It doesn’t really take a lot to become a morning person. Even the notorious night owl could make a few changes to her morning routine that will set a positive mood for the entire day. You, too, can follow some of these simple hacks towards creating better mornings for yourself.
- Get some shut eye
In preparation for the morning after, turn off all electronics at least one hour before bedtime. With that, be sure to go to bed at a decent hour. Of course, the rule of thumb is that you should be logging at least 6.5 hours a night. Your body needs a chance to recharge itself. When you wake up, your body will thank you for the time rested. Not to mention, getting more snooze time actually aids in weight loss as your body will not be so fatigued from a lack of zzz’s. Thus, the less tired you are, the more alert you’ll be for the rest of the day. You will no longer be tempted to reach for those “comfort” snacks you’ve been so accustomed to when you were tired.
- Wake up at the same time, every day – even the weekends
Our bodies work like clocks, so you have the power to take control of your internal clock. Set an alarm to wake yourself up at the same time each day. As tempting as it may be to sleep in on the weekends, doing so is actually causing you to be more tired. Having an inconsistent sleep schedule can make it difficult for your body to adjust to a normal routine in general. Plus, when you wake up early on weekends, you get to enjoy them a lot more knowing that you didn’t spend a big percentage of them sleeping in. From here, you might start to make your mornings much more productive.
Find your inner mantra and practice some breathing exercises. You don’t necessarily need to get out of bed to do this either. As you wake up, take some deep breaths and concentrate on opening your diaphragm. You might have a very busy day ahead of you so meditating will help relieve tension many people face when first waking up. With deadlines and to-do’s looming, practicing a few deep breaths while centering your mindset will greatly alleviate the anxiousness you may experience from such a busy day.
- Give yourself time to read, listen to news, podcasts
In part with waking up at a decent time each day, you should also time your alarm with enough “relaxation” time. This means, whether you want to do it before or after you get ready, carve out some time to read the morning newspaper and sip your morning cup of Joe. Or maybe take this time to converse with family. Either way, find something non-challenging but still enough to give you a sense of normalcy. So many people have conditioned themselves to wake up, get ready and rush out the door. This hastiness only causes more anxiety throughout the day as they didn’t get a chance to progressively work through the morning and prep for the day’s events. So, whether it be an extra 15 minutes or an hour, it will make a big difference in determining your mood for the remainder of the day.
- Eat breakfast
Experts aren’t lying when they chose breakfast to be the most important meal of the day. Skimping on breakfast will not only leave you feeling fatigued, but can lead to weight gain and lack of concentration. Eating in the morning, preferably 1 hour after waking up, will give you the energy needed to start the day as well as jumpstart your metabolism. Your body will begin burning calories all day just from eating breakfast. It’s important to remember that not all breakfast items are created equal, though. Put down the sugary Frosted Flakes and opt for something that is high in protein and fiber. These two nutrients will keep you energized and benefit your weight maintenance or loss goals.
Physical activity is recommended daily for overall health. However, doing so in the morning will be most beneficial in starting your day off right. Working out in the am gives your body that jumpstart it needs to burn calories all day and keep you feeling alert for hours on end. This is something that even coffee can’t compete with. Don’t have time for the gym? Get a treadmill in home or other portable workout machines to prevent any excuse from moving your body. You will certainly see a higher energy level from simply adding a morning exercise to your day.
- Create a To-Do List to tackle on the day
Now that you are ready to take on the day, evaluate your priorities and determine what you need to do to get things done. Keep a calendar or notebook to outline all the tasks you have to complete for the day. You can also plan out weekly tasks to organize your thoughts and responsibilities. We all get overwhelmed with the many things we have to do such as picking up the dry-cleaning or prepping for that big presentation with your boss. When you are able to transfer that to a more organized resource and map out a plan to complete them, the less chaos you’ll have going on in your head. Another plus side is that you’ll feel accomplished after being able to check those items off when they’ve been tended to.