Based in Sydney, Australia, Foundry is a blog by Rebecca Thao. Her posts explore modern architecture through photos and quotes by influential architects, engineers, and artists.

My morning routine + why what you do (or don't do) when you wake up in the morning can affect your whole day

My morning routine + why what you do (or don't do) when you wake up in the morning can affect your whole day

It might not seem like what you do when you wake up in the morning matters all that much, but in my experience, what I do (or don’t do) will make a huge difference in how the rest of my day goes.

This is why I place a huge premium on having a morning routine or ritual for myself, and do my very best to stick to it every single day. 

Establishing and committing to a morning routine has helped me in countless ways. It allows me to set the stage for better prioritizing, more effective time-management, and greater productivity in every area of my life.

In my experience, the key to a good morning routine is finding one that works for you. Today, I’m going to share mine with you - which I hope inspires you to create your own.

But do keep in mind that the best morning routine is one that you actually stick with. And often times, that means creating one that aligns with what is most important to you. 

Eat a piece of fruit 

Before I do anything else, I like to eat a piece of fruit first thing in the morning - pretty much as soon as I open my eyes. 

While I don’t believe there is a good or bad time of day to eat fruit, I do feel a difference in my body when I have it on its own first thing in the morning. I feel far less bloated than when I pair it with oatmeal or combine it with other foods in a smoothie, for example. 

Of course, like most discussions surrounding food and health, there will be folks who disagree with this. But for me, fruit is far easier to digest when I eat it on its own, on an empty stomach, than when paired or combined with anything else. And because of this, I find it gives me just the right amount of energy I need to start my day.

Read in bed 

With my fruit in hand, I usually climb back into bed and take at least 15-30 minutes every morning to read uplifting and instructive information. Doing this really puts me in the zone and helps me to perform at my highest levels, in every area of my life, for the rest of the day.

I almost always have a book that I’m reading. 90% of the time it’s non-fiction - usually business or self-help related. In this case, I’ll start each day by reading a chapter or two, which feels like a warm up for my mind.

If I happen to be reading a fiction novel (since I love those too), I’ll stick to reading it at the end of the day or before bed, and then start my day reading articles of interest in the morning - again, usually related to business, creativity, self-care and that sort of thing. 

Starting each day with content that enriches and expands my mind helps me see and think differently, and makes me feel incredibly empowered. To me, nothing is more important than a strong and healthy mind, which is why this is easily the most sacred part of my day.

Mediation

Once I’ve read in the morning, I like to take 5-10 minutes to do a mediation of some kind. Doing this gives me a renewed and refreshed sense of purpose every morning, and a healthy foundation to deal with almost anything that comes my way.

As some of you already know, there are many ways that I like to meditate.

How I meditate really depends on my mood and what the rest of the day looks like. Some days, I like to do guided meditations using an app, and other days I like to read a daily meditation.

At some point in the near future, I’d really like to get into to transcendental meditation.

At this stage in my life, how I meditate is not as important to me as simply performing an activity that allows me to be present and mindful. I haven’t seen any difference in how my day shapes up based on the type of mediation I do. For me, just doing something makes a huge difference. 

Get moving

Few things make me feel as good as performing some form of exercise within 2 hours of waking up in the morning. 

At least five days of the week, I will carve out anywhere from 20-40 minutes in the morning for an at-home workout. It can be anything; in fact, I feel best when I do switch things up.

About 3x a week, I’ll do some sort of strength training or mat pilates. And 2-3x a week, I’ll do cardiovascular workouts - usually a 40 minute hike near my house, a quick spin class using my Peleton bike, or a fun kickboxing video I found on YouTube. 

I also enjoy going to a group class once or twice during the week, just to get out of the house and embrace a new challenge.

It doesn’t really matter what type of work out I’m doing; almost all exercise makes me feel lighter and stronger, both physically and mentally. But doing it first thing in the morning means that I feel this way for the rest of the day, which is a feeling I have really come to love.

Check e-mails

Only once I’ve taken care of my mind and body am I really ready to start my work day, which always begins with checking my e-mails. 

While checking e-mails is the first thing I’ll do when I sit down to work, I don’t typically respond right away. Instead, I like to read through everything and allow the information to really sink in before crafting my responses, since every conversation I have carries an energy and meaning with it and I want each one to reflect the best I have to offer someone.

To me, the most notable part of my morning routine is that I check my e-mails last - only after I take care of myself first. This was not always the case, since my instinct has always been to put others first. But as you can see, it’s something I am aware of and working on getting better at.

Final Thoughts

Adhering to a few simple activities at the start of each day, often leads to feeling calmer, more accomplished, energized and in control throughout the day. 

Not every day will be perfect; there are definitely some days that my morning routine gets away from me. But even on those days, simply knowing that I have a routine that works and that I can jump back into it the next day, makes me feel better almost instantly.

And remember: copying someone else’s formula probably won’t work. The best routines, the ones that will actually stick, are the ones that align with what is most important to you. 

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