May 25 2022 – Hunter DeRusha
To showcase our collaboration with sustainable surf wear brand Elation The Label we explore why a morning routine is so important and how to create a positive morning ritual for yourself, backed by science! We also talk to our ZONE founder Lydia Lassila and founder of Elation, Kellie Mitchell about what gets them out of bed in the morning.
Why is a Morning Routine Important?
Creating your own morning ritual will set you up for the day ahead and give you a positive foundation to face any challenges that arise throughout your day. It is no coincidence that elite athletes, enlightened yogi's and successful business people often share this one habit in common - having a morning routine has been proven to increase productivity, improve mood and give you a sense of accomplishment, even before you start work for the day.
A 2020 research study was conducted to discover the impact of a disrupted morning routine on employees. The study concluded that when the subjects’ morning routines were interrupted they experienced higher levels of depletion, feelings of fatigue and reduced calmness throughout the day.
How To Create a Successful Morning Routine
Everybody will have a different morning routine that works best for them, and it's important to be flexible and remember that although not every morning will go as planned, there are some key factors that are proven to help with establishing your morning ritual.
SLEEP - A good morning routine begins the night before. Making sure you are rested enough so that you can wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day is important. For the benefits and how to create a sleep routine, see our ZONE blog about sleep!
MORNING LIGHT - Beginning your day with natural light will help to stimulate your body clock (the suprachiasmatic nucleus in your brain) by receiving signals from your environment. Exposing yourself to morning light within the first 30 minutes of waking is a key recommendation of neuroscientist Professor Andrew Hueberman who explains that there’s a circuit between the circadian clock and the adrenals that trigger the release of cortisol to wake you up. This pulse is especially strong when you view light in the first 30 minutes of waking up. Viewing sunlight in the morning, and again in the evening, helps to keep your clock in harmony so that your sleep, energy, and mood, can all remain stable.
EXERCISE - A 2018 case study demonstrated a significant relationship between morning exercises and a reduction in level of depression, anxiety and stress. There was also a significant relationship between morning exercises and increasing general health level as well as controlling stress levels in a positive way. This might mean adding some gentle yoga or stretching, a morning run or walk or even a cold plunge into the ocean or surf to help wake you up!
COFFEE - What you put into your body in the morning has a big impact on how your body functions. If you are a coffee lover then there is some good news. Dr. Tim Crowe from Thinking Nutrition explains that caffeine is a stimulant and it works in your brain by blocking the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. He says that by blocking adenosine, caffeine increases activity in the brain and releases other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine. This reduces tiredness and makes you feel more alert, so can be a useful part of your morning routine. However, if you find coffee too stimulating in the morning you might like to explore a decaffeinated beverage or even consider coffee that has adaptogens such as SPKD Blends. We explain more about adaptogens and coffee here.
BREAKFAST - The most important meal of the day! A 2001 Cambridge University review states that breakfast consumption has a positive effect in improving performance and selected learning skills, especially working memory. Ensure your breakfast is healthy and full of essential nutrients.
MINDFULNESS - Whether you take a few minutes to meditate, do some breathwork, write in a journal or even sit quietly over a cup of tea - having some down time in the morning to let your mind soften will help to improve your mood and be an integral part fo your morning routine. To help you begin your morning with some mindfulness we have a blog about breathwork and also an explainer on what happens during meditation. You can also use our ZONE 5 minute Guided Meditation below.
Surf and Yoga Morning Routine with Elation's Kellie Mitchell
Kellie is a surfer, nature enthusiast and entrepreneur who uses her morning routine to help her feel motivated and energised to work towards her dreams.
"A positive start to my day is important to me so that I can stay grounded and focused on prioritising a balanced emotional, physical, mental and spiritual body for optimal performance.
Being a small business owner it is easy to fall into stagnation and overwhelm when you constantly put work before yourself."
Below is Kellie's morning ritual that keeps her energy nourished and creative juices flowing throughout the day.
- Wake up around 6.15am followed by morning coffee and to-do list. This begins the day with intention and organisation to be as productive as possible (I find seeing tasks highlighted off when completed extremely satisfying).
- Morning surf - Playing in the waves gives me a sense of freedom for self expression and inspiration.
- Breakfast followed by a gentle 20 minute flow, meditation and journal to set into myself for the day, feel my emotions and write down any inspirational messages I have received.
- Normally I will start work around 10am, depending on the swell that determines my start time. I always set up meetings for later in the morning or after lunch, having flexible work hours allows me to set up my day to prioritise myself.
"I recognise that my morning ritual won't suit everyone's lifestyle, I encourage you to find what works for you so that you can reduce stress levels and feel as happy as possible!"
Creating a flexible Morning Routine for Mums and Travelling, with our ZONE founder, Lydia Lassila
Morning routines don't always go according to plan! And one routine won't suit you for every phase of life. Our ZONE founder, Lydia Lassila is an Olympic Champion Aerial Skier, mum of two and business owner. She currently living in Lapland, Finland but also calls Lorne Victoria home. Lydia established a morning routine as an elite athlete, and has found that it has shifted many times, since becoming a mother, a business owner and moving overseas. She explains how she creates time for her favourite morning rituals and stays flexible when she needs to.
“I start my day with some yoga or exercise followed by a quiet cup of coffee and journaling or planning for my day ahead. Even though I’m not naturally a morning person, I’ve grown to love getting up before the sun (and kids) and feel like I get a beautiful pocket of time for myself and it sets me up perfectly for my day.”
“When I’m living in Australia, I like to wake at 5am, although since living in Lapland, my schedule changes quite a bit. During the long winter, it’s very dark and only a few hours of sunlight per day so I find I need more sleep.”
“I find I’m so much more productive on an early morning schedule. Exercising early is the best way to start the day and I feel so charged and energised. I also love the quietness before the house wakes up… I feel like that time is mine and really special. I get to bed at around 9, so that I get my 8hrs of sleep!”
Lydias morning routine
- 5am - Wake up (later when in Finlad) and get straight into exercise or yoga.
- 6:15 - Shower.
- 6:30 - First cup of glorious coffee. Journaling and planning for the day.
- 7:00 - Kids are awake/ breakfast
- 8:00 - School
- 8:30 - Start the workday
“I don’t like to be rigid with this schedule nor feel like I ’should’ or ‘have to’ but I’m motivated to stick to it because I ‘want to and like to’. If I have a late night, its ok, I’ll sleep later. I also give myself the weekends off.”
ZONE By Lydia was created to help you LIVE BETTER and creating a morning ritual is a positive step to helping you achieve your goals and boost happiness throughout the day. If you are struggling to get into a routine, start small with just one of the tips above and over time you can build on your morning ritual and find what works best for you.
- To help support movement and mindfulness in the morning check out our ZONE sustainable Yoga range.
- If your morning ritual goal is to get into the ocean for a swim or surf then Elation The Label have you covered.
- A big thank you to The Yoga Place Cafe, who are an integral, sustainable and healthy part of so many peoples mornings and to SPKD Blends, who have reinvented our morning coffee routine.