Habits are a funny thing. Some people thrive on consistent, daily habits, while others prefer to wing it and see what the day offers. Everyone has habits. Some are more formalized than others. Establishing good habits in all areas of life can certainly reduce the overwhelm some may experience. Morning habits are a good place to start.
Mornings can be tough. For those of us who thrive better later in the day, mornings can be hard to get through.
However, your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day, so you need to start your day right, not just to get by, but to conquer the day ahead! If we have a routine in place for our mornings, things will be less stressful and we have enough stress in our lives these days, right? While I cannot promise that the following tips will drastically reduce your cortisol levels, trying something new definitely cannot hurt!
Try adding these tips to your morning routine.
Plan your things the night before
You have two choices: you can start your morning calm and pre-planned (i.e. NOT stressed), or you can rush around, not sure what you put in your bag and what you did not. You have a ton of things in your hand including your breakfast, your hair is undone, your shoes are missing, and everything is chaos.
To ensure a pleasant morning, plan a few things ahead of time.
Before you go to bed in the evening, you can set out and iron your clothes out, set out the products that you are going use, pack your essentials (lunch bag waiting in the fridge) and make sure your shoes have their match and are waiting by the door.
In the age of working from home, you can ensure that your workout clothes are ready and waiting for you so you can put them on asap once you get up.
The point is to ensure that you have things all planned out the night before so there is no guess work or scrambling in the morning, whether you are working from home or leaving to go to work.
Wake up a little earlier
If you find it hard to plan out your routine the night before, try waking up a few minutes earlier than the time you actually need to be up. You will reap a lot of benefits if you wake up just ten minutes earlier. You can have a calm and enjoyable morning instead of a rushed one. You will have the time to wake your brain up so you can inspect your essentials with an alert mind and avoid mistakes. Start by waking up 10 minutes earlier each day, gradually working toward 30 minutes in a month’s time.
Wake up immediately
You snooze, you lose. Always wake up the instant you hear your alarm go off. That five minutes of extra sleep is doing nothing but harm and may be confusing your brain. What is the guarantee that you will wake up after five minutes and not an hour later? Then, where will you be?
Make your bed
To make sure that you do not jump right back in, make your bed right after you get out of it. This tells your brain … “nope, we are NOT going back in bed!” This will make you feel productive and motivated to start the rest of your morning right. You will feel like you have already checked one thing off your morning’s to do list. Oh, if you have a partner in bed, then skip this one, unless they are getting up with you.
Stretch and smile
Wake up with a stretch and a smile. Stretching wakes up your body and smiling releases endorphins that will make you feel more positive throughout your morning and the rest of your day. It also shakes that groggy and grumpy feeling first thing in the morning … you know … that feeling.
First thing in the morning is a great opportunity to meditate and say your daily affirmations, especially if no one else is up. You can focus on your intentions for the day and get your mind in the right headspace to achieve your goals.
Brush Your Teeth
Some people believe in brushing their teeth after they are completely done with their morning routine, but it is actually better to brush your teeth first thing when you get into the bathroom. It will wake you up by getting rid of your morning breath and increase alertness by activating your senses.
Let the sunshine in!
Open up your blinds and pushing back your curtains. Let all that natural light in. It will make you feel happy and positive. You will be a lot slower in the morning if you skip this step. This night to morning transition will go a long way toward powering you through your morning routine. Having said this, I know that the time some of us wake up is pretty early and even the sun hasn’t risen yet. In this case, be sure to turn on the lights … all the lights (so at the very least, you don’t trip over anything). You may want to skip the bedroom if your significant other is still sleeping.
Try implementing one of these tomorrow and see how it goes. Then when you have mastered one, try another and another. Soon, your morning routine will be “old hat” and you’ll be starting your day like a boss!
Yours in health and wellness,
Francine Alleyne (RHNP™)
Holistic Nutritionist, Registered Holistic Nutrition Practitioner™
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DISCLAIMER: Please consult your healthcare practitioner if you are experiencing any symptoms. I am not a doctor. This post and anything else you find on my website is intended for informational, educational and self-empowerment purposes ONLY and is not intended to treat or diagnose any condition or disease.