Quarantine can be monotonous at the best of times. As the weeks pass, the ability to stay productive and positive becomes more and more difficult.
Yesour morning experience often sets the tone for the rest of your day. By consciously incorporating positive habits into your morning routine, you could reap amazing benefits, while increasing your daily productivity.
1) Go for a run in the morning
You’ve heard it a million times, but exercise is scientifically proven to improve both your mental and physical health. The NHS goes so far as to state that people who exercise regularly have a “30% lower risk of premature death” – dubbing it “the miracle cure we’ve always had”.
Exercise reduces both stress and anxiety levels through the reduction of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. The release of endorphins is another benefit of exercise; creating feelings of optimism and relaxation that will set you up for the rest of your day.
By simply starting your morning with a run, you prepare to face the day ahead with a more positive and productive mindset.
2) Take 15 minutes to tidy up
Cleaning is probably the last thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, but it has some surprising benefits. Adopting daily cleaning habits can instill a sense of accomplishment and control, which boosts your self-esteem and productivity.
Having a clean workplace can be particularly beneficial when studying from home, as you’re likely to be more efficient when you can easily find materials and belongings.
Plus, by cleansing first thing in the morning, you can reap the benefits throughout the day!
Tasks you can choose may include making your bed, emptying your wastebasket, doing laundry, or decluttering your room.
3) Listen to music
Music is an integral part of cultures and communities around the world. Not surprisingly, listening to music can also significantly improve your mental well-being. Music therapy was developed as a professional tool to help express difficult emotions, combat depression, and reduce anxiety and symptoms of stress.
Listening to your favorite music not only lowers levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, but it also releases dopamine, a “feel-good” neurotransmitter that increases feelings of happiness. Listening to 10 minutes of music each morning can alleviate feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Left unaddressed, these feelings could otherwise diminish your daily productivity and drain your mental well-being.
4) Plan a schedule for the day ahead
Planning is a proven method for maximizing your daily productivity. By formulating goals and structure for the day ahead, a 5-minute planning session can reduce the risk of stress and poor time management.
While it’s good to be ambitious when planning your schedule, it’s essential to make sure it’s achievable and balances opportunities for work and relaxation. This approach uses planning as a tool to increase productivity and reduce the risk of burnout.
Planning pleasant breaks is especially important to combat the monotony that plagues daily routines in quarantine.
5) Spend 30 minutes on a new skill
Quarantine has brought forth a current trend of learning new skills to fill time and break up feelings of monotony and boredom. Although it is already very effective, spending 30 minutes in the morning developing new skills can also improve your productivity for the day.
Learning a new skill depends on self-discipline and creates a sense of accomplishment once you see the results of your hard work. By positively reinforcing your efforts, this sense of accomplishment can motivate you to approach the rest of your day more productively.
The skills you focus on could be good for your resume or just something you might find enjoyable, like cooking or playing an instrument.
6) Sit down for a healthy breakfast
The benefits of healthy eating and a hearty breakfast were probably taught to you from a young age. The importance of fueling your body is obvious and backed by extensive scientific research.
According to Nutrition Australia, “a regular breakfast improves your energy levels and your metabolism”. Sufficient energy levels are especially vital as you start your day – maximizing productivity and minimizing the risk of burnout.
Additionally, a healthy breakfast can improve both your memory and concentration levels.
By setting aside time to eat a healthy breakfast each morning, you prepare your body both physically and cognitively for the day ahead.
seven) Contact your friends or family
Humans are social creatures and the need to stay connected with friends and family has been amplified by the recent COVID-19 outbreak.
Psychologist Sabrina Read suggests that scheduling “regular online or phone meetings” is a necessity to maintain your physical and mental health while in quarantine.
By reaching out to friends and family as part of your morning routine, you immediately make that connection, reducing the risk of loneliness and distraction throughout the day.
8) Treat yourself
Incorporating a “treat” into your morning routine allows you to start the day on a more positive note. Just 10 minutes of fun can help you recharge, relax, and increase your motivation levels, setting you up for a more productive day.
Although the “treatment” may vary from person to person, you can make time for a hot shower, your favorite coffee, a face mask, a good book, or meditation.
A productive and enjoyable morning routine benefits both your physical and mental health. Be selfish with your time.