Many of us take our mornings for granted. We wake up filled with boundless reserves of energy and positivity. But then, we pick up our smartphones and slide down some or the other rabbit hole, swiping and scrolling away the precious minutes that follow. Ultimately, you end up running late and skipping exercise or a proper breakfast. Before your laptop even boots up, your mind is buzzing with a million distracting thoughts and emotions. All you can think of is that urgent work email your boss sent at 3 am, the vacation photo your friend posted, or the anger-inducing news article you read. If this sounds like you on most days, what you may need is a proper morning routine, one that keeps you energised, focused, calm and productive no matter what the rest of the day throws at you.

There are many wake-up routines. You can combine some of these or select the ones you like. The important thing is to practice your routine daily. It may feel difficult initially, but do it for at least two weeks, and you’ll gradually get used to it.

1. Wake up gently and sit in silence

Immediately after waking up, sit in silence for five minutes. Don’t consume any content or think about your schedule. Just be at rest and feel your body and mind as it wakes up. Then focus on your breath. You may get distracted by various thoughts – if that happens, observe your thoughts from a distance, and then gradually shift your focus back to your breath.

2. Write 'morning pages'

When thoughts do come flooding in, start recording them in a book (not on your phone). Julia Cameron, in her book The Artist’s Way, suggests writing down one’s morning thoughts as they come, and without any judgements. This exercise is called morning pages, and it’s great for getting rid of negativity, doubts, or overthinking and returning to a calm state of mind. Cameron asks readers to keep a notebook and a pen beside their beds and recommends a minimum of three pages. If you feel blank, you can still write down: “I don’t know what to write.” Do this even if you are drowsy. This exercise helps you clear out negative emotions and thoughts.

3. Practice positive affirmations

After your morning pages, write down some positive affirmations. Affirmations are a great way to motivate yourself and dismantle any blockages preventing you from living your ideal life. Start by selecting a goal you want to achieve or something new you want to start, and then write it in the present tense. For example, if you feel you have low confidence, affirm, “I am confident”, or “I am getting confident”, or “I am working on my confidence”. Then try to visualise this change in your mind as best as you can: what it will look and feel like.

Practice this daily and write down as many affirmations as you need. This isn’t just airy-fairy stuff; affirmations are practiced by athletes, entrepreneurs, and high performers across domains.

4. Exercise or practice yoga

Exercise is another great way to fill yourself with energy and a positive mindset. Try yoga, pranayama, running, cycling, gym workouts: anything that makes you feel better. Preferably do this outdoors or close to nature in some way. The benefits of exercise go beyond your physical health. Exercise of any form increases memory, cognitive functioning, performance, creativity, focus and mental health. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety.

5. Have a distraction-free breakfast

By focusing on our food, we gain sensory satisfaction with the quality of the food. Becoming aware of the nutrients, proteins, taste of the food is more satisfying for our body and brain. When you eat a distraction-free meal, you eat less and focus more on the elements of the food. Have one distraction-free meal in a day. Breakfast is a good choice because we have it before starting our day so you can have a distraction-free space.

6. Play a motivational podcast or video

Listen to or watch a motivational podcast or video before you commence your daily work. Doing so will improve your mood and drive up your energy levels. Over time, this habit will help you get rid of negative thought patterns and change the behaviours, skill-sets, or attitudes that aren’t serving you well. You can watch or listen to an audiobook, a speech, a song, or even a spiritual lecture; anything is fine as long as it fills you with positivity and energy and equips you with the tools or advice you need in your life.

It may take a while to establish the exact routine that works for you. Of course, it helps if you wake up early since you’ll have more time to follow the routine. Just be patient and consistent, and you will notice the changes in mood, energy, and performance soon enough.