Jumping time zones and constantly adapting to new cities is exciting, but the biggest responsibilities of being a digital nomad are remaining productive and maintaining your mental health. It is easy to get swooped into adventure when you are flying around the world- in order for the digital nomad to remain grounded, healthy, and focused, consider the importance of a morning routine.
What is a morning routine?
Ignore the mountains of ‘that girl’ content or ‘habits of successful’ people you have seen. A morning routine does not have to be a strict set of rules you must follow or your day is ruined. A morning routine is personal, it is a few habits or small rituals that an individual chooses to create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. This can look different for everyone. If you are someone who needs to focus on mental health, it could be journalling your worries or writing out to-do lists. If you have fitness goals, it could be starting your day with exercise. The point is not to enact every myth that all billionaires eat the same breakfast Every. Single. Day. It is about finding a routine that works for you and makes you feel good.
Why is a morning routine important?
1. Ensure You Have a Good Day
The first feelings we create after we wake up set the tone for the rest of the day. A morning routine allows us to curate how we think and feel moving throughout the day. This is especially important for a digital nomad, who may have some challenges outside of their comfort zone like finding a place to work or adjusting to new cultures.
Studies have shown that practices like journaling for 20 minutes or just thinking grateful thoughts reduce stress and anxiety, improve job performance, and help people deal with troubling experiences. Getting your emotions out of your head and onto paper creates mental space to focus on your tasks, and allows you to reflect on how you are feeling. Thinking about everything you are grateful for will create a positive sensation that will last throughout your day. To truly feel the effects though, you need to commit to turning these practices into habits.
2. Increase Your Productivity, Achieve More
We’ve often heard highly successful people talk about ‘clearing their heads’ and ‘keeping on track’ but using an inner motivation to force oneself to do this is difficult. Books like The Creative Habit by American dancer Twyla Tharp, and Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, have proven that habits are what create stable routines that ensure our work is completed and we feel satisfied. Lots of healthy habits woven together, allows us to focus on what needs to be done. By implementing tiny habits you are more likely to have a productive day.
When it comes to remote work, this could not ring louder. Especially if you are someone who works from home, or from unorthodox spaces. Mirco habits can center you in the right frame of mind to stop distractions and allow you to achieve.
3. Be in Control
The chaos of travel or working from a hotel room can swing people far from their comfort zones and far from the repetitions that help them stay sane. Having a few key tasks, moments, and rituals first thing in the morning gives you a sense of control. A study by The Journal of General Psychology proved that early risers were more likely to stay focused throughout the day. The sense of sticking to one’s routines and non-negotiable agreements with the self increases confidence and even lowers stress.
4. Increase Your Energy Levels
Exercise. We know you’ve heard it before. Exercise is vital for an effective life force, studies have shown that exercising first thing in the morning not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, and maintains your health but it will ensure you have higher energy levels and focus throughout the day. The science is simple: sweating increases heart rate, a higher heart rate increases blood to the brain, and more blood to the brain is good. Be sure to try and exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week, even if you don’t manage to do it first thing in the morning.
5. Be more Flexible
The same routine every day will make it easier for you to adapt to new things. It sounds counterintuitive but it is true. If you maintain a daily morning routine that makes you happy, it will allow you to have a stable mental and emotional tone for the day, allowing you to take on new challenges with a clearer head. Digital Nomads need this, it is a tool that helps people stay ‘grounded’ that meaning centered in their goals, in themselves, and reactive to what is happening around them.
If you would like some tips on possible routines to try take a squiz at our article here, it outlines all the small habits that will help you achieve the many benefits listed above.
Our Final Thoughts: Morning Routines aren’t Easy, but They are Worth it
It’s easy to tell people what to do and why t do it, but from our personal experiences, we all know that sticking to daily routines is difficult, especially while traveling. The thing is, is that taking tiny steps and slowly turning the challenge of a morning routine into a habit that you don’t need to think about anymore can really change your life. There is a lot of information out there about what you should do. We recommend trying out different things and choosing what works for you. Morning routines are a long-term investment, you have to be patient but one day, when you look back, you will be amazed at how much you’ve grown.