You've heard it time and time again: morning is the most important part of your day. Unfortunately, mornings can often be hazy and detached. We stumble out of bed (after hitting snooze a few times), grab a cup of coffee or tea, then proceed to check emails, scroll through social media, or look at news articles on our phone. While this routine may seem familiar to a lot of us, it isn’t the best or most productive way to start the day.
Whether you’re eager to get things done for the day or dreading the impending onslaught of your to-do list, there are ways we can all make mornings better and actually enjoyable.
A productive morning routine allows us to focus on the tasks at hand and get a good start to the day without being distracted later. In this post, we will look at some top habits you can incorporate into your morning routine that will give you more time for self-reflection, less stress, and ultimately a more enjoyable and productive day overall.
1. Don't Check Your Phone Right When You Wake Up
We’ve all been guilty of checking our phones while still in bed but experts have said that checking your phone first thing in the morning is the one of the worst ways to start the day.
In simple terms, it has to do with shifting our brain waves too quickly from sleep to active without letting our brain waves shift gradually and naturally. It can be tough not to check your phone first thing in the morning, but here are a few tips to stop this bad habit.
- Try to keep your phone away from your bed like in a different room, locked in your drawer, or in a far corner of your room.
- If possible, turn off all electronics at least a couple hours before you go to bed so that you’re not tempted to use them first thing in the morning.
- Plan to incorporate phone time (for social media, news, or whatever else you’d like) for a later time in the morning. Schedule a time for your phone whether that’s before breakfast, after breakfast, or in your car before your drive to work - just pick a time at least 30 minutes to 1 hour after you wake up.
- If you can’t seem to squeeze in morning phone time, try to wake up 30 minutes earlier than usual to give yourself extra time to get ready without being distracted.
2. Write Down Things That Make You Feel Stressed or Anxious About the Day
Writing down your stresses and obligations for the day ahead is essential to set yourself up for success. From professional tasks to personal obligations, your list will help you see all your tasks ahead of time and prioritize and plan your day to eliminate distractions.
It is also a good time for checking in on yourself and being honest about your emotions. Take some time to ponder what has been weighing on your mind and why you might feel stressed or anxious about that specific issue. By taking note of your stresses, you can make a plan to relieve some of it. If you’re stresses have you feeling overly worried, you can try one of these tactics:
- Do a few rounds of deep breathing
- Set aside time specifically for self-reflection later in the day to check-in again
- Plan time to talk with a loved one later about your stresses
- Meditate in the morning or plan some time later
3. Write Down Things You Are Grateful For
Writing down your stresses may be draining so afterwards, take a few minutes to write down at least 5 things, no matter how small, that you are grateful for.
Writing down what you’re grateful for will help you focus on the positive and shift your brain into a more optimistic mood. These can be as simple, broad, or specific as you’d like. For example, some things you could write down may be:
- I’m grateful for my family and friends
- I'm grateful that my car is in good condition and hasn't broken down this year
- I'm grateful that I have time to read my book while waiting for my coffee to brew
- I'm grateful that I have my favorite snack to munch on later
- I am thankful for my cat’s snuggles and purrs
4. Do a Cold Plunge Routine or Ice Bath
Incorporating a cold plunge routine into your mornings can help jumpstart your body and even boost your mood. A cold plunge (aka an ice bath) is when you submerge in cold water for 2 to 5 minutes to reap a variety of physical and mental benefits.
Watch our video below to learn how to create your ideal at-home cold plunge routine!
Short-term, cold plunging can give you a jolt of energy, elevate your mood, and reduce any inflammation and soreness you may have. Long-term, cold plunging can increase your energy, improve focus and mental fortitude, improve your immune system and reduce stress and anxiety.
During your cold plunge is also the perfect time to refocus. Instead of focusing on how cold the water is, refocus your attention on breathwork and being mindful or you can think about the day ahead. Whatever you choose to think about during your plunge, ice bathing is a great opportunity to slow down for a few minutes before jumping back into your day.
5. Do Movements That Warm Up Your Body
After your cold plunge routine and in the morning in general, it’s important to warm up your body and get it ready for the day ahead. A brisk walk, a yoga session, or even some light stretching are all great ways to get your body moving and to warm up before the day begins. But be careful not to overdo it with these activities so you don’t tire yourself out before the afternoon.
Ready To Boost Your Morning Routine?
The importance of starting your day with a productive morning routine cannot be understated. Using the list above, you can start adding more productive morning habits that align with your personal goals and set your day up for success. From increasing productivity to creating contentment, there are a lot of benefits to adding these habits into your morning routine.
If you’re ready to reap the benefits of adding cold plunging into your morning routine, start by using the Plunge. The Plunge is our revolutionary ice bath tub that automatically adjusts to the temperature you set, eliminates the need for ice, and significantly reduces set up and clean up time so you can jump right back into your morning routine without hassle.
If you’re not ready for a tub yet, start by trying a DIY ice bath at home, and see for yourself how much it positively impacts your mornings. You can also learn more about cold water immersion by unlocking our FREE cold plunge protocols for your most efficient ice bath experience yet.