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This 10-Minute Morning Routine Can Turn Your Day Around

Woman stretching in the sunshine to start her day.

Your morning sets the tone for your whole day. Try this 10-minute morning routine to get things moving in the right direction and start your day strong.

Morning Breathing

Whether you are awoken by the dreaded alarm or your own internal body clock, the moment you open your eyes in the morning, your brain and body, together, come online to face the day. The first thing you do definitely matters, as it determines how you’ll transfer your body from the resting and sleeping state to awake and alert.

Avoid any type of sudden movement and stay away from technology and gadgets. Shocking your whole system isn’t really the best way to ease into your day. The key is to keep your stress levels as low as possible, for as long as possible. That’s where breathing techniques come into play.

Keep your eyes open and let them adjust to the darkness or light in your bedroom. Place one of your hands on your belly and the other on your chest; listening to the sounds of your inhales and exhales and noticing the rise and fall of your chest.

Gently deepen your breath and extend your inhales and exhales to a count of 4. Inhale for 1, 2, 3, 4, and exhale for 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat 5-10 times, all the while softly gazing at the ceiling and concentrating on one particular spot, warming up your focus.

After you complete your cycle, let your breath return to normal and feel the vibration of your breath running through your body, sending fresh energy into every cell.

Set Your Intentions

Morning is the perfect time to spend a moment of stillness with yourself and figure out what it is you want and need to accomplish in the day that lies ahead. After you’ve done your breathing exercise, your focus is warmed up and your whole body is replenished with fresh oxygen and energy, ready to fire up all the brain synapses and get to work.

Pick five things you wish to accomplish that day and say them to yourself. You can do it out loud or internally, but let the words form in your mouth. When you speak the words with intention, you’re giving them power and weight. Carefully choose what you want to set out in the universe and let it out.

Let the words linger in the air for a moment and absorb the energy you’ve given them, so that even if you don’t complete everything you wanted, the energy stays and builds for the following day.

Grateful and Powerful Mantras

Setting your five intentions for the day is a great way to hold yourself accountable and create a good internal to-do list. That’s why picking five things you’re grateful for comes next, as you need to express gratitude for all of the things that made setting your intentions possible.

You can tie your grateful mantras to your specific intentions or make them more general, but try switching it up every morning, so you don’t end up going through the motions like you’ve remembered them by heart.

Think of each of the five things, people, or situations you’re grateful for and say it through a mantra beginning with “I’m grateful for….” You can also write it down if journaling is one of your habits. After you’ve completed all five, close your eyes for a moment and feel the gratitude overflow your entire being, so that you really experience the emotions for a second.

Bring The World In

Woman holding a cup of coffee up in the sun, against the cityscape outside her window.
Nick Starichenko/Shutterstock

Once you’ve done your bed work, it’s time to get up and let the world in. Slowly get out of bed and feel both feet firmly on the ground, pushing the floor away from you and feeling the Earth’s energy run through your body. Get up and walk towards your window.

If your blinds are down, slowly lift them up, allowing the light to gradually enter your space. Open the window and feel the fresh air and the morning breeze, and listen to the outside sounds, feeling your neighborhood waking up.

Depending on how warm or cold it is, you can close the window, but keep gazing out to let the light fill your eyes and set your circadian rhythm into motion. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and feel your whole body awaken.

Stretch It Out

And last, but not least, get ready to open up your joints and stretch out your sleepy muscles by doing a few simple stretches to increase your blood flow and wake up your digestive system, preparing you for breakfast and coffee.

Inhale your arms over your head and interlace your fingers. Stretch your arms as high as you can, like you want to reach the ceiling. Lift your shoulders all the way up to your ears and feel your armpits and side body stretch out as well.

Gently lower your arms in front of you in line with your nose, fingers still interlaced. Stretch your arms forward and curve your upper back, like you want both shoulders to touch. Feel your upper back expand, and the space in between your shoulder blades get the so-necessary stretch.

You can lower your head towards your chest and stretch the back of your neck, or keep it straight if that doesn’t feel good.

Now relax your arms by your sides and bring them behind your back, interlacing your fingers one more time. Push into your palms and stretch your arms behind you, opening your chest and stretching your shoulders. Deepen your inhales and exhales, and feel the fresh oxygen getting deeper into your body.

Relax your hands beside you and starting with your head, gently roll your spine downward into a forward fold, placing your hands on your knees or reaching the floor. Bend your knees slightly and feel the weight of your upper body hanging over your legs, gravity stretching out your entire spine.

Slowly begin rounding back up, vertebrae by vertebrae, head coming last. You can repeat this roll two more times. Once you’ve come back to neutral, gently shake everything out, feeling the energy at the edges of your fingertips and toes. Now, you’re ready for the day.

This easy morning routine doesn’t take more than 10 minutes of your time, and it can completely transform your day. What’s left to do than to try it for yourself?

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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