With C29 complete, we’ve transitioned into the Maintenance phase, which means that it’s time to stay committed to a healthy routine of quality sleep, nutrition, and exercise. The Maintenance phase is key to ensuring your body is able to sustain all of the adaptations and work you’ve already put in so that you can continue to progress towards your long-term goals.
With so much uncertainty this year, it can be tough to stay motivated and avoid falling back into unhealthy habits. One of the most effective ways to stay accountable throughout Maintenance is to set small daily goals that you know will keep you on track. A morning routine or ritual is a great way to boost motivation and create a positive mindset, which is important during times of heightened stress. We’ve outlined some key benefits of using a morning routine to keep you on track, along with some ideas for an effective morning routine that will optimize mood, focus, energy, and motivation for the rest of the day.
The importance of individual routine
A morning routine is beneficial during stressful periods in our life because it allows us to feel more in control and centered. Research suggests that this is key for productivity, as routine drives motivation. Rather than jumping straight into work emails or social media at the start of each day, do a few things that you are in control of—such as exercise or reading—to automatically create a more positive mindset.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed with work and daily stress, to the point that we forget the purpose of and meaning behind our work. As a result, we often feel fatigued, unmotivated and unproductive. With an effective morning routine, we can refocus and realign with our goals and aspirations. Physiologically speaking, a regular morning routine has also been shown to reduce levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone,’ which can improve mood, lessen anxiety, and help keep our immune system strong.
What makes an effective morning routine?
To reap the positive benefits of a morning routine, the key is to pick a few habits that you know you can stay consistent with. Even though a morning routine is different for everyone, the whole point is to boost energy, clarity, and focus so that you can take on your day with your best foot forward. The suggestions below may be highly effective for some and not for others, so we encourage you to find what works best for you.
Suggestions for a healthy morning routine:
- Wake up early
- Make your bed
- Walk outside and listen to a podcast
- No social media, emails, texts, or calls until you’ve completed your morning routine
- Hydration in the morning with 8 oz of water
- 20-30 minutes of movement (yoga, stretching, walking, home workout)
- 5-minute meditation (guided or unguided)
- 5 minutes of journaling (reflecting on goals for the week/month)
- Make a nutritious, superfood-packed breakfast with lots of quality protein and fiber around the same time each day
- Write down 1-2 things that you want to accomplish—start small to avoid procrastination