There is such a proven link between setting an morning routine and happiness and productivity. It’s something that by no means am I a master, yet I enjoy cultivating my practice over the past few years and have seen the benefits.
Essentially, how you choose to begin your morning anchors you and helps you stay focused on what is most important. We often talk about the importance of this at our retreat in Bali.
I’m sure most of us are guilty of turning on our social media first thing. It’s easy to lose time scrolling through Facebook or instagram and slip down the rabbit hole, in the online world. By having a routine and having a clear boundary of not allowing social media to enter until after the routine is finished, will have a powerful impact on our days.
By committing to a morning practice it allows you to reach your highest level of productivity and happiness so why not cultivate a practice, especially as we start up a new year.
There’s not a one size fits all to anyone’s morning routine. We asked some of the wonderful women behind our Escape Haven Bali Yoga Retreat, what some of the key elements of theirs are. What we realised by comparing routines is that there are some key elements that make a morning routine most effective.
They mostly all have an element of focus on big picture goals, gratitude, self care practices and planning for the day.
I only recently discovered through research the well documented understanding that we only have a certain amount of energy and willpower when we wake up each morning. I’m from the school of hard grit and determination so this was a surprise to me and something I understood when I realised why its always harder to have the same amount of resolve in the afternoons, after making decisions all day.
If you’re making hundreds of small decisions in the morning that means nothing yet will affect how you make decisions for the remainder of the day. As such try to have the first hour of your day vary as little as possible with a routine so it can remain decision-less :-).
What can also help to reserve your energy, willpower and decision making ability is something our Retreat Manager Renee does with planning the evening before. The thought of making loads of decisions in the morning can overwhelm and paralyse your thinking and drain your brain for the rest of the day. Have you had days like that when your morning has hardly started and you need a coffee infusion to cope?!
If you can eliminate decision-making from your mornings, you’ll have more energy to have the most productive morning you can! Give it a whirl and note the difference.
9 elements of our Escape Haven Bali Retreat Team’s morning routines.
- Wake up early – I worked on super yachts years ago and one of the things I observed that all these successful, wealthy families did was get up early. In fact, I don’t know anyone who consistently wakes up before 6am and isn’t doing something awesome with their life. I find these precious hours so still and peaceful where my mind works well doing creative tasks. A common feature of all our team is how early we all get up (5-6am)! Kin, likes to tune into the day by waking slowly (and early) and taking in all the morning sounds like bird life, roosters.
2. Think happy – Watch your mindset – the mood you wake up in is a great predictor of how you day will go. Positivity builds upon positivity so focus on something you are grateful for if you wake up in a funk. Laura does positive affirmations in the mirror whilst stomping to help ground her energy for that day which really helps with mindset. Renee does a gratitude list of 5 things she is most grateful for which starts her day on a guaranteed high.
3. Personal hygiene is key to feeling good in your body. If I don’t have a shower and layer on my favourite creams and scents I feel sluggish. It’s amazing how revitalised you feel after a shower. Laura, our lead yoga goddess, does oil pulling and tongue scraping which both help to detoxify the body.
4. Hydrate yourself – Drink something nourishing -Laura loves to start off with Apple Cider Vinegar and water to alkanise her body. My drink of choice is hot water and lemon or a freshly made ginger tea – a great energy elixir (as I don’t drink coffee but still like a pick me up).
5. Move – Stretch and move your body whether that is through yoga or walking the dog or some simple stretches, just move. Suz (our bookings and marketing manager) always starts her day walking Poppy her dog on the beach. She says its a great way to set up her day and connect with her pet and nature at the same time. Kin and Laura both practice their yoga to set them up well for the day. It need not be an hour – Kin’s is a 28 minute practice her teacher David development for her followed by 15 mins of pranayama meditation. Laura likes to change it up and depending upon how she feels will do either dance, a slow yin or an active flow. Renee’s day starts with something that incorporates breath, body and mind and gives her the energy she needs. Often its chi jong,
6. Meditate – It may seem silly after you have woken up to be still but meditation is a powerful tool to raise your energy and elevate your mood. I also find it helps clear my mind to set myself up for a busy day. Kin, our yogini always incorporates pranayama (breathing practice) in her morning routine as it energises her and gives her focus and clarity to begin her day. Laura does meditation, even 5 minutes per day so its consistent and Renee does Qi Jong each morning. All are different forms that work for them.
7. Morning pages This part of my morning routine was established more recently and is a creative outlet for me. It’s an activity of writing 750 words (around three pages) each morning. It’s not blogging or anything that I would publish on line but rather a stream of consciousness of whatever is on my mind and something we have recently been encouraging with our guests at our Bali retreat. A general dump of what’s residing in my brain on ideas for life, business, relationships, health – whatever I want to clear my mind of. It gets my brain working and thinking more creatively. Renee has been doing this for years and is such a key part of her routine that no matter where in the world she goes, her diary is one of the first things she packs. She says she finds so many answers that are lying within her intuition when she journals and that its her form of meditation.
8. Daily goals Each morning I write down my goals – I call them the big 5 to give me focus and remind myself of what is most important. First, I write down a long-term goal that I’m working towards. I write this down each day to keep me mindful of my direction so that I don’t go off track. Then, I write down the smaller daily goals, which support that long term goal and enable me to reach it.
9.Read something inspirational. Whether its watching a pod cast, a ted talk or reading one of your favourite authors articles, each will act as a mood alterer and give you that motivation and zest to live your day with inspiration.
So that’s 9 things that help myself and our Bali yoga retreat team to set up our days well at our retreat in Bali. It may seem like a lot but the point is you don’t need a lengthy routine. You just need something that helps you set your mind on what you want to focus on for the day, and something you can commit to as routine is key. As we get up early, our routine is done and dusted by 8am, ready to get into our day!
Your Escape Haven Bali Retreat offers a luxury wellness experience for body, mind and soul
We invite you to experience our award-winning Bali yoga retreat. If it’s time to fill up your cup and reconnect with yourself on a deeper level, we’d love to help you rejuvenate, unwind, reawaken and experience the very best of Bali. Dive into transformational yoga and meditation classes, exhilarating surf lessons in the warm waters of Bali, fun fitness classes and restorative healing sessions. How much or little you do is all up to you.