By Teachers, For Teachers
Students thrive on routine because they are predictable. Just as you have a morning routine for your students, you should have a morning routine for yourself in the teaching profession. Why, you may ask? Because when you know what you need to do each morning, it can not only save you time, but it can also save you from a lot of unwanted frustration. Once you develop a solid, structured morning routine in the teaching profession, you will thrive just like your students. Here are a few tips to help you start planning your morning routine.
The teaching profession can be exhausting, as you stay up late grading papers or scouring the Internet for lesson plan ideas. While the thought of waking up earlier may make you cringe, think about all of the benefits of getting out of bed earlier.
You will be less distracted. When you get out of bed before everyone else in your house, you’ll have more “Me time.” This means that you can get whatever it is that you want done, without any distractions.
You will have more time to exercise. When you get up earlier to exercise, then you will have no excuses that you didn’t have the time to do it. Many people are often too tired to work out after a long day, but when you get up earlier to exercise, then you’ll get it out of the way, and the endorphins your body produces will fill you with energy.
Your productivity will be enhanced. Early risers tend to get more done, because the brain tends to be the most alert in the morning. You also tend to make better decisions and think more clearly.
Start by setting a goal for what you want to accomplish each morning, this will help you figure out the best time to get up. If you normally get out of bed at 7 a.m., then set your alarm for 6:45 for a day or two. Then increase the time slowly by 10-15 minutes until you reach the time that you want to awaken each morning. Investing in yourself by getting up earlier each day will not only help you physically, but mentally (better concentration, sleep, and overall well-being).
An effective morning routine shouldn’t be rushed -- you need to start your day slowly and give your brain time to wake up. Pick a few habits to start your day so you’ll feel refreshed and alert. Here are a few suggestions.
A quiet activity like meditation is a great way to start your day, because it has been proven to reduce anxiety, lower stress levels, improve attention, and create calmness and mental stability. Simply breathing in and out slowly or following a guided meditation will help you relax and improve your focus for the day.
Yoga is another quiet, relaxing way to start your morning routine. A simple yoga routine can reduce stress and depression, improve sleep patterns, improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, and enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, as well as your overall well-being.
Setting an intention before you get out of bed is another great way to start the day. Some people find it effective to stay in bed and close their eyes and set their daily intentions or think about what they are grateful for, while others like to write their morning words in a journal. Whatever you prefer, writing in a journal or setting an intention is a nice way to ease into your new morning routine.
Once you decide how you’d like your morning routine to go, then you need to stick with it. Any new habit takes 21 days before it will really stick. So for the time in between those 21 days, you need to stay the course. Even if you didn’t sleep well the night before, don’t hit your snooze button. If your new morning routine is to wake up 30 minutes earlier and meditate, write in your journal, and take your dog for a quick walk, then you need to do just that. If you feel that your new routine isn’t working for you after the 21 days, then change it.
It’s important to find a morning routine that works for you. If you are not a morning person and don’t care about the many benefits of waking up earlier, then don’t. If your idea of a great morning routine is waking up and watching your DVR while having an espresso, then that’s OK too. The goal is to create a routine that is effective and works for you. However, it should include something that contributes to a better you, meaning eating healthy, working out, meditation, or taking some time for yourself. Remember to keep it simple, and find a morning routine that you will enjoy waking to each day.
What does your morning look like in the teaching profession? Do you follow a specific routine? Please share with us, we’d love to hear what you have to say on this topic.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a master’s of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the elementary education expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.