There are times when we feel lazy in the morning. Have you hit the snooze button on any given morning and, when you finally wake up, realized you were running late?
You end up running around the house looking for your keys and laptop, you can’t find your shoes, you skip breakfast because who has time for that, and you grab some sugary coffee and donuts on your way to work. Sound familiar?
All that rushing around, and the added anxiety of not being prepared in the morning, can make you feel irritable, lethargic, and stressed the whole day. It can also affect your productivity and your ability to focus and handle a work-related crisis calmly.
A solid morning routine can help set the tone for the entire day and is the backbone of various self-care practices. Starting your day with a healthy morning routine has excellent benefits for both your physical and mental health.
Here are some expert tips to help you start your day on a positive note:
1. Get Everything Organized the Night Before
A healthy morning routine starts the night before. You need to make sure you are prepared for the next day by preparing yourself mentally.
You should also get in a little prep work such as laying out the clothes you plan to wear, making sure you have packed everything you’ll need for the day such as your laptop and notebooks, and getting everything ready for a nutritious breakfast and lunch.
Another good practice is to write down everything you need to do that day to feel more organized and focused throughout the day.
2. Get Up at the Same Time
Waking up at the same time every day can help you set a natural internal clock. This way, you will have less difficulty waking up each day, as your body starts getting used to the routine.
The snooze button is not your friend. Research shows that pushing the snooze button the first time you wake up can make you feel worse when you doget up later.
Set your clock so that you’ll have plenty of time in the morning and won’t have to rush anywhere and get out of bed the first time the alarm goes off.
3. Get Going with morning Hygiene
Once you get out of bed, it is good to have a set morning hygiene routine that you follow every day. Start by making the bed. It might seem like a small task with no benefits, but the chore helps your mind focus on the day ahead and encourages good sleep hygiene.
The next step is splashing cold water on your face. Not only does that fully wake you up, but it also energizes you more effectively than your daily cup of joe. If you can squeeze in a cold shower before breakfast, that’s even better!
4. Put Off Checking Your Phone
Stay away from electronic devices, such as your smartphones and the television, for as long as you can in the morning. As tempting as it might be to reach for your phone while you are lying in bed, checking your emails and social media early in the morning can sap your energy and focus even before the day has started.
Every time you check your smartphone or turn on the TV, your brain gets flooded with potential stressors, such as sad news and urgent notifications that need your attention immediately.
Not to mention the amount of time you stand to waste as you lose yourself down the rabbit hole of social media by clicking link after link and scrolling through feeds.
5. Get a Small Workout in Before Breakfast
Whether you are an exercise person or not, getting in a small workout early in the morning can get your blood flowing and releases feel-good chemicals in your brain.
Get in a few good stretches that loosen your muscles and pop your joints, and do some light yoga poses to energize the body and lift your mood.
If you are up for it, a light jog in the brisk morning air can be especially beneficial and will help you be healthier and more alert throughout the day.
6. Hydrate Your Body
When you wake up in the morning, your body is quite dehydrated from going without water for hours. A good practice is to go to sleep with a covered glass of lemon water that you can drink when you wake up. Whether you add lemon or not, a glass of water in the morning helps boost essential functions in the body, such as your metabolism and circulation, and helps you rehydrate.
7. Make Sure You Have a Healthy Breakfast
Proper nutrition at the start of the day can be essential for your body to function efficiently throughout the day. According to statistics, only 58.3% of Canadians have breakfast every day, while over 6% of the population doesn’t have breakfast at all. Another survey shows that39% of students in Canada skip breakfast regularly, while almost 50% skip it at least once a week.
While it has become a tired old cliché, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day. Regular skipping morning meals or not getting proper nutrition in the morning can make you susceptible to a great number of health issues, including cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, and obesity. Yes, you heard it; skipping breakfast won’t make you skinny.Instead,it elevates the levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood, increasing your chances of weight gain.
A healthy breakfast doesn’t have to be an elaborate meal. Just make sure you are getting a good amount of quality proteins such as flaxseed, eggs, or salmon, and some healthy wholegrains such as oatmeal. You can also add some fresh fruits and veggies for extra vitamins and minerals. And don’t forget to brush your teeth after breakfast to ensure proper oral hygiene!
8. Practice Gratitude
Setting aside a few minutes each morning to practice gratitude and mindfulness can set you up for success. While getting ready for your day, you can either verbalize gratitude by reminding yourself of all the things you should be grateful for or maintain a daily gratitude journal.
You can also meditate for a few minutes by clearing your mind and taking deep breaths to realign your focus on all the positive things in your life. You can also join some short online courses on sites like Tao Academy that can help you practice meditation and provide guidance for a happier and more fulfilling life.