What does your typical morning look like? Is it started by a frantic jolt from a digital intruder, followed by several snoozes, a mad dash for the shower, toast and an instant coffee if you’re lucky? Or do you wake to a slow rising sun, a cockerel making his morning call, a cool shower, music, scrambled eggs fresh coffee and juice?
Lets be honest here, more often than not its going to be the former scenario. Try as we like, life tends to get in the way of us creating the ideal start to our day. Late night at work, in the pub or a short nights sleep thanks to a screaming baby it can be hard to sleep sufficiently enough to allow us a dreamy morning. Many successful people put a real emphasis on how to start the day. Along time ago Benjamin Franklin famously stated, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise.” yeah but he didn’t have a whole season of Black Mirror available to him on Netflix to watch!
Even though certain things happen that we can’t control, we certainly don’t help ourselves either. Modern tech has come so far that we can barely escape it, which means we have to set rules for ourselves over how we use it. Failure to do so leads to our biggest problem…distraction. Now distraction certainly has its place, but it must be balanced out with progress (if we actually want to achieve anything).
What has this got to do with ‘Morning Time’? Well, if we start the day as we mean to go on, great things are possible. You see the key to a ‘Perfect Day’ is very simple, because there is no such thing as a “Perfect Day’, no set rules to abide by. We can choose exactly what our ‘Perfect Day’ looks like. The way we view each day through our own eyes is how we determining how good it was, start the day the right way and we are already on a path to a great day.
Find your ideal amount of sleep to make you jump out of bed the next day. Spoiler alert, there is no ideal amount of sleep for a human being. Try 6 hours, 7 hours or even 7 and a half. The only helpful guidance I have ever found on this topic is that we sleep in cycles of 90 minutes and if we wake in the middle of one of these cycles it is almost impossible to feel sprightly. So, experiment with your timings and set an alarm that allows 4 cycles (6 hours) or 5 cycles (7 and a half) the changes can be huge, if you give it a week of trial and error.
Next is to switch off tech at least an hour before bedtime due to a couple of reasons. The first is to do with so called ‘blue light’ affecting the brain. The second is cue to elevated stress levels, I could go scientific here with raised cortisol levels affecting melatonin production, but it is far simpler than that. If you are scrolling your emails at night and see a shirt try one from work or a client, you are going to have a very busy brain and find it much harder to sleep, same problem with social media before bed time too I’m afraid. Grab a book (stories are best) and tire your brain out rather than winding it up.
Now that’s covered we can assume you’re sleeping better (it’s not that simple, but give it some time). Let’s look at the morning time. Obviously we need a healthy breakfast that meets your specific requirements, do you function well on fats and proteins in the morning or do you need your porridge? (More on that another time) A big miss from most people I work with is water. Make this the first thing you eat each day and you’ll soon be feeling much more alert. I am also a big fan of hot water and a slice of lemon before my coffee, it helps the stomach to wake before attempting to digest your breakfast. Plus unwaxed organic lemons taste delicious too.
Next is the environment, which is so often ignored, lets attempt to be tech free here at least free from influence from the external world. A kitchen full of light is the best way to be, but that’s hard if you live in Britain in the winter! The sun is a big mood influencer, as are plants and flowers. In fact, one of the reasons I buy my girlfriend so many bunches of flowers is so I can appreciate them in our kitchen! That’s why I am also in the middle of creating a herb garden on our balcony. Human beings are not supposed to be imprisoned indoors, it is in our DNA to run wild and free, embrace this as much as you can and your mind will thank you for it.
Rush your toast, sugary cereal and sip your crappy coffee or sit peacefully eating a nutritious meal and contemplate life?
This is your time and honestly it’s the only part of the day that is truly yours. As soon as you walk out of the front door you are at the mercy of the world. Whether from the rude person in front of you on the train or another shitty email, there is no escaping it. So leave the electronic stuff alone for a while at least.
I like some music and my notebook. My favourite times are when I am up early wrapped in my own thoughts, it’s when I am at my most creative, where I can get some of my best work done. It might turn out to be rubbish, but the effect journaling has on my mood is huge. There have been times in my life where I set the alarm for 5am so I can get some work done knowing I have to be in front of people at 8am, that’s how much I value my morning time.
Start the night before with a relaxed brain and a sound amount of sleep
Plan your morning meal based on what foods make you feel great
Drink a big glass of water before anything else
Stay tech free
Try journaling (doodling your thoughts)
Fill your kitchen with light and living things
Enjoy these precious moments that are truly yours