Are you struggling with coming out of hibernation mode? Feeling down in the dumps and lethargic right as you get out of bed? This month we want to jump into spring by creating morning routines to re-energize, rejuvenate and feel refreshed for a kick-ass day.

If you read our last blog post and resonate with being a ‘Superhuman Martyr’, you are all too familiar with catering each and every day (more like each and every moment) to everyone else’s needs, and bending over backward so others are happy and taken care of. It is no surprise that this leaves us feeling exhausted and depleted since our needs are always on the back burner.

It’s time to step out of the cave of hibernation. This month we want to focus on putting ourselves first and doing more soul-searching on how to create calm, stillness, and mindfulness, first thing in the morning. Morning routines are very important for overall wellness and can help set the tone for the day.

Benefits of healthy morning routines

Award-winning psychologist Ron Friedman told Harvard Business Review that “typically, we have a window of about three hours [immediately after we wake up] where we’re really, really focused.”

“We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well,” Friedman adds.

This is because the prefrontal cortex part of your brain is active and creative coming right out of sleep. If we end up using those first hours of the morning being the ‘Superhuman Martyr’ – folding laundry, making lunches, driving kids to school – we are then using our best hours catering to others, and we are not as efficient as we could be.

Instead of having your cup of coffee in the morning while making the kid’s lunches or being distracted by the morning news, try getting up five minutes earlier to sit in silence, or if you prefer, listen to upbeat music! Rather than hearing about the next negative thing that has occurred in the world, make your mornings fun, positive, and exciting. Take time for yourself before the rest of the world demands your attention.

To snooze or not to snooze?

There is a great book that I have read called The Urban Monk written by wellness guru Pedram Shojai. In the book, he focuses on how to stop time and find success, happiness, and peace. Shojai says, “Your later will always look the same if you’re now is chaotic. Do not try to borrow energy from tomorrow to get through today, focus on the now of how to cultivate energy and motivation.”

What do you think is more worth it… pressing snooze and getting five more minutes of sleep, or having five minutes in the morning for that precious ‘you time’? Try NOT pressing snooze.

Another important factor to be aware of is what suits you best for a morning routine. Just because other people have different routines that work for them, doesn’t mean that will work for you. Don’t compare yourself with your friend’s social media posts sharing their successful morning. You may get ideas from them but be conscious of what you need and what you can reasonably accomplish in your morning. Have fun by creating your own morning routine!

Some days we won’t be able to have our ‘perfect’ routine, however, we must remind ourselves it is better to do something than nothing. That could be a simple stretch, a 10-minute yoga routine, or maybe even meditation if you can’t make time for your ideal workout. It might be helpful to look back on our blog discussing S.M.A.R.T. goals so you don’t get too overwhelmed by adding too many things to your morning routine.

Another point to consider is to be intentional. Although we may relate to many routines we want to implement, life flies by and we still haven’t started the ‘x, y, and z’ needed for those routines.

This March challenge yourself and be intentional. Examples of this are putting routines into your calendar, finally signing up for that workout class you’ve been making up excuses to avoid, or spending time each morning journaling.

If you are anything like me, the moment work is over you come home, put on comfy clothes, and the thought of getting off the couch seems unbearable. Carve out that precious time to prepare for the morning, so you don’t rush and can make your mornings about you. If we want to cultivate new habits, we may need to cut things out of our life, and that sacrifice may very well be our beauty sleep.

Jumpstart your morning

American author Tim Ferriss interviewed famous life coach Tony Robbins on his morning routine and shared that Robbins’ morning routines are focused on ‘jolting’ the nervous system. Robbins literally jumps from his natural hot pools and then goes into the river (like a polar plunge).

Obviously not all of us have the luxury to have natural hot pools in multiple homes, but we each can strive to bring a simple discipline first thing in the day… just like the infamous Tony Robbins. Maybe that is simply splashing cold water on your face, taking that two-minute cold shower, or even a cold glass of lemon water to ‘shock’ your system.

In Ferriss’ book, The 4-Hour Body, he recommends 30 grams of protein 30 minutes after waking. Therefore, be mindful of what you are fueling your body with first thing in the morning. We need fuel to have energy, and we need energy to get through the day.

You are probably thinking, “I just don’t have three hours to myself each morning!” That is fair – no one likes getting up at 4 a.m., however, be mindful of what you can reasonably implement for you to maximize productivity.

For myself in the mornings, I recently joined a fitness class, which stops me from pressing snooze the whole morning (the struggle with the snooze button is too real). I also will have my protein smoothie and coffee while sitting on my couch, and filling out my bullet journal, which is my favorite hobby.

So… how will you generate momentum and implement ‘the good’ in ‘Good Morning March?’ Let’s say goodbye to hibernation and hello to spring!