By Ali Ragan on March 27, 2020
Currently, working from home is likely a new territory for a lot of us—it definitely is for me. Turning your home into your office space can be tricky, and it’s even more difficult to separate work life and personal life when they’re happening in the same place.
With this new wave of change, I've found the way I begin my day has a significant impact on my productivity and happiness. Luckily, my morning routine helps me stay on top of my tasks while giving me time to focus on myself—and it’s far from anything unrealistic or unattainable.
Here are a few things you can do every morning to change the way you wake up and set the pace for your entire day:
Make your bed and open your curtains
This is the most effective way to start your day off right. Simply making your bed can reduce your stress levels more than you even realize. If your bed is organized, it will reflect in your entire personal space, which then transfers over to your state of mind. Then, open your curtains—bringing in some sunshine can benefit your mood, especially during times like these.
Make yourself a fancy coffee or just drink it black
Brew your coffee right when you wake up or set it on a timer the night before. If you’re a coffee lover like me, knowing I can have a cup of joe right when I wake up always makes my mornings a little easier.
Next to my morning coffee, a satisfying breakfast is essential to ensuring my productivity remains steady throughout the morning. My go-to is a couple of over-easy eggs, atop some mashed avocado on a piece of buttered toast.
Write in a gratitude journal
Journaling every morning has had a significant impact on my mood. By writing down three things I’m grateful for in the morning sets the tone for the rest of my day, and gets my brain thinking a little harder than if I were to mindlessly scroll through social media.
Light a candle
Treating mornings more like regular at-home time and less like a rushed effort to get on the road to work helps my mornings significantly. There is something so relaxing about the aroma of a burning candle, and it helps me get ready for my day and enjoy my coffee happily before the workday begins. I also tend to leave it burning while I work to keep the relaxed vibes going throughout my morning.
Do some light yoga
When you work from home, you sit most of the day. Do your body a favor with some light stretching and yoga. This wakes your body up and reminds you that your muscles need some love, too. Your body will thank you!
Spend 15-20 minutes reading a book
Reading in the morning carves out some “you” time. Turning the pages of a self-help book in the morning (or any book) helps you feel motivated to go and crush the day. It awakens your thinking, reflection and creativity.
THEN you can get on your phone
Ask yourself, what is the first thing you do when you wake up? For most of us, that’s probably checking our cell phone. It’s no doubt our phones distract us, and when it’s the first thing you reach for in the morning, you are priming your brain for distraction throughout the day. We get distracted much quicker and mess up our productivity by checking our smartphone first thing in the morning. Challenge yourself to not reach for your phone until you’ve completed your morning routine.
You don’t have to do every single one of these things every morning...
Choose what works best for you, your space and your schedule. Starting your day with some structure can help your productivity and give you some time for yourself. Giving yourself structure is always important, but even more so when you're working from home and trying to function outside of your normal routine.