I used to start my mornings by checking my work e-mails or unloading a dishwasher with the intention to feel productive. It was so wrong!  This only made me more anxious and left me with an ‘I can’t do it all’-feeling.

Now I’m a strong believer that mornings should start with loving-kindness and self-care to create more focus, energy and flow for the rest of the day. I also believe you don’t have to wake up at 5 am for that. Being consistent and having a routine of 15-20 minutes each morning can go a long way!

The way you spend your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Have you noticed that when you had a calm and relaxed morning, your whole day went by in a more focused and productive matter? And on the days when mornings were rushed, your mind was anxious and scattered?

I also believe that consistency and frequency beat the amount of time you spend on your routine. You will reap more benefits from spending 15 min on your routine daily than spending 1 hour a week. A shorter routine is also easier to execute in practice.

As I’m not a natural morning person and also have a busy daily schedule, I choose to have a 15-25 min morning routine depending on how my day looks like.  My routine is very simple and many of you already do a lot of things that I consider self-love and care. What makes a difference is the consistency and attention that you bring to these activities.

 ♥ Wake up at the same time

I start my day between 7 and 7:30 am, even on weekends. It’s important to keep a consistent waking schedule so that your body is used to it and there are no unexpected changes.

For the last few years, I use a wake-up light. It is a special alarm clock that generates a sunrise-like light half an hour before alarm time and allows you to gradually wake up. It’s so much nicer to wake up with the ‘sunrise’ and birds signing instead of a conventional alarm noise! That alone sets a more relaxed mood in the morning.

 ♥ Keep your mobile devices away

The first minutes of your morning will define the rest of your day. It’s so sad to see that many people check their phones first thing in the morning. Oftentimes it is just a bad habit and not a real necessity.

Firstly, this habit eats up your precious time which you could be spending on self-care. You easily get lost in the vortex of Facebook, Instagram, and e-mails… Secondly, this makes you much more alert. Your body is not yet properly awake, but your mind already goes into the ‘fight or flight’ mode, leaving you highly alert, anxious, and even agitated.

Your mobile phone will still be there so check it once your morning self-care routine is finished.

 ♥ Drink water to hydrate

Once I’m out of bed, I drink a glass of still water.

Your body dehydrates during the night through breathing and sweating therefore it is crucial to drink water. Most of the time it’s cold water, however, sometimes I drink warm water or add a bit of lemon juice in it. Lemon juice improves digestion and adds a nice taste and flavor to it, especially if you are not a big fan of drinking water.

For coffee and tea lovers: drink those 1,5 hours after waking, not as a first thing in the morning. Coffee and tea give you a nice energy boost later in the morning.  Right upon waking your body is already full of hormones and the effects of coffee/tea will be minimal anyway.

 ♥ Refresh to energize

To feel fully awake and fresh, I splash my face with water, brush my teeth, and scrape my tongue. The latter is probably less known in the Western world and is more common in the East. If you clean your teeth, why wouldn’t you clean your tongue? This is a great detox for your tongue and your whole body. Besides, you would be surprised how pretty your tongue can look after cleaning!

As the next step, I hydrate my face with rose water and moisturize with day cream, while having a gentle facial self-massage. This loving ritual is my way to thank my skin and face.

This step is for everyone, not only for women. Every skin and every face needs moisturizing and hydration!

♥ Practice yoga 

This is probably the most important step in my morning routine. Yoga gives my body the flexibility and openness it needs after hours of sleep.

I usually practice my own flow. After years of yoga practice I discovered which asanas (postures) are good for my body in the morning. It’s important to focus on removing morning stiffness, stretching muscles, and energizing for the day. That’s why my practice includes spinal twists, hip openers, and a few Sun Salutations.

I’ve been struggling to insert a yoga practice into my routine because I thought if I can’t spend 30-60 min on yoga, then I failed. But I realized that short daily yoga is better than doing nothing. I practice for about 15-20 minutes every day. Sometimes when I have extra time available, I switch on a YouTube video of another yoga teacher to get some variety and inspiration.

How about doing yoga in the morning?

I’ve created this short morning yoga flow video to help you get started with daily yoga. You can also follow this flow during the day whenever you need an energy boost!

These were my simple secrets for a morning routine to have a great day.

Do you have a morning routine? How does it look like?  I’m curious to learn from you about your experience!