Did you know that the choices we make and the steps we take in those first few minutes after opening our eyes can set the tone for our entire day?
Indeed, how we spend our initial waking hour or so can make or break the morning, afternoon and evening.
If you’re wanting to reboot your a.m. routine to lift your mood, boost your energy and enhance your productivity, here are a few ways to make the most out of this valuable window of time:
1. Grab a book, grab a journal. Grab anything other than your phone
Power up your brain and body with nourishing activity and content that will help you ground and grow, rather than turning straight to social media. Write down your goals and everything you're grateful for, or set your intentions for the day. Read an inspirational book, listen to a podcast or music, or spend a few minutes doodling in a notepad. Take control of what you feed your mind. In other words, put good in to get good out.
2. Time your cup o' joe
A cup (or two) of coffee can provide a jolt of energy needed to seize the day and save the world... or at least make it to lunch without a nap. Program your coffee pot to have a fresh-brewed pot waiting for you when you wake up each morning, and make your home smell like your own personal café. But remember that the earlier you sip your java, the more time your body has to burn off the caffeine before bed and enjoy a full night’s sleep.
3. Let the sunshine in
You know the feeling when you wake up from a deep sleep, walk over to the window, open the curtains, take in a long breath and feel an overwhelming sense of alertness? That’s your circadian rhythm at work. Our eyes have receptors that gauge the brightness of light around us and signal to our brain: “It's light and bright — must be daytime", or “It's dark in here — time to go to sleep." When your alarm wakes you up to a dark room, your brain still thinks you should be in sleep mode. This makes it harder to wake up. Lighting your room will help your brain accept the fact that it is, indeed, time to get up. Because of our body's sleep/wake cycle, waking up to natural sunlight also can help you fall and stay asleep at night.
4. Rise and grind
Exercising first thing in the morning helps your mind and body wake up naturally and is one of the best ways to feel energized and happy all day long. Early-a.m. workouts also can increase mental clarity and pave the way for a productive workday. Plus, knocking out those sweat sessions early frees you up to rest and recharge in the evening. Routines can help us get ready for an early bedtime and to rise earlier for workouts in the morning.
5. Fuel up
We wake up at breakfast time for a reason. Our bodies need protein, carbs and fats to function properly. Starting the morning off with a healthy meal fills us up and keeps us focused. Your car can't run without gas, and your body doesn't perform to its full potential on empty. So be sure to nourish yourself for a great day and avoid “hangry" attacks.
While we can't control everything life throws our way, we can control what we allow to enter our minds and lives first thing in the morning. Positivity breeds more positivity, so follow these simple tips to start each morning on the best possible note.