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One of my goals this year has been to establish a morning routine that helps me feel more in control of my day-to-day life. I admit that it is eternally an ongoing process because I’m a night owl (though this course (affiliate link) has absolutely changed the way I look at mornings). Yet one of the significant shifts I’ve made has been to find ways to add joy to my routine.
I’ve read lots of bloggers and looked at Pinterest posts about the things you should include in your morning routine. Many of them list the same ideas over and over again: a healthy breakfast, reading a book, and exercise. These are all great ideas, but let’s face it, they’re not the best reason to get out of your warm, snuggly bed.
I find it hard to get out of bed when the best reason to do so is to get on a treadmill or to eat a jar of overnight oats. So while I’ve incorporated some of these ideas into my morning routine, I also wanted to find ways to add a little joy into my morning routine and decided to share them with you today.
Finding joy in your morning routine:
Here are six ways for you to remix your morning routine and discover a little pleasure and balance at the same time.
One of my favorite trends of the last few years has been the growth of the adult coloring book industry, meaning there are hundreds of coloring books to match any interest (Disney villains, all the cats, Pusheen, Lord of the Rings, anti-stress patterns). Pick one, pair with a set of $5 colored pencils from Michaels, and spend ten minutes coloring when you first wake up to find a little creative pleasure in this low-pressure activity.
Puzzles are also making a comeback, and you can find some pretty ones in all sizes to work on in the morning before you leave for work. The joy of fitting a single piece into a larger whole is a great way to start the day with a sense of achievement before you’ve even walked out the door.
Too often we rush and rush and rush to get out of the house in the morning, but there is something to be said for sitting down with a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and staring out the window at the clouds. Imagine how you would feel after a 10-minute mind wandering session without focusing your attention. In an article from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good magazine, Jill Suttie argues that mind-wandering can make you more creative, happier (depending on the content), and may help our job performances and goal-setting.
DDR or Wii Boxing:
Sure, exercise is important, but why limit it to occasionally repetitious activities like running or weights when you could pull out your old Wii or your PS4? DDR is challenging and offers a fun way to get your blood pumping in the morning. My favorite, Wii Boxing, is a hardcore cardio and strength activity that takes 10 minutes with the bonus of the satisfaction and pleasure of hitting something.
Quality Pet Time:
Try establishing a routine that includes quality time with your pets. Don’t just walk your dog – play with her, cuddle your kitties, hold your hamster or snake. While studies are mixed about whether pets can improve your well-being, it’s evident that our bonds with our pets can positively affect our moods. Those few moments of connection make us a little happier to have someone who loves us and trusts us to look after them. My attitude is always better after I have spent some time with Tasha and Rory in the morning.
Watch Something Funny:
A lot of us turn on the news or take a look at social media to see what is going on in the world, but tomorrow, try something new and throw on a sitcom that you find hilarious and see how much happier you are to start the day. For me, an episode of Parks and Rec or Brooklyn 99 is joyful and funny enough to put me in a good mood for the rest of my day. They aren’t kidding when they say laughter is the best medicine.
These ideas are just a few possibilities to help jump-start your morning and find a little joy when you get out of bed. I believe that a joyful start to your day effectively lets you take control of the kind of day you’re going to have.
How do you add joy to your morning routine? Share your ideas in the comments below.