SunriseOh, if only life was as predictable as a childhood book you’ve read time and time again. When stress mounts and you feel overwhelmed with your daily responsibilities, your body can take a toll. Forget the pain killers or sleeping pills, because a morning routine is all you really need. Here’s your cheat sheet to doing it right—and improving your mental and physical health, as a result!

Make a Morning Routine Your First Priority of the Day

Do you ever notice that how your morning begins sets the tone to how the rest of your day will pan out? We’ve all done it—the alarm goes off and we hit snooze once, twice, or more. When we do get out of bed, we are already running behind schedule and as a result, we feel rushed, pressured and stressed. And that’s all before we’ve gotten to the office or sent the kids off to school. A pattern of running behind schedule can affect our physical health as well as our mental well-being. Headaches by noon, and fatigue by mid-afternoon can leave you suffering in both mind and body. Nip all of this in the bud by developing a ‘go to’ morning routine for yourself and set your whole day up for success!

Meditation and a Good Night’s Sleep = Success

When was the last time you got a solid night’s sleep? Before you even start your morning ritual, it’s important to wake up on the right foot. Assign yourself a ‘goodnight time’ that you stick to. Is it 9 o’clock or 10? Commit to hitting the pillow the same time every night, and set your alarm to wake you up at the same time every morning (no more ‘snooze’ button option!)

Give yourself plenty of time in the morning to relax and mentally and physically wake up! What makes you feel good? Is it reading the newspaper, or taking a long, hot shower? Do you like to write your thoughts out in a journal, or meditate? When you give yourself time in the morning (before the kids wake up) for relaxation and reflection, that precious ‘me time’ will allow you to face any challenges ahead. Here’s a tip: when facing a potentially high-stress day of meetings and deadlines, add a ‘to do’ list to your morning routine.

Label each ‘to do’ on your list according to importance and priority. Then, you’ll become acutely aware of what needs to be done, without taking the risk of forgetting a task that you’re obligated to complete.  As a last step to your morning routine, spend five minutes visualizing how you want to your day to go. Close your eyes and pretend you’re watching a movie—only, this movie is about this day in the life of YOU. Imagine that each task that lies before you will be accomplished easily (even effortlessly!)  When you commit to a morning routine, there’s nothing you can’t face! The only side effect?  A healthier and happier mind and body!