As we’re all practicing safe self-distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, keeping ourselves positive and energized is proving to be challenging. However, successful people of all trades agree that a solid morning routine can set you up for a successful day. With that in mind, I tried to develop a healthy routine simple enough that I could convince myself to finish it as I rolled out of bed, and already, it’s made a huge difference in my life.
If you’re adjusting to working from home, having a good morning routine is essential. You want your workdays to still feel productive so you can get your tasks done. That being said, with others in the house, chores to be done all around you, and the shear stress of the pandemic looming over at all times, it’s a lot harder to get focused. Completing this morning routine as soon as you wake up, before you have time to get wrapped up in anything that will quickly distract you, can help you really gain the energy — and positivity — you need to get through the day.
My routine is a simple five-step process for nourishing the body and mind first thing in the morning. Not only does it help me feel energized, but it also quells any anxious thoughts and sets me up for optimistic thinking. Here’s exactly what I do:
- I put a kettle of water to boil and prepare a mug with a wedge of lemon.
- While the water boils, I brush my teeth and splash my face with water.
- I prepare the warm water with lemon, and move to the living room. I sit on the couch or floor to prepare for meditation.
- I set an intention for the day in my mind, then sit with that intention for a 10 to 20 minute meditation.
- I move through a few yoga poses or exercises for 20 to 30 minutes before starting the day.
The first step in my morning routine is to put on a kettle full of water and prepare a mug with one lemon wedge. Warm lemon water in the morning helps to wake the digestive system and also hydrates the body. If you ask me, there’s no better way to show up for yourself than giving your body water in the morning. The added dose of vitamin C from the lemon wedge just sweetens the deal. While the water is boiling, I brush my teeth and splash my face with water. It’s a simple ritual that most of us follow, but acknowledging it as an important step in my routine reminds me that, even if it’s small, I’m doing a good thing for myself.
Next I sit on the couch or floor and prepare for meditation by setting a conscious intention for how I’d like my day to go. This is a great way to practice positive reinforcement and mindfulness before the rush of the day starts. During this quarantine, some mantras that have really helped me include “I am safe,” or “I choose to be here.” While clearly, it’s hard to feel safe or like we all want to be where we are right now, adopting a new mindset about the circumstances helps me not to sink into negative thoughts. Ultimately, this leaves me with more energy to channel into things I can control.
My meditation lasts anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes — some days I can sit for longer than others. However, I almost always listen to a YouTube meditation to help me quiet my mind. For some of my favorite guided meditations, check out this list of suggestions.
And lastly, I make a point to get on my mat every morning and practice some yoga or other light exercise before starting the day for at least 20 minutes. Exercising in the morning gives me energy and encourages me to stay active. While we’re home and not commuting, it’s important to get some movement in as early as possible to kickstart energy and fight off fatigue. Not only that, but using our muscles regularly helps them not to atrophy and become weak, stiff, and painful!
Yoga, specifically, helps me connect with the present moment through regulating my breath — something that I’m really grateful for during this time. Yoga reminds me that while things are changing so fast, the only thing we can do is take things one moment at a time. During my workday, this has helped me be able to focus my attention on the task at hand, rather than worry or become overwhelmed. Check out beginner yoga videos or morning yoga videos for free on YouTube!
So if you’ve been looking to bring some more energy, positivity, and focus into your days, give this morning routine a try. If it helps you as much as it’s helped me, you’ll leave this quarantine feeling clearer than when it started.