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Are you struggling to be productive? 6 Steps to creating a morning routine to improve your day!

Since lockdown kicked in and we were all as a community pushed indoors a lot of people are finding that they’re regular morning routines have gone out the window. Since we don’t have to travel anywhere or even get out of PJs there is less of pressure or need to get ready like we normally would in the mornings leaving us feeling unmotivated and unprepared for the day. Personally before lockdown I had a tight morning routine that I stuck to religiously, admittedly I’ve had the odd morning since lockdown where I’ve gone into my Sunday morning routine of staying bed longer and catching up on YouTube. When this happened a couple of times I made an active effort to pull the plug on this for one very good reason, It made me feel TERRIBLE! My mind wasn’t active in the same way it normally is on a work day, I felt less energetic and less “ready” for the world. Plain and simple I value feeling good too much let this state go on. The hard part about sticking to a morning routine when we don’t have to go anywhere is finding the motivation to get ourselves going. The tough part is it’s not as simple as for me to tell you all the reason why you should have a good morning routine chances are you know all the reasons, just like how you probably know all the reasons why you should exercise and eat healthy every day. Knowing all the reasons to be healthy doesn’t mean it’s actually going to happen, so how do we change that?

Take some time here to reflect on what motivated you before lockdown to get out of bed and do your routine every morning, Chances are it was something along the lines of needing to be functional for work, kids or something else external that pulled you along. That’s one of the key problems with motivation, if its not internal motivation like caring enough whether you feel good or not then the second that thing that motivated us is out of our lives we don’t have a reason to keep doing what we need to do. If we’re going to have reason to maintain our morning routines then the motivation has come from you, it has be something that relates back to how you feel or function. The reason why most people don’t have that motivation is because simply we don’t value ourselves enough to prioritise our health and how we feel. If you don’t value how you feel and how you spend your time then another person with stronger motivations will easily take your time for their agenda. We got real deep for a blog so now let’s turn it into action!

Making your mornings about you!

1. Set aside time in the morning that’s just for you:

Ideally the first 10 minutes to 1 hour you’re awake use this time to do something for yourself that’s taking care of your needs first. I’ve had to learn the hard way (a few times) that if you don’t take care of yourself you can’t be your best for others. Be sure to stay off social media and emails as long as you can these are all just places for other people’s agenda for your time and your now using mornings to get your life and agenda in order.

2. Do something physical:

It doesn’t have to be a full blown workout if you’re not a morning exerciser (I’m certainly not) I liked doing a Tabata round 20 seconds of exercise 10 second rest for 4 minutes. If I had a physical goal that I was working like pull ups I’d do 10 reps or so of that exercise so I’m already working on my goals before the sun is up. You can use your 30 minutes of outdoor activity time to go for a walk or run, you could even go low-key and just do some morning stretches.

3. Take care of yourself mentally:

Personally I’m a fan of meditating totally understand that it’s not everyone’s jam but I find that there’s a massive misconception of meditation which I actually did a video about on the FitMiss YouTube Channel which explains the purpose of it. If its not for you there are alternatives like journaling, goal setting for the day or setting your intention. Even just taking the time to centre in a focus on a breathing exercise to calm your mind of any stress or anxiety by focusing on your body.

4. Eating a healthy breakfast:

Alongside exercising you have to feed your body with healthy food to take care of yourself physically. I don’t need to tell anyone that giving your body the right nutrients will give you the energy to stay motivated throughout the day. Make sure you have all your main macros of protein, carbs and fats its never a good idea to cut any of them from your diet. They all work together to keep your body going, so don’t set yourself up for failure.

5. Do something you enjoy:

If you have hobby that you want to get back into, take the time in the morning to do it, chances are by the end of the day you’ll be tired and out of energy. Doing something you enjoy will also put you in a good mood for the rest of the day which will help you be more productive. What a lot of people don’t realise is that stress triggers your fight, flight or freeze response which triggers tunnel vision and any response you give in that state is comes from negative emotion and will often only give a short term solution. If you can respond in calm state you can actually give a well thought out answer and you’re not limiting your own mental capacity with tunnel vision.

6. Listen to something positive:

The first hour of your day is when your brain absorbs the most information, anything you listen, read or watch will set the state of your day. There’s a part of your brain called the reticular activating system which is responsible for taking in all the information around you and filtering it throwing out everything that isn’t important and keeping anything that is. How does it decided what is important? By what you focus your attention on. What you focus on becomes your goal and your reticular activating system filters accordingly. So don’t fill your brain with trash, take the time to listen or read something that will give the information and focus you need to achieve your goals.

Now you don’t have to do everything on this list you have to trial a few different things to see what you like, if you don’t enjoy doing something then you won’t stick to it no matter how effective the routine is meant to be. You can have the best strategy in the world but if it doesn’t fit into your life or you don’t like it, the strategy won’t work. Don’t feel as though you need an hour long routine if you’re starting at zero. Start small with 10 minutes and do 5 pushups, 5 squats and 30 seconds of meditating then build from there. This much like exercise it should be a lifelong thing that you do everyday to feel good, so you don’t have to have it all sorted out now or in a week . My perspective is that this is literally the best time in the world to work on ourselves, we have the time and most likely the energy for it. If doing this for yourself isn’t good enough motivation for you then just think, eventually lockdown will end and we’ll all have to go back to something that resembles our normal lives. If you can go back into normal life better off than when you went into lockdown because you took care of your mental and physical health then you can hit the ground not just running but thriving, rather than struggling to get back into life.

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