If you are a morning person, this post may need not apply.

If you aren’t a morning person, and would like to become more of a morning person, stick around. You may pick up a thing or two….

Now, I don’t know if you realise this or not, but regardless of WHAT you do, you HAVE a morning routine.

The question is, is it working for you? Or is it working against you?

A “good” morning routine, regardless of what it is made up of, sets your day in motion. It gives it a direction toward positivity, calm productivity and fulfilment.

I would say that THE most important thing about a morning routine is having an intentional one. It’s quite easy to stumble through your mornings awkwardly, dazed and resentful. I would know, I’ve taken that approach most of my life….

But what I’m learning is that the more intentional and mindful your mornings become, the more effective you are and the better you feel.

So my questions for you are:

What is important to you? And what would you like to accomplish?

Let’s say you value physical fitness. Try incorporating a light workout or stretching routine into your morning. Start with 10 minutes. As you become accustomed to it, you can increase the intensity and duration. But make sure to start light so you don’t resent the work out or become overwhelmed by it.

I like to incorporate a bit of yoga into my morning. Mostly because I’m allowed to lie down again, but also because it helps with the aches and pains I accumulate throughout the night of acrobatics and horrendous sleeping postures.

Do you value your mental health? Try incorporating meditation, affirmations and journalling into your mornings. Some people like to do this first thing when they wake up, writing out their dreams. Others like to do it once they have their coffee or tea.

Affirmations in the mirror are meant to be great for your mental health, and conveniently you’ll be in front of the mirror every morning when you’re brushing your teeth. Talking to yourself with a mouth full of suds might even make you crack a laugh…

and what better way is there to start your day than laughing?

Do you value healthy skin? Cold water on the face will definitely help you wake up, same goes with turning the shower to cold at the end.

My personal mark of a successfully adulted morning is having a skin care routine. I brush my teeth, splash my face with cold water, then spray my face with rose water. Rose water acts as a natural toner, it balances the oils in the skin while hydrating it, reduces redness and prevents fine lines and wrinkles. I get a big bottle of it from the health shop and pour it into an atomiser bottle. 100% would recommend.

After that I apply an eye cream to reduce the sleepy bags, then put on a moisturising cream. Which gives my skin a nice lively shine. If I have to see people then maybe I throw on a bit of mascara… but most days satisfied at clean, glowing skin.

As far as a skin care routines go, I’m no expert. What works for me may not work for you. The key is in trying things until you find what works. I know that routine works for me. So give it or parts of it a try if you’d like.

My main point about all this is making decisions about your mornings before you have to wake up and make decisions. Making decisions can be exhausting, there’s literally a term for it, it’s called “decision fatigue”.

First thing in the morning, if you’re anything like me, you’re groggy and dazed and just want to stay in bed. I know for myself, if I have to figure out what to do with my morning, I’ll sooner just stay in bed until I regret not having gotten up.

This is why knowing the answers to these questions ahead of time is key. That way you don’t have to make any decisions aside from the decision to actually get your butt out of bed.

Once you know what the plan is, you just open your eyes, think about the plan, and count back from 5.

Literally, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. and put your right foot on the ground. Counting back from 5 gives your brain enough time to get distracted from your thought pattern, and get you motivated to act.

IF you like to do things a bit more slowly, I would recommend keeping a big pint of water beside the bed. I’ve done this before and I found it worked great. I found drinking the pint of water gave me the time to adjust to being awake while still being able to stay under the warm blankets. It also made me feel like I accomplished something. Most days I would find I was ready to get out of bed and start my day before the pint was even done.

If you’ve read my book, Self-Care Solutions @ Work, you’d know I recommend a pint of water and an apple first thing in the morning. With this morning routine, you’re already half way there!

Do you work for yourself from home? If so, I would say to try not to blur your morning routine with your work routine. Give yourself enough time to get your morning routine done first, so you can go into your work routine having already accomplished a list of things. When you approach work from that headspace, you are less likely to feel the overwhelm of work and less likely to procrastinate. It’s a beautiful thing really.

Sometimes it’s important to remind yourself the benefits of what you’re attempting to do. I know I need to do this, because morning Giada can be impossible to reason with. So here is a list of benefits to waking up early:

1. You have way more time to get stuff done, optimising your time
2. It’s quiet and calm
3. The birds are usually singing
4. Sunrise is often a beautiful and awe inspiring thing to witness
5. It’s grounding
6. You sleep better at night

On that note, the last thing to mention is that a good morning starts with a good night. But I’ll save the details of that for another post…

For now, think about these things and make a plan. Don’t just set an alarm and hope for the best. Ask yourself what is important to you. What do you want for yourself and what would you like to accomplish. Set intentions and goals for your mornings. And most importantly of all, be mindful with your mornings.

Get yourself a few morning routine treats, like the rose water or a new journal, then implement! You never know, it may just change your life!

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