“Early to bed, early to rise” – this is almost never applicable to Lagosians who naturally live life on the fast lane. So as a Lagosian, when you hear “morning routine” an alarm goes off in your head and you’re thinking: is a morning routine even possible in this unpredictable Lagos?
The argument of a routine aside, we can all agree that there’s nothing crazier than waking up late with a long list of things to conquer all because your tired self kept hitting the snooze button. Honestly chip in – how did that day turn out?
It’s not rocket science or voodoo (juju) but a simple principle of life: “how we start our day plays a major role in how our day eventually pans out.”
So arise, shine or glow (or whatever you decide to call it) and be grateful for a new day.
Now back to developing that healthy morning routine. We are not trying to create another thing to add to your already overflowing to-do list but to create a paradigm shift that it’s about self love and appreciation above anything else. Think of this as a necessary “me time” where you get in touch with your body, soul and mental health to prepare them for another day of hustling.
For starters, here’s a mini routine you can adopt on a daily basis:
- Develop a mantra of being thankful for the present of today (pun intended) the moment you wake up. The more thankful you are for who you are and what you have, the more reasons you’ll have to be thankful.
- Drink a lukewarm glass of lemon water for basic internal cleansing. It’s really refreshing in the morning and aids bowel movement.
- Take a short walk and let the morning dew rest on your skin. Try longer walks on the weekend. This will allow you clear your head and appreciate the beauty of nature and in turn the beauty of just being alive.
Now, a more in-depth approach to developing a healthy morning routine…
1. Be disciplined in love
There’s that nettlesome D-word we cringe to hear again but discipline is not the same as being nasty to yourself. The key is to be consistent – it actually takes 21 days to create a habit, so persistently take daily baby steps towards your wellbeing. Habits should not be extreme or make you feel like a rebel when you err. Creating a healthy routine takes discipline but discipline done in light of love for oneself. So commit to doing the above for 21 days straight and they will become a natural part of your morning routine.
Mornings are the best times to set your day right and it begins with you getting in touch with yourself. This ties into our first routine point of being thankful.
There goes the saying “you can’t give what you don’t have.” It’s easier for that boss or coworker to get under your skin when you have lost your inner balance and are barely hanging in there. Fill yourself up so that you have more to give. If you’re spiritually inclined then prayer works magic as well.
3. Create a playlist
Music is not just for parties but If you can’t take our word for it ask the psychologists. Listening to music reduces chronic stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol, making you feel more hopeful, powerful, and in control of your day. Also, music activates every known part of the brain. Listening to music can make you smarter, happier, healthier and more productive during your day.
A serene morning playlist – which you can play as you walk, shower and get ready – is a great way to calm your nerves while refreshing your soul.
You only need to do 10 minutes to start making a difference. When starting out, keep things simple and fun. Exercise helps wake up your body and get you active. It is also essential for your mental performance.
Of course, walking falls under exercise but you can always do more, focusing on your “problem areas,” if any. You can also consider jogging or skipping which you can do in the comfort of your home especially during weekdays due to the Lagos morning rush.
So if you’re not a morning person this could help boost your mood and release you from the morning monster jinx.
5. Have a smart breakfast + a Ted talk
If you skip breakfast or just throw a few spoons in your mouth on the run, you should probably expect your system to be thrown out of whack as well. The byproduct is usually uncontrollable cravings, hunger and low energy levels leaving you unmotivated.
It’s bad enough that you are stressed out from traffic, your job, skipping breakfast would only make matters worse. It’s advisable to have a food timetable as it’ll save the stress of being confused about what to eat. So eat a well-balanced, healthy breakfast; have a fruit snack while taking in a Ted talk for motivation.
6. Have a “To-Do” List
A to-do list keeps you focused, letting go of any distraction. The satisfaction that comes from striking things off the list as the day goes and feel accomplished knowing you had a productive day cannot be traded with anything in the world.
Bottom line, there is so much more to health than just what we eat. The lifestyle component encompasses over 50% of our total health which means it’s definitely a component to pay attention to.
If you want to experience drive, happiness and peace of mind for the day, there is no better way to kick start your day than with a healthy and consistent morning routine.
Cover image: videoblock.com
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