Alex’s Morning Routine

Over the years the first 2-3 hours of my day, my morning routine, have looked vastly different. They have in fact been the extreme opposites. For a period I would wake early, have a shower, brew a coffee and get straight to work at 06:00. These days the first 2-3 hours of my day are focused on ‘self-care’, ensuring I am in the best state possible for productivity and service.

This blog dives in to the different strategies I use.

Journalling

Journalling can be an incredibly healing experience for many. I have heard from clients that it is a life changing habit, and I would agree. I started journalling by using the 5 Minute journal which is a beautifully designed journal. I then moved on to the Daily Greatness Journal and now I simply journal in an empty note pad.

In fact journalling has been shown to contribute to:

  • Fewer stress-related visits to the doctor
  • Improved immune system functioning
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Improved lung function
  • Improved liver function
  • Fewer days in hospital
  • Improved mood/affect
  • Feeling of greater psychological well-being
  • Reduced depressive symptoms before examinations
  • Fewer post-traumatic intrusion and avoidance symptoms
  • Reduced absenteeism from work
  • Quicker re-employment after job loss
  • Improved working memory
  • Improved sporting performance
  • Higher students’ grade point average
  • Altered social and linguistic behaviour

Meditation

One of the interventions that makes the most significant difference to how I feel and perform is meditation. When I am consistent with my practice (30 minutes+ per day), I am calmer, have greater clarity of thought, have more compassion and patience, and am 100% a better husband, brother, son, friend and practitioner. These days I meditate without the use of any support such as an App but you may like to check out the Apps:

  • Headspace
  • Calm
  • Insight Timer

I have also tried meditating to binaural beats which has been really effective.

Cold Shower

This, as many of you know, has been largely populated by Wim Hof. It really is one of the best ways to wake up and feel energised. The Wim Bof website states:

“Frequent exposure to cold is linked to a number of different health benefits. For example, scientists have found evidence that exposure to cold speeds up metabolism. Another benefit of exposing your body to cold is that it reduces inflammation, swelling and sore muscles. Therefore, many athletes use ice baths and other types of exposure to cold as a means to speed up recovery after physical exercise. Furthermore, cold body therapy is also linked to improved quality of sleep, more focus and even to an improved immune response.”

A cold shower must be one of the easiest additions to a morning routine (assuming you shower in the morning!).

Coffee

Likely something that is already part of your morning routine.

I love coffee. But I only have one per day. Primarily because I simply don’t seem to enjoy a second. I actually started drinking coffee for it’s health benefits when I was about 25, having avoided it for health reasons up until that point(!). But not all coffee is made equal. I’m a big fan of Monmouth coffee. Ben Greenfield has some great resources around the health benefits of coffee such as this podcast.

A great ‘hack’ is to add a little cardamon or rosemary to your coffee – apparently blending coffee with these type of compounds enhances the free radical-scavenging and antioxidant properties of coffee.

Breathwork

I have, for a period of time, used the App ‘Flourish’ created by Richie Bostock. I have explored many other techniques discussed in my blog post The Ultimate Guide To Breathwork.

Sun exposure

I get outside for anything from 5-30 minutes and expose myself to as much sunlight as possible. This helps maintain a healthy circadian rhythm – one of the most important elements for optimal health.

You may like to check out the book The Circadian Code.

Grounding

Grounding, or earthing, refers to connecting electrically with the Earth. A growing body of research is finding numerous health benefits as a result of the physical body being grounded.

Groundology, one of the leading producers of grounding technology state on their website that there are two key reasons why this electrical connection is important:

  1. The Earth is a massive reservoir of negatively charged free electrons. Without a connection to this reservoir, the cells in our body are unable to balance the positive charge which results from things like electron-deficient free radicals. The effect of excess positive charge in the blood can be seen very clearly by the way in which the cells are attracted to clump together (see Scientific Research).
  2. Our modern environment is full of a wide spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, from computers, mobile phones & masts, radio & TV broadcasts, WiFi, Bluetooth, power lines, domestic wiring, and other electrical appliances. This electromagnetic radiation induces voltages in our bodies, disrupting the trillions of subtle electrical communications which are a vital part of the function of our body’s systems. By being grounded to the Earth we greatly reduce the levels of these induced voltages, as we are then effectively shielded by the Earth’s large electrical mass.

On a less tangible level, it may also be that the connection we make with the Earth actually carries information, and helps align us with the greater network of intelligence of our planet.

The simplest way to be grounded is to go outside and place your bare feet or hands on some grass or earth, or to immerse yourself in a body of conductive water such as the sea or a mineral-rich lake.

When indoors, an Earth connection can be made by driving a metal rod into the ground outside, running a wire from the rod, and then connecting it to ourselves.

This may sound like a lot of hassle, but fortunately the majority of domestic electrical systems in the world already have such a rod and wire running indoors, connecting to the ‘earth’ pin on every mains electrical outlet. And rather than having to connect a wire to ourselves, a variety of conductive products have been developed, such as earthing sheets, mats, bands and patches.

You can check out some of the research on grounding here and my blog on it here.

Reading

I’ll spend anything from 5-30 minutes reading. I’m currently reading Women Who Run With The Wolves which I highly recommend. Check out my book library for some of my favourite recommendations.

Other Resources To Support Your Morning Routine

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