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  • Ronan Harrington

My 18 Step Morning Routine (part 1 of 3)



I have a morning routine that would make Patrick Bateman blush. It's slightly embarrassing to admit, but it's why I'm able to work at full capacity as a keynote speaker despite having a chronic health condition.


Lots of tips here to be on top form every day!


Steps 1, 2 and 3 - 5:30-6:00am

Tulsi + Electromagnetic frequency + Gratitude/forgiveness practice


There is a reason we often feel like shit in the morning. The body down regulates our inflammation response as part of its overnight repair work, and in the morning we experience 'inflammation rebound', which is why you might experience aches when you first get out of bed. The body gets us out of bed with a healthy spike in cortisol, which is also why we can feel a little irritable.


Upon waking, I immediately drink a cup of Tulsi tea with a sprinkle of sea salt (made the night before). I do this because Tulsi mops up excess cortisol and balances blood sugar, while the sea salt replenishes my electrolytes, which the brain needs to be productive.


I then lie on a Pulse Electromagnetic Frequency Mat set to 8hz, which is the Earth's magnetic frequency. This sounds very woo, but there are lots of good clinical studies that connecting to the earth's magnetic frequency (as we all did as bare foot hunter gathers) brings a host of health benefits. It reduces inflammation, improves oxygen carry capacity of red blood cells, and clears free radicals which damage the mitochondria.


While on the Mat, I do a 5 min gratitude practice. It turns out we've been doing gratitudes all wrong! We typically think of 5 things we're grateful for, but this doesn't trigger a positive and permanent shift in our pro-social neural circuitry. For this, it's best to imagine to receive gratitude from another person having helped them, or more conveniently, to vividly remember a time when you did.


I also do a forgiveness practice, which is a gold standard intervention to increase well-being and a practice I often share with my clients and audiences as a keynote speaker.

Here I come with three examples of where I forgive myself and three examples of where I forgive others. This could be for the smallest things: forgiving myself for a passive aggressive remark or for someone for being late to a meeting. It helps lightens the burden of guilt we all carry and to start each day anew.


Steps 4 and 5 - 6:00-6:30am

Morning Light + Walking


Then I go for a 10 min morning walk. 'Forward ambulation', as walking is known in the clinical literature, induces optic flow, which calms the amygdala - the fear/anxiety centre of the reptilian brain. Catching morning light resets your circadian rhythms and it one of the best things you can to encourage your morning cortisol along and put you in the best place for quality sleep later that night.


It's 6:30am and I already feel 50% better. Now it's time for deep work.



This piece was originally shared as a post on my LinkedIn and inspired by day-to-day insights from my own experience with burnout and my work as a keynote speaker and resilience strategist.


I offer 1:1 coaching for leaders focused on good habit formation. Book a 30 min call with me today to explore this offer.

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