You’ve seen Instagram reels and Tiktoks of successful, gorgeous women sharing their morning routine, some of which begin as early as 4am!
Sure, some of these may come across as performative, but having a productive routine can help prepare you for the rest of the day.
While you don’t need to wake up at 4am, you just need to find a routine that works best for you!
So today, I’d like to turn the spotlight on one of the happiest and healthiest women I know – my mom!
For the past 20 years, she’s been consistent with her morning routine and the benefits can be seen in her cheerful demeanor and youthfulness (you’d never think she was 60).
Let me take you through some of the things she does to start her day.
1) Wakes up early
Whether it’s a weekday or weekend, my mom will wake up at 5am and begin her day. While the household is still asleep and it’s dark outside, she’ll use this time to prepare for the day ahead of her. It’s a peaceful way to spend time alone and do whatever you need to do.
I’m someone who loves sleeping in, especially on the weekends. After a week of early mornings to get ready for work, waking up just before noon is truly a privilege. But half a day is gone, just like that.
When I decided to try waking up early, I realize the trick is to go to bed early as well.
It may seem like common sense, but it’s difficult to have the discipline to put your phone aside and head to bed – especially for those who can only have their ‘me’ time late at night (like myself).
I’ll spend hours on social media and Netflix to make up for the entertainment I couldn’t enjoy because of work!
If you want to be a productive and happy person, waking up early will help you set the tone for the rest of the day.
2) Practices mindfulness
Starting the day right is key to having a good day (most of the time).
As you calm your mind, you remove all negativity and stress and replace these with positivity. My mother will use this time to journal and meditate.
She’ll write down things she’s grateful for so that she can ground herself without getting swept away by the hustle and bustle of life. Then, she’ll set her intentions and goals for the day. This gives her direction and enhances her focus.
These intentions need not be big or difficult to attain, they just need to be purposeful and positive. Here are some examples:
- I will be grateful for today.
- Today, I will learn to love myself more.
- I will not let the actions of others affect me.
- Today, I will learn to show myself forgiveness.
Then, make a conscious effort to work on your intentions. After doing this for some time, your outlook towards life and yourself will improve.
3) Goes for a morning workout
My mom loves working out in the morning as this releases endorphins and puts her in a good mood. If you’re someone who’s not very fond of working out, scheduling this in the morning can also give you a sense of accomplishment as you tick this off your to-do list.
The key thing is to do what works best for you. My mom enjoys Pilates and running and will alternate these as and when she feels like it. She also incorporates resistance training just to strengthen her muscles and switch things up a bit.
You don’t need to go all out in a HIIT workout if you don’t want to. Taking your dog for a walk, going for an early morning swim, or simply following a YouTube workout can do wonders for your overall health.
4) Does stretching
Stretching is also important for flexibility and muscle recovery. Doing this in the morning is a relaxing way to begin the day and my mother does this for recovery over the weekend.
Starting as soon as possible goes a long way, as our muscles stiffen and we become less nimble as we grow older. Learning how to touch your toes is much easier when you’re 20 than when you’re 60.
An added benefit is that it helps you relax and puts your mind at ease as you begin the day.
While sufficient hydration is key to maintaining overall health, this is often overlooked by many. To inculcate this habit of regular hydration, my mother will drink a cup of water every morning to rehydrate the body after a night’s rest.
If you prefer drinking something other than plain water, try fruit-infused water. You can add berries, lemon, or even mint and cucumber for a refreshing twist
Water is crucial for a strong immune system and overall health!
6) Eats a healthy breakfast
Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.
Since my mother works out in the morning, eating a healthy breakfast helps replenish the energy lost and fuels her body for the rest of the day.
Healthy meals need not be boring as well! As someone who loves food, she enjoys looking up recipes online and trying out different healthy breakfast ideas.
She’s currently on an overnight oats phase and there are tons of creative recipes online.
I always thought overnight oats were just a goopy, slimy meal that I could never get into. Then I learnt about exciting recipes like ‘Tiramisu overnight oats’, ‘Banana Bread overnight oats’, or ‘Carrot cake overnight oats’ and it didn’t take me long to obsess over it.
Eating a balanced meal of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as necessary micronutrients, helps her to piece together ingredients that can make up a delicious breakfast.
My mother attributes her youthful appearance to a disciplined habit of applying skincare every morning and night. Her skin remains hydrated without a single blemish.
Here’s also another reminder to apply sunblock on your face whenever you head out! This reduces the chances of ageing and of course, skin cancer.
Another reason why my mother sticks to her skincare regime is that it helps her destress. There’s something calming about going through each step and caring for her face. She finds it therapeutic and is something she looks forward to after she’s fresh out of the shower.
Having flawless, perfect skin also boosts her confidence!
8) Listens to a podcast or reads
I would also like to highlight that my mother goes through her morning routine without her phone. It’s set aside so that she can have a mini digital detox each day to focus herself on the things she’d set out to do.
It helps her be more present and mindful of what she’s doing. Sometimes, she’ll start the day with an inspiring podcast or read a few pages of an uplifting self-help book.
According to her, this has worked wonders in improving her mood when she wakes up stressed, upset, or just on the wrong side of the bed.
9) Spends time with her loved ones
And of course, as the household wakes up, she will have breakfast with the rest of the family just to spend some time with the people she loves, before a day of work.
If everyone’s too busy to stay and chat, she’ll send really sweet texts to ask about our day. Her affection not only makes us feel loved, but it improves her overall mood as well. We also grow much closer together.
You may not need to do all of these, but starting on one or two will help tremendously in uplifting your mood and improving your overall health. And there’s no better time to start than today.