Now more than ever, the world can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get swept up into fear, anxiety, and worry and to let our to-do list or social media convince us that we’re not doing enough. It’s easy to get behind, to feel unproductive, to feel distracted.
I used to feel all of those ways — and while I’m not immune to those feelings now, I’ve found a solution that works for me, helping me deal with those uncomfortable emotions. Starting my morning with a ritual designed to center and balance me before I tackle what the world needs from me has been key to managing anxiety and sustaining gratitude.
When I stumble upon something that changes my life — whether it’s a health tip or a ritual like my morning routine – I don’t keep it to myself. I’m excited to share my personal morning routine in hopes that it might inspire you to create a ritual of your own.
I’ve developed this routine over time. I began with a simple commitment to write three things I am grateful for each day, and I suggest you start similarly simply. Choose something that will take less than 5 minutes, and try it out each day for a week before checking your phone or computer. Then, if you like how you feel, add on one more! My list is not exhaustive – mix, match, and choose whatever feels good to you. The important part is that it centers you and puts you in a positive mentality to tackle the day.
Positive thought. Before even placing my feet on the ground, I think of something positive. It’s not always easy to get out of bed early, but this makes it better.
Positive music. I have a Spotify playlist full of inspiring songs. While I take my dogs in the backyard first thing in the morning, I play a song or two that makes me smile. I also take my shoes off for grounding in the earth.
Positive quotes. After taking care of my hygiene, I read two quotes from positive tear-off calendars. I like to force positive thoughts into my head so I don’t even get the chance to veer negative or anxious. It’s the reason that the top of the Pepper Planner is my favorite source for daily quotes.
Meditation. I used to be one of those people who thought I wasn’t cut out to meditate. I have a monkey mind, a hamster wheel constantly turning, have struggled with anxiety for years, am constantly thinking about my to do list … all things that don’t add up to mental serenity. But that only means I need meditation more. Meditation isn’t something you can or cannot do; it is a practice, and once I realized that, I understood that it could add so much to my life. If you’re beginning, I recommend starting with the Headspace or Calm apps, and if you’ve been meditating for a while, I love my Muse headband which measures brain waves and provides biofeedback to help achieve a meditative state.
Delicious hot beverage. Once I meditate, it’s time for a delicious hot beverage. Sometimes I’ll choose coffee but I love starting my morning with a Tulsi tea from ORGANIC INDIA. My favorites are Tulsi Hibiscus, Tulsi Ashwagandha, and Tulsi Masala Chai.
Gratitude and Reflection. The benefits of gratitude are enormous, and having a daily gratitude journal for seven years has been one of my most impactful habits. Of course, there is a space in my Pepper Planner to guide my reflection, but this could take any form — a post-it note, a few minutes in prayer, or anything that helps you appreciate the positive things in your life.
Affirmations. I know – many are rolling their eyes, and I did, too, when I heard about affirmations. Rather than thinking of those cheesy “I am a billionaire!” affirmations, think about affirmations as a way to remind yourself of goals and priorities every day. I write new affirmations at the beginning of each calendar year, based on what I want to achieve and where I want to spend my energy for the next 12 months. Reading them daily helps me remember what is truly important, and helps nagging thoughts and tasks seem less important. Here is my blog post on how to write affirmations.
Reading. Each morning, I spend 10 minutes reading a nutrition, wellness, business, or personal development book (and have two other scheduled chunks of time on weekends when I read, as well). I love reading, and it’s a habit that makes me feel that I am making time for what is important to me and what makes me happy. It doesn’t hurt that it helps me advance my business and serve my clients even better. Here are 20 books I recommend in 2020.
Planning the Day. Before diving into email, I take one extra minute to review my day and my priorities, and center myself before the deluge of client requests hits my brain. Again, this is about entering the day feeling empowered and energized, and controlling my schedule, rather than letting it control me.
Exercise. I generally start my workout between 6am and 6:30am, and I’m doing a different routine each day, but I make it a point to move my body daily. I believe that exercise is most beneficial for stress-relief and energy if done in the morning. Curious about how to build a workout routine? Here are my best tips.
Want more tips to supercharge your morning routine, including how to make getting out of bed easier? Head over to this post for my favorite tips!
Megan received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her MBA from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She is also a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, has a Masters in Holistic Nutrition from Hawthorn University, and is Board Certified as a Holistic Nutritionist. She lectures widely at hospitals, corporations, and organizations. When she’s not health coaching, you can find her working out, teaching fitness classes, cooking, reading, traveling, and cheering on the Dallas Mavericks. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Kevin, and adorable dogs, Maverick and Riley.