Morning Routine

Chaplain’s Corner

Padre Jonczyk

Are you a morning person or a night owl sleeping in on the weekends and pressing that snooze button on your alarm during the week as long as you can?

Whether you are a sleeper or early riser chances are you are having some kind of morning routine. But the habits that make up our routines are not always good ones. If you are rushing through, grabbing something to eat just before closing the door, forgetting your keys or leaving the lights on in the house before leaving the house – not to mention arriving late at work – chances are your morning routine has room for improvement.

Studies have shown that having a good morning routine can be literally life changing.

Although some of us are happy from the first moment they wake up and others are grumpy even before they open their mouth there are some things which can help us start our day well and make it a good one.

Many people believe that if we start our day in a good mood then the rest of the day will tend to be a pleasurable one. My wife and I say that to our child, and I remember hearing a version of it while growing up. I also remember an expression that went something like “waking up stepping off the bed with a left foot” which described those who were in a bad mood in the morning without any apparent reason.

So what should I do to have a good morning, to wake up energized and be happy throughout the day? Here are just few ideas:

Set up an alarm. You might struggle to get up in the morning if you suffer from a “social
jet lag”: the tendency to stay away late using social media.

Turn off your cell phone and other electronic devices at least 1 hour before bed time. It will help you get to bed earlier and stop hitting that snooze button. It will be hard at first but do not give up and you will get use to it.

Eat breakfast. You have probably heard many times that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Guess what? It is. It gives you a jump start and energy for the day.
If you have kids, studies have shown that a healthy breakfast equals higher grades and test scores.

Exercise. Going for a morning run, taking your dog for a walk or a jog or perhaps Early Bird fitness classes at the JJ Parr. Studies have shown that we’re more likely to stick to a routine in the morning than any other time of the day. High endorphin will give you a natural boost.

Cold shower. Brrr. Yes, nothing wakes you up as a good cold shower. I usually start warm and finish cold. Experts suggest the other way around.

If you have a family, when possible start your day together at the breakfast table. Discuss your tasks and goals. Every parenting magazine stresses that when kids know what to expect they behave better.

Prayer and meditation. There are many ways to pray and meditate. Starting your day with a prayer or meditation will set the tone for your entire day. Take few deep breaths thinking about the good things you are grateful about. If it is your tradition focus on God, ask him for his presence and blessing on your day. Research has shown that prayer and meditation significantly lower the levels of cortisone, reducing stress and the risk of many diseases associated with stress (cardiac, psychiatric, migraines, ulcers).

I encourage you to incorporate these healthy habits into your morning routine. Because better mornings mean happier days!

zbigniew.jonczyk@forces.gc.ca