Most of us live busy lifestyles and work long hours. To prime yourself to think creatively, work productively and live happily in the day ahead, your morning shouldn’t be just a thoughtless drag.
Studies prove that willpower is the strongest in the morning before exhaustion and other priorities get in your way. Adopt a healthy morning ritual and you will start to experience a higher state physical and mental well-being. Hold off hitting that snooze button and read up on the below 10 tips to make your day better!
1. Set your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier
You can start your day by hitting the snooze button, dragging yourself out of bed at the last minute, rushing to get ready, and then running out the door with a bread in your mouth. Or, you can get up 10 minutes earlier, give yourself an extra 10 minutes to finish your morning routine in a calm and stress-free manner.
Giving yourself an extra 10 minutes also allows you to get yourself in right frame of mind. Research has shown that not only are early risers more optimistic and conscientious, they solve problems more efficiently.
2. Make your bed
It may seem like unimportant, unnecessary, a waste of time as you’re just going to use it again at night, but making your bed is a simple action to start your day feeling accomplished. A sense of pride, confidence and accomplishment is the mindset you need for an energetic day. Taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take on more and more throughout the day.
Also, the motions of making your bed will make you realize that you have to get on with your day and move on from your “sleep mode”.
3. Let the natural light in
Once you get up, open the curtains and let the sunlight in. Exposure to sunlight in the morning improves alertness and energy levels. Sunlight can also affect your circadian rhythm by sending a message of “rise and shine”! So go ahead, let a bit of sunlight pour in while you get ready. It’s a beautiful way to be woken each morning.
4. Have a glass of honey lemon water
Another simple morning trick is to have a glass of honey lemon water. You want the water to be warm so that it’s not a shock to your system first thing in the morning. The lemon will help get your digestive system ready for the coming meals, and makes the water tastier. Add some honey to cut down on some of the tartness of lemon, so it’s gentle to your stomach.
This can be a great alternative to coffee or you could have it before your coffee as it's the perfect pick me up in the morning.
5. Have oatmeal for breakfast
A bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a great breakfast option. Even if you find it difficult to eat early in the morning, these morning habits and activities we’re introducing will usually work up your appetite.
The benefits of eating oatmeal include lowering your risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Whole grains like oats can help reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol, aid in digestion and control your weight. You can spice it up a bit with fruit, nuts, yogurt, or anything else that you like to give it more flavor.
6. Complete a 7-minute workout
Morning exercise boosts energy, motivation, physical and mental stamina and magnifies your day-to-day productivity. It doesn’t have to be complicated, long, or intense, it can be any physical activities that get your blood flowing.
Our recommendation is to download a 7-minute workout app. There are many easy and effective full body workouts that you choose from. Build up the morning exercise habit, you’ll feel more ready to tackle any problem that comes in the day.
7. Breathing & meditation
They say “tomorrow is another day”, but “tomorrow” can be a stressful term if you have a busy schedule. When we start the day, our mind may be occupied by the long to-do list and endless tasks. One way to combat stress is to practice meditation and simple breathing techniques. A short meditation session can help you start off the day with a calm and clear head.
You can download meditation apps, such as Calm and Headspace, to guide you through 6 - 8 minutes of meditation, or you can just as easily sit in a quiet, softly lit room and practice breathing in and out mindfully.
8. Practice gratitude
Thousands of studies have shown that gratitude is a magic pill for physical and mental health, a practice that helps you feel more optimistic and less anxious. In the morning despite all of the stress you may have in the busy day, you should simply be thankful for the positive vibes in your life.
Count your blessings, name 5 things you are grateful for. These could be things that happened the previous days or more general parts of your life. An attitude of gratitude will automatically shift the way you see, feel, and do everything throughout the day to a better place.
9. Be inspired
Motivation and creativity are fleeting. We feel excited one moment but then experience a crash in emotion when something negative happens.
A morning habit that can be used to “reset” your motivation is to get inspired - watch an inspiring video, listen to an audio book or a podcast or simply read some pieces of motivational quotes.
10. Set Goals For The Day
Set goals for the day, or review your goals if you already created one. It helps you:
1) Create plans and steps to reach those goals;
2) Put your day in perspective;
3) Know what’s important to accomplish for the day;
The goal doesn't have to be work related or anything complex. It can be something simple such as getting in an extra 5 minutes of exercise, taking a walk during lunch break, having dinner with your spouse. As long as you start your day off with some goals in mind, you're going to have something to accomplish and it's going to help motivate you throughout the day.