Creating a positive & effective morning mindset routine

mornign routine mindset - thrive magazine

Exercise is well known to stimulate the body to produce endorphins and enkephalins – the body’s natural feel-good hormones but how does exercise affect our mental health in the long-term?

I consider mornings very important to start the day on the right foot. Everyone has bad days and the first part of having better days is excepting the bad ones. However, there are lots of different ways to create a positive morning routine, to stay in the right frame of mind to have many more of those better days.

A positive morning mindset for me personally, actually starts the night before with sleep. Sleep is so hugely undervalued, but it is becoming more prevalent in today’s day and age. Sleep is one of the most fundamental pillars of fitness alongside, training, recovery, nutrition and mindset.

It used to be a sign of dedication and success saying, “I only sleep 3 hours a night, I’m so busy” thankfully, those days are gone and sleep is being recognised as the vital missing aspect in maintaining a positive mindset. Aiming to get 7-9 hours is a great place to start, depending on what type of sleeper you are. You should know by previous experience if 7 hours leaves you still feeling tired, or if you get 9 you’ve overslept – your body and mind will tell you this. Think about your sleep routine and learn from past experience. It will help you to adopt a better morning mindset.

Planning ahead
Just before heading to bed each night, I find myself making a list of everything I have to do the next day, I find this helps with any anxiety about how busy I may be the next day. It also stops the worry that I may forget something. Once the list is written, my phone gets switched off for the night!

Then morning arrives! My routine changes with the seasons, but I do aim to be sleeping by 11pm and I aim to wake up close to sunrise most days especially during summer. I was so used to having black out blinds for so many years and its still an essential purchase for most people, but I now leave my black out blinds slightly open so I wake up naturally with the sunrise and natural light. This has been shown to mimic how we would have woken with sunrise way back in human history. You can even buy alarm clocks that mimic sunrise!
When I wake up, I generally stay in bed and stretch out. I start to move my whole body, getting the blood flowing and getting the endorphins going. I find just laying there or reaching for your mobile phone or tablet will just keep you in bed. Start to move your body and wake up your mind!

Think about your sleep routine and think about what has helped you feel good in the past. It will help you to adopt a better morning mindset.

Once I am up and out of bed I do some more stretches to help my body awaken, plus, I’ll sit in a comfortable up right position and complete some breathing exercises (a form of meditation) this helps me relax for the day and release some of the weight off my shoulders for whatever is ahead of me that day/week.

Head to the kitchen!
Into the kitchen and my favourite part of the day – breakfast. First up though – I drink a pint of water. Throughout the night, many of us become slightly dehydrated and on waking a large glass of water helps to awaken our metabolism and to re-hydrate us too!
I think this is overlooked in lots of people’s morning routine but it sets me up for the day. Water will rehydrate you after 7-9 hours of no hydration and will wake your body up. Don’t worry, then you can have a coffee – if you need one!

Breakfast for me is my favourite meal – give yourself time in the morning, if you can, to make something you enjoy. Make it a healthy breakfast too! I set myself up with oatmeal, berries, fruit and a little honey washed down with a protein shake hitting all my macro-nutrients for my first meal of the day. I am partial to toast and tea as well but never cereal – I try and avoid processed sugars first thing in the morning or I tend to want them for the rest of the day. Make breakfast a family time if possible too. Head to bed a little earlier and set the alarm for 30 mins earlier – giving you plenty of time to stay calm and collected during breakfast!

My morning routine may seem like a lot but break this down and it’s not much to achieve to start the day right. Try and find a morning routine that fits in with your lifestyle and works for you!

By Marc Bennett – Fitness Trainer and Thrive Expert.  Read more expert articles on sleep and morning mindset here  >>