To put it bluntly, there is no such thing as a perfect morning routine.
Yes, the internet is full of “billionaire morning rituals,” but everyone needs to develop their ideal method.
On this basis, I’ve devised my minimalist morning routine with one goal in mind: identifying a few essential morning activities that harness energy.
I’ve always been a morning person. I adore the natural phenomena occurring during the early hours of the day.
To me, observing the sun’s trajectory, listening to bird songs, and even looking at the grey mist provides a daily dose of happiness.
Consequently, getting up is the easy part. Finding the right morning energizers, however, has always been a challenge.
My 6-step minimalist morning routine
After trying out countless rituals, I concluded that the following sixactivities produce the right blend of energy, mindfulness, and organization.
On this basis, here are some of the best ways to feel energized in the morning
1. Harden up with a cold shower
Out of grabbing reach, my phone alarm goes off at 6.15am. The snooze button has become a distant memory.
A few seconds later, my minimalist morning routine starts with a cold shower.
Cold showers are like roller coasters. You’re frightened at first, but once you’re at it, you enjoy the ride.
I became used to taking relatively cold showers at the age of 16.
Back then, I lived in a host family in Canada, and their water was always cold. Not icy, but cold nonetheless. My senses have been more attuned to cold water ever since.
The benefits are manifold. First, the cold water sends a clear message to your body: wake up!
Your body doesn’t expect a wellness session under the shower, and you don’t get too comfortable. Hot showers have the opposite effect on your skin.
Secondly, the cold water energizes your body and helps you harden up over time. In my experience, the more cold showers you take, the more resistant you become.
Aside from kickstarting your mornings, cold showers can positively affect other aspects of life.
In his book, Smash Your Comfort Zone, Jessee Harless explains how cold morning showers can help you build other fruitful habits such as quitting junk food.
I nowadays take this shower right after getting up. I start with ice-cold water for around 1 minute, followed by 3 minutes of cold water and 3 minutes of lukewarm water.
The process launches a gradual invigoration of all senses.
2. Laser focus your thoughts with a few minutes of mindfulness
My minimalist morning routine would be incomplete without a few minutes of mindfulness.
The idea is not to meditate for long periods. I simply sit down for 5–10 minutes and go through the unfolding day in my head.
Right. Another day. Let’s make it a good one. What’s the plan for today? Are there critical to-dos? And does the day have a primary highlight?
I try to get these questions out of the way before anything else. The mental planning puts my mind into gear and sets the right tone for productivity.
It’s also a great way to instill calmness in your mind before pursuing your everyday grind.
I usually listen to tranquil nature sounds during this short stint of meditation.
3. Get ready before leaving the bedroom
After a brief spell of mindfulness, it’s time to get ready for the daily groove.
I always prepare my outfit the day before as part of my night routine. Getting dressed takes less than 2 minutes.
After that, obligatory acts of hygiene such as brushing your teeth, doing your hair, and applying some skincare follow.
The getting-ready part is also the right moment to declutter your bedroom. Swift chores like making the bed and hanging the towels will generate the impression of a well-organized start to the day.
4. Encounter the day with a walk
Morning walks are the newest addition to my minimalist morning routine. In this context, I used to go to the gym before breakfast.
For various reasons, I’ve moved my gym session to a later point in the day and replaced it with a casual stroll in nature.
Even though I always loved stepping into an empty gym at 6.30 am, I’ve realized that short walks along deserted roads are even more gratifying.
As such, a 15–20-minute walk before breakfast has several benefits.
Aside from adding a bit of physical activity to my mornings, it also secures some fresh air before the daily hustle and bustle.
If you’re fortunate enough to live near a park or forest, a casual early bird stroll should be a given. If not, go on a quick walk around your neighborhood. Relishing the serenity of an empty street is a great way to feel energized in the morning.
If you have a dog, you probably don’t need extra incentives.
5. Find the right morning elixir
Over the years, I’ve tried hundreds of breakfast combinations, natural morning energizers, and nutritious recipes.
The main challenge resides in finding your morning elixir.
Some people favor tea over coffee, while others accentuate the importance of morning sugar.
Many formulas work. The most crucial factor is to feed your organism with the right nutrients. Consequently, try to incorporate all 3 macros: protein, fat, and carbohydrates.
As for myself, I mostly use eggs and ham for protein, bananas and wholewheat toast for carbohydrates, and avocado for natural fat. I usually couple these foods with coffee and fresh tropical juice.
Now, this works for me. Everybody has their taste and preferences.
Be sure to set some time aside to prepare a proper breakfast. Over time, different recipes will pinpoint the best fuel for your body.
Don’t skip breakfast and don’t limit your intake to one type of food.
6. Read a coffee table book
Finally, the last step on my minimalist morning routine is a short but satisfying reading session. Coffee table books are perfect in this regard.
In this context, I often read a couple of pages in my Atlas Obscura, a book compiling some of the world’s most unknown and mysterious places.
I also like to shuffle through architecture and design coffee table books while eating.
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Originally published at https://minimalistfocus.com on April 6, 2020.