According to TIME magazine, there’s a reason why so many great achievers (fortune 500 CEOs, thought leaders, and innovators) of the world get up before the sun and have a morning ritual. Morning rituals are meant to set your tone for the day as well as maximize major productivity. And hey, if visionaries like Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, and Elon Musk swear by a morning routine, then that’s something to think about.
I’ve taken the past month or so to develop a morning ritual that works for me—and it’s not only helped me shift from a stuck mindset (coupled with that quarantine blues) but also feel a considerable amount of joy, gratitude, and passion in my life, not to mention gain clarity about a direction I want to go in.
Simple shifts in the morning to create healthy habits as opposed to grabbing my phone and flipping through social media after waking up has been an absolute game-changer.
When we wake up in the morning, we feel calm (to an extent) as our cortisol is functioning at a normal level, however, when we start checking Instagram or texting after waking, this immediately spikes our cortisol levels.
Cortisol is our primary fight-or-flight hormone. Its release triggers physiological changes like spikes in blood pressure and heart rate that help us react to and survive acute physical threats. AKA, our body perceives being on our phone after waking as a threat to our nervous system, which in turn increases anxiety. Studies show that continued cortisol spikes over time are particularly damaging to our health and are tied to a number of health conditions like depression, obesity, fertility issues, high blood pressure, and pre-frontal cortex issues like the ability to have self-control.
Taking time in the morning to connect to ourselves before we reach for our phone and get out of bed not only sets the tone for our day but can have much more of an impact than you think.
As you consistently place energy in cultivating your inner calm and expanding your awareness within yourself, little by little, you’ll begin to see an alternate reality with opportunity and possibility.
Robin Sharma, author of the 5 am Club provides 4 key pillars for the foundation for your morning routine and your life:
“These four arenas are the foundation of the true power that rests inside every human being alive today. Most of us have disowned and discredited this formidable force as we’ve spent our days pursuing things outside of ourselves” [like social media, television, distractions etc.] and we don’t take time to cultivate these key foundational areas which have a huge impact on our lives -robin sharma.
By taking a moment in the morning to breathe and tap into your ‘wisdom’, you not only create an inner sense of calm that radiates to your outer environment but also unlock ‘messages’ meant for you that in turn nourish your soul and bring you joy. When you take action on these messages, you start to live in what’s called ‘alignment’, where things just seem to flow easier to you.
My Morning Routine
My routine changes a LOT of the time depending on how I feel. It can be as short as 1 minute or as long as an hour. At the bare minimum, I do 1 minute of deep breathing. Try different things and see how it feels for you. Your routine is not meant to overwhelm you, but bring you calmness and an inner joy that grows over time. I started seeing impactful results after doing just one week of writing down gratitudes in the am and pm.
5 things I'm grateful for
3 challenges and how I'm overcoming them
Time: 4-5 mins
Meditation or Breathing
Guided meditation from either Dr. Joe Dispenza or Bree Melanson on the Insight Timer App or a Line Activation from Ashley Wood or deep breathing from Wim Hof Method app.
Time: Anywhere from 1-30 mins
Look into your eyes while brushing your teeth and say out-loud "you are [something positive]" (like you are amazing, you are strong, you are love).
Time: 2 mins
I've been getting the same results from my HITT workouts like Barry's Bootcamp 60 minute workouts as I have from low impact strength and toning workouts that only take 25 mins. I love Session Pilates at-home workouts for major toning results or Melissa Wood Health for a lighter full-body workout and flow.
Time: 30 mins
Imagine any stress washing away *visualization is huge*
Time: 30-second visualization
Mid Day Break
Go on a walk without your phone and breathe deeply and become aware of nature and sounds around you more so than you normally would.
Time: 10-15 mins
A quick guided meditation or breathing to release stress from the day
Time: 1-5 mins
Instagram Accounts to Follow:
When you're finished with your morning routine and wanna hop onto Instagram, think about the content your engaging with..remember, the energy you spend on the content you look at impacts your reality. Try following some accounts that uplift and educate you!