In honour of World Happiness day this March, here are some tips on what I view to be crucial to daily happiness; having a good morning routine.
In honour of March being the home of World Happiness day, I thought I would piece together some tips on what I view to be crucial to my daily happiness; having a good morning routine. Everyone is unique in what they feel their body and mind needs to kickstart their day, so take my guidance with a pinch of salt, and select the aspects that feel best for you!
Allowing some extra time in the morning by setting an alarm is the first step to minimising the risk of a rushed and stressed start. Admittedly, the first time setting this earlier alarm may make you feel a bit queasy but I promise you it is worth it. As a renowned member of the ‘sleepy girl’ club, implementing this at first was a challenge to say the least. However, I quickly learnt the benefits of actually taking the time to set myself up properly for the day. The feeling of pressing the snooze button and then rolling over back to sleep might have provided a brief happiness on a Monday morning but there was nothing happy about the stress filled haze upon waking. Set a time that suits you, I personally allow a couple of hours before my first scheduled item on my to-do list that day. Equally, don’t plunge in too deep too soon, take a gradual dip into the early morning waters with a slow retraction of 15 minutes each day until you are rising at your goal time.
The benefits of allowing time to journal thoughts and daily intentions has been discussed greatly of late. A simple way of instantly framing your mind in a more positive light for the day ahead, is by using a journal to list everything you are grateful for. It could be anything from the fact that the sun is out, or that you’ve got a call scheduled with your best friend that day. If you don’t feel like writing, even mentally mapping out your gratitude will work in an equally great way. Personally, doing this instantly clears any nagging worries and reminds me that despite these worries, there is still so much to be grateful for. I enter the day feeling thankful for even the tiniest of things and therefore completely shifting my perspective for the day. If there is one thing I urge you to do to optimise your daily happiness, it is definitely this! It has utterly transformed my daily mentality. If you want to take it a step further, write out your intentions for that day. How do you want to feel that day, what is it you want to do? This helps set the tone for the day and makes yourself believe that you’re going to have a good day, before it even starts. Enter the day feeling positive about all the things that you already have and also about all the things that could happen.
Now, if you’re someone who likes to enjoy the peace and quiet of the mornings then this step might not be for you. However, if you’re anything like me, and music is one of your key sources of happiness, then get making a morning playlist. I personally have one titled ‘Good Morning’ and it is full of all those songs which I know provide me with instant serotonin boosts, from old favourites to new obsessions. Press shuffle, turn volume on full blast (sorry house mates), get singing in the shower and dancing as you get dressed for the day. Instant happiness, guaranteed.
It took me until my 20’s to realise we weren’t raised with the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ for no reason. It provides you with that all important fuel for both your mind and body. Find a breakfast that makes you excited to wake up the next day, and you will earn a guaranteed mood boost every morning. For me personally, it is porridge with oat milk, cinnamon, honey and whatever fruit I have that day. Any remaining tiredness and fog hanging over me is instantly cleared as my body appreciates the needed energy boost. If you’re someone who struggles eating early in the morning then perhaps try a fruit and greens filled smoothie until you’re ready to eat more. After realising the power of eating something that both fills me up and blesses the taste buds in the morning, I can’t believe I used to be sufficed with leaving the house on an empty stomach and a reliance on caffeine.
The last ingredient to a morning routine for optimum happiness is to get that body moving and release some serotonin. This can be anything from a gentle 15-minute walk around the block listening to a podcast or a 15–minute intense HIIT workout on YouTube. I usually choose based on how my body is feeling as sometimes you just need a rest and other times you need to sweat out some pent-up emotions. YouTube is a great source for free workouts and has options for everyone. Slow mornings sometimes call for a grounding Yoga session or other days you might feel like a 90’s dance workout. The magic of the serotonin high that you get post-workout will be worth any reluctance beforehand, I promise you.
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