Sunday, July 22, 2018

Power Up: Establishing Healthy Morning Routines and Rituals

Hi Friends!  
I bet many of you are using some of your free time this summer to work on school projects.  
Teachers are givers and we are quick to give away our most valuable resource...our time. 
Don't neglect to reserve some minutes to focus on yourself. 

 This summer I've established a morning routine that will help me live out a happier and healthier teacher life. 

Your morning rituals set the tone for your whole day. 
Prime yourself by adopting uplifting habits that can have a positive effect on you and those around you.
Taking control of your first waking hours can put you in a powerful position.

Highly successful business entrepreneur, Jim Rohn, has suggested, 
"Either you run the day, or the day runs you." 

So here are some suggested routines

I know this is hard for some of my night owl friends!  But highly successful people out there swear by this one.  It is amazing what can be accomplished in the early minutes of the morning when the house is still and quiet and there is no one else awake to distract you. Waking up even thirty minutes earlier allows me to ease into my day.  Some quiet morning time sets the tone for a calm and peaceful day.  It makes a huge difference!

Checking my phone used to be the very first thing I did when I woke up.  
But what I discovered was that a negative or stressful email or message read first thing in the morning had the power to derail and ruin my whole day. Now I don't touch technology until after I finish my morning routine. It takes a lot of willpower not to turn on these devices, but I'm a much happier person when I use my God given self control and just don't. 

The very first thing I do when I first wake is drink 16 ounces of room temperature water. 
This was the advice of my doctor and I can really feel a difference. Angela Lemond, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition, calls it "the gold standard fluid for the body."
So now before I turn on the coffee maker, I guzzle my water. 
Without proper hydration brain cells lose efficiency and can't function optimally. This can cause more difficulty maintaining focus and attention.  The next time you are feeling distracted or unfocused, try drinking a large glass of water and see if you notice a change. 

Exercising first thing in the morning has made a HUGE difference in how I feel physically and mentally. I love to get a full thirty to forty-five minutes of exercise in before I get to work, 
but sometimes that just doesn't happen. Luckily, experts have suggested that even a walk around the house, a round of jumping jacks and stretches or some yoga moves can help rejuvenate your body and mind and prime you for a productive day. 

My next morning routine helps to set the tone for my whole day.  Try spending even just a few minutes in prayer and you will reap huge benefits.  Scripture reading and words of prayer and thanksgiving can still your soul and give you a positive outlook for the day ahead. Acknowledging all the blessings in your life each morning helps you to recognize all that is right in your life. It will aid you in banishing the "wants" and "needs" running through your brain and help you to live a life of happiness and contentment. Abandon your doughnut and Facebook and replace it with a healthy breakfast and the Bible. Try this daily ritual and see how it can change you. 

Making a plan goes back to the saying, "If you don't control the day, the day will control you." I've definitely let this happen before. My days are so much more productive when I jot down plans of what I want to accomplish.  I have started chunking my tasks and that has worked for me. I cluster similar tasks together and then break them down into manageable parts. I assign a reasonable amount of time that it should take and then time the job to keep myself on track.  For instance, if I have papers to grade, I will break the job into stacks and assign a time in which to get it done.  The timing aspect really forces me to focus. 

Another tactic that has helped me is to plan to do my least favorite job first....worst first. It is tempting to jump right into a more enjoyable job and procrastinate on the heavier and tougher ones. BUT, getting something dreaded done and off my plate can be hugely motivating.

Finally, "Don't Break the Chain!" A good friend introduced this concept to me years ago and I've used it in so many different ways. 
In "don't break the chain", you  resolve to begin a healthy habit or abandon a bad one.  You can start with something small.  I used "Don't Break the Chain" when I was breaking the habit of checking my phone first thing in the morning.  I made a promise to myself that I would follow through on my goal.  Each day I succeeded I got to draw a chain link in my planner. The idea here is to see how long you can go without breaking the chain.  Once you break it, you must start the chain all over again.  There is something about this concept that worked for me. 
When you keep breaking promises you have made to yourself, you lose confidence. 
Keeping promises is SO motivating. You begin to see how strong and powerful you really are. 
So, don't break the chain....remember it takes about two weeks to establish new habits. 

Do you have a morning routine that works for you? 
I'd love to hear!


  1. I always wake up early ~ my dog ensures this all year long! First, I get dressed and take my dog for a walk; then drink water with juice from half of a lemon (this is a common practice in Asian countries); make my bed = very important and non-negotiable! I always enjoy your posts! Have a great week!

  2. Hi Susan! I agree with you on making the bed! I do try to tidy up before I leave too. It's much nicer coming home to an orderly home after working all day. I'll have to try the lemon in my water, I bet that is refreshing first thing in the morning. Hope you are enjoying your summer!