Starting your day the right way can have a major impact on how the day unfolds.
Beginning your morning by completing a routine that includes activities that you have chosen with intention ahead of time is empowering. Rather than just running around trying to get everyone out of the door in time, a morning routine can be a grounding and enjoyable way to start the day.
And the practice becomes even more important if you’re strictly working from home.
Waking up, drinking coffee, and shuffling straight for the old laptop to start plugging away on work can take its toll on your well-being.
A morning routine has pretty much always been a cornerstone habit in my life. When I was in high school, I’d wake up at 4 am to squeeze in a meditation session before starting the day. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s also a completely free and easy lifestyle practice that most everyone can do.
You can tailor your morning routine to suit your needs and preferences, but if you have no idea where to start, I’d like to suggest the same routine I often recommend to my patients.
The 10/10/10 Morning Routine
The idea behind the 10/10/10 morning routine is simple.
You take 30 minutes and break it up into 3-10 minute sections. I like the following set-up because I feel like it accomplishes the most in the shortest amount of time.
10 Minutes Of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
I’m a huge fan of HIIT training. Why? Because people seem to either do too much exercise or too little. Short bursts of HIIT release dopamine and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Dopamine helps us feel pleasure, and BDNF acts kind of like fertilizer for the brain. In short, HIIT is a great way to get a quick sweat on, get your body moving, and help your brain get happy. It’s the perfect start to the day.
HIIT has been shown in studies to improve oxygen uptake and blood pressure. Many fitness professionals are huge fans of HIIT because of the results it provides in such a short amount of time.
HIIT is done in intervals. You can change up the timing to whatever works best for you, but something like 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest in between exercises is pretty standard. The idea is that you go as hard as you can for a set time, then take a short break.
You can find tons of great, completely free HIIT workouts on YouTube, or you can come up with your own routine. Jumping jacks, sprints, high knees, or any type of bodyweight exercise that gets your heart rate up will work.
Don’t try to go too crazy here, though. Super long HIIT sessions multiple times a week are too intense for most people and they end up causing more harm than good — think cortisol spikes and injuries. 10 minutes a day is just right.
10 Minutes Of Meditation
After you’ve had your exercise for the morning and you’re feeling energized, it’s time to turn inwards for a bit.
I recommend trying to meditate for 10 minutes.
At first, you probably won’t be able to go for a whole 10 minutes, and that’s OK. Start off with a goal of 2 minutes if meditation is completely new to you.
There are many, many benefits of meditation — both for your health and your overall wellbeing.
Meditation has been studied for its ability to reduce stress, blood pressure, and anxiety. Aside from clinical results, meditation also helps give you a peace and calm that you can access at will. It helps you become more self-aware and fosters spirituality. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
There are several free and easy ways to get started meditating.
There are many apps and timers that are available — I encourage you to find one that works for you. Some offer a guided meditation, others set a timer while you try to remain quiet with your thoughts. Some old tricks include staring into the flame of a candle or repeating a single word or tone in your head.
Basically, it doesn’t matter how you do it, with meditation you actually get points for trying. Once you get into the habit, you won’t want to let it go.
10 Minutes Of Journaling
After your meditation session, a phenomenal way to round out your 10/10/10 morning routine is to journal.
Here you simply put pen to paper for 10 minutes.
You can write about your goals for the day ahead. You can write about the reflections you have about the days behind you. You can write down things you feel grateful for. You can write about things you don’t want to forget to tell your children. You can free write whatever comes to mind.
The point is there’s no way to do this “right.”
You make this habit your own and reap the benefits, which are pretty significant. Journaling has been lauded in scientific studies for its ability to improve working memory, mood, and even strengthen immunity.
You don’t need anything fancy to journal, either. An old notebook and a pencil will work just fine. If you just have loose printer paper, that will work too. You can find all kinds of journal prompts and suggestions on the internet, or you can let your imagination run wild.
Creating The Perfect Morning Routine
I truly hope this inspires you to create your very own morning routine.
In case you can’t tell, this makes me quite giddy with excitement.
Thinking about all the possibilities for your health and your productivity that can result from the implementation of a morning routine is positively exhilarating.
I hope the possibilities thrill you too.
I’d love to hear about your mornings! What works for you, what doesn’t and what would you like to do better? Head over to my Instagram and tell me all about it!