It can be difficult to motivate yourself every morning when you work from home and the days seem to fade in and out with the same rhythm of monotony.
What is the solution to this pandemic-themed malaise? Try shaking up your morning routine a little bit to give you that much-needed boost bright and early. You’ll find yourself finishing those menial tasks with gusto opening up your day to spend outdoors amidst Spring’s new blooms.
1. Start your day with the Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete also known as “The Iceman” who is known for combining cold exposure, breathing techniques, and meditation for numerous benefits. People who swear by starting their day with this method reported enhanced creativity, more focus and mental clarity, better sleep, reduced stress, improved physical performance, and faster recovery from physical exertion. The first step in the Wim Hof Method is upon waking immediately set yourself up in a meditation posture in which you can freely expand your lungs without constriction.
Once you are in your meditative pose close your eyes and clear your mind while remaining conscious of your breath. Fully connect with your breath by inhaling deeply through your nose and out through your mouth. While taking these breathes you want to fully inhale through your belly, then your chest, and let this breath go unforced through your mouth. Repeat this breathing style 30-40 times in short powerful bursts. After your final exhalation, you’re going to want to inhale as deeply as you can. Slowly let this breath out and once your lungs are empty hold your breath as long as you can until you feel the absolute urge to take another breath. Once you take this recovery breath fill your lungs, belly and chest and hold this full breath for 15 seconds. You can repeat this breathing technique 3 to 4 times and upon completion enjoy the blissful, meditative state this full connection to your breath brings to you upon waking.
Once you’ve completed the meditative breathing exercise it’s time to take a cold shower. Scientists have discovered that exposure to the cold, or cryotherapy, speeds up your metabolism, reduces inflammation, improves immune responses, leads to a better night’s sleep, and increases your focus during the day. Combining the 3 pillars of meditation, controlled breathing, and cold therapy will jump-start your day improving your daily focus and long-term health over time.
2. Water your indoor plants and succulents
Instead of starting your day off checking your email spend that first 20 minutes watering your plants instead. There are countless benefits to greening up your indoor office space. Spending your morning in a biophilic atmosphere can double your attention span for the day, lower blood pressure, decrease your heart rate, diminish negative intrusive thoughts, increase happiness, boost creative thought patterns, and even increase productivity levels.
It is better to water plants in the morning allowing time for the water to dry. If not the water tends to sit on the surface causing root rot and fungal growth attracting unwanted insects inside your home. In order to reap all the benefits of having a green space in your home, you want to keep your plants as healthy as possible and watering them in the morning is one step to ensure your plant’s longevity. Having indoor plants helps remove 87% of harmful toxins in the air in only 24 hours.
Not only does having an indoor haven for plants improve our air quality, but the sheer act of caring for another living thing also gives us purpose and is especially rewarding when you notice those plants bloom and thrive. This soothing activity is a great way to start your day. House plants have the capacity to improve concentration and productivity by 15% in this study.
3. Write in your journal
Journaling first thing in the morning is a good way to get those creative juices flowing. Taking note of the parts of your day that might be giving you anxiety is a great way to name them and calm your mind in the process. Once you get those worries down on paper you can think of creative solutions to tackle them first thing so it doesn’t derail your entire day. Once you map out the most difficult parts of your day and how you’ll handle them as soon as you get up you can free up that mental space to go about the rest of your day undeterred.
4. Do a crossword puzzle
This fun brain teaser is a great way to start your morning for a few reasons. Solving crossword puzzles on a regular basis can help improve memory and brain function. This fun activity can also improve your verbal skills, help you solve problems more easily, and even contribute to deeper thought patterns that you can apply to everyday problems in your life. Once you understand the complexities of understanding the patterns of solving a puzzle you have an easier time understanding the complex patterns of life. The long-term benefit of doing crossword puzzles every day is that it decreases the likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Finishing a crossword in the morning with your family or significant other can also help strengthen social bonds which improves everyone’s mood for the day!
I hope the aforementioned morning rituals will help you start your day off right.