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When helping children grow in body and mind, routine and balance are crucial. Routine brings a sense of security in a world of endless changes. It keeps us from being overworked and over exhausted, thus lowering long-term productivity and our sanity. With the right balance and routine, we view the world with infinite opportunities to pique our curiosity and to propel our passion and determination. Balance prevents us from being overly self-critical and dissatisfied. So, if routine and balance helps as children, shouldn’t this be a lifelong habit? In addition, starting our morning right can be crucial to how we approach and react to the rest of the day. Here’s a morning routine that can propel you into a happier, healthier, more successful you!

Early Wake-Up Call

We know that waking up early gives us more time for tasks without feeling rushed and irritated. I personally wake up at 7:00 every day (even on weekends) as I do not work until later in the morning. My rule of thumb is to list out the things I usually need to do in the morning and add an extra 15 minutes to centre my emotions or thoughts before work or in case something unexpected happens. Whether or not those tasks listed are necessary every morning, I wake up at that time every day (yes, even weekends). The extra time can be used for a longer breakfast or even meditation. This way my body’s circadian rhythm is consistent and if needed, I take a nap later. Certain routines does not sleep and waking up should be one of them (haha, unexpected pun/irony)!

The First Thought

Your first thought of the day often impacts how the rest of your morning or day goes. We’ve all silently or outright cursed our alarm before grumbling about starting our day. But why should getting the chance to wake up, work and spend time with family and friends or pursue your interests be grumble worthy? I usually start the day with 10 deep breaths, slowly waking up my body. Then, I use a mindfulness app to read some mindful quotes to awaken my brain with positive energy. Starting my day with gratefulness helps train my mind and emotions to be more cheerful and remember how I began my day if tasks get stressful later on. (Find out more of the mindfulness app and more to detox your life here).

The First Planned Activity

The “planned activity” is an action that will positively impact your mindset in some way. After the personal hygiene tasks are done, I drink a glass of warm lemon water and my planned activity is doing yoga (view app here) for at least 10 minutes. This is where you can slowly add some additional exercise too. But I always start with yoga so I become aware of my spirit, my mind, my body and my surroundings. This positive planned activity is to make meaningful, happy connections.

The First Fuel Intake

If you are what you eat, then I intend to consume the right ingredients to create the best me. For breakfast I usually eat nuts and dried fruit along with oatmeal or a type of bean porridge. If it’s warmer, I drink smoothies, but when it’s colder I usually leave the fruit until later for an energy boost and so my stomach doesn’t have something cold so early. Simply knowing that you already did something great for your well-being right off the bat can motivate and spur your excitement for your checked-off task. With these simple goals to improve your health are like the tiny motivators to push you into a better mindset and condition. This aspect of bettering oneself has helped calm my anxiety and self-induced pressure by validating that I am capable and I am worth my time and effort.

Interruptions as Mindful Minutes

We all have cursed the long traffic jams, buses having the audacity to be late or never showing up or rude and unreasonable people in our lives. However, if these changes or people are unavoidable and uncontrollable, why are we piling unhelpful emotions on top? If we change how we respond in a more positive light, wouldn’t it be like finding a flashlight when walking in the dark? For example, what if we take the time waiting in traffic or for the bus to plan our next tasks or meditate or try to find a few things that you are proud of or grateful for? Think of these interruptions as extra minutes to rest, slow down or plan. Think of toxic people or their habits as adding to your life resume as skills and achievements: “Calm in stressful and irritating situations. Survived illogicality and stupidity. Restrained from an eruption of emotions to unnamed colleague.”
Such simple and small maneuvers can change annoyance to mindfulness. Perception is one of the few things we CAN control so why not take advantage of that? This takes dedicated time and energy, but in the end, YOU benefit, YOU become happier and YOU succeed. In other words, break “success” into small, manageable tasks. Instead of seeing success as a far-off goal, learn to see the small successes you achieve each and every day that add up to something great.
 
In the end, a successful you is always there, you just have to see that in the right light.

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