarm
On any given day, I wake-up without an external alarm. Only on the days I have extremely important things to do, I use an external alarm too. But rest of the days, I tell my subconscious the previous day when it needs to wake me up. I was never able to leverage the power of subconscious mind this well in any other task. But for waking me up, it works wonderfully. You should give it a try. See for a few weeks if this is going to help you.
“Today is going to be a great day.” I greet myself to start a beautiful day.
I don’t remember my dreams or early morning thoughts in the later part of the day. So as soon as I wake up I write it in my diary, all my dreams and insights. Dreams tell a lot about your worries and concerns. If you sleep in the night thinking about a problem, you get insights about it the next morning. It is one of the best habits I ever developed.
Apart from this, I also write about my worries for the day. This makes me a little calmer and more prepared for the day.
I look into the mirror and make an eye-contact with myself. “You will do it”. That is all I tell myself. You can add whatever you want to talk to yourself.
5.Brush with left hand if you are a right hander
I once read on Quora that brushing with left hand will not only exercise the right part of the brain but also the brush reaches to parts of your mouth which your right hand can’t reach.
6.Drink luke-warm water with lemon and honey
The best way to treat an empty stomach is give it a glass of luke-warm water with lemon and honey. It will not only clean your stomach but also improves your metabolism. For a few months, I added curry leaves to that too. You can add or remove but still drink water. This helps you to prevent formation of kidney stones too.
7.Read an article on medium
To give a little gap between drinking water and exercising, I read a highly motivating article on medium which can give me some food to chew on.
I prefer exercising on empty stomach. Even if I wake up late, I still need to exercise.
This is more about pranayama than about meditation. A few deep breaths will clear my respiratory tract and mind.
10.Cold water bath
Even though I started it because I didn’t have access to hot water, cold water pushes you out of your comfort zone.
The first thing you notice in a stranger is how they dress up. People will also judge you based on how you look. Even if it takes a little time, it will have a good effect not only on others but you will also feel confident.
I wanted to make sure that I smile at least once a day. So I used to take a selfie and that was my moment of smile.
I cook my lunch on the days I wake up early. This gives me a chance to eat healthy food.
On the days I woke up at 5, I used to spend time from 7 to 8 on writing. That was the best time for me to get into a flow state.
15.Breakfast – Oats
I don’t have to worry on what to eat for breakfast daily. Being a vegetarian, I don’t know what other food rich in protein which can be prepared easily as oats can be for breakfast.
On my way to office
I have stopped this temporarily as I was reading a book on taking care of eyes. But usually, I read book for half an hour during commute. This helps me reach my target number of books for the year.
17.Do daily exercises
I have a list of tasks which I do as a part of daily routine.
a) 10 things
I write 10 things about any topic related to my life. I have written close to 150 such topics so far.
I maintain a gratitude journal where I write what I felt good about the previous day.
c) Lessons learnt
I write down about the most important thing I learnt the previous day
I started this as a 30-day challenge and I felt it was a flop. I could come across only 4 talks as amazing ones. The mistake I did was I was searching for talks on topics I already knew. So the next month, I chose talks which were famous and had nothing to do with what I already knew. That changed the way I looked at life. And a few talks just set the pace for the day. It is an amazing activity if you select the right talk.
I watch a 5 minute video on coursera from one of the courses I enrolled for.
What does your morning routine look like? Share it with us in the comments section.
Happy morning routine!