It seems that some humans are just born as morning people while others just wish … well that mornings could be moved to a more convenient time of the day! If you are in the second category (we totally get it), don’t lose hope! Here are 8 tips to help you start the day off right and transform your A.M. into a happy (or at least tolerable) ritual!
Take Your Time Before Getting Up
No. Unfortunately, we are not talking about hitting snooze 14 times in a row to enjoy a few more minutes of sleep. In fact, did you know that this habit is likely to make you even more grumpy in the morning? You read that right! Basically, by doing this, you are sending out conflicting signals to your body and your brain. Get up! No, go to sleep! Come on, get up! Who could possibly rise AND shine right after that kind of internal conflict? As we always say: you snooze, you lose. So when your alarm goes off, open your eyes, enjoy the last seconds of that awesome dream starring Bradley Cooper, stretch gently, take a few deep breaths and enjoy the moment before slowly rolling out of bed. Of course, you have to do all of this without falling back asleep!
Make Your Bed
Yes, your mom was right all along, making your bed will improve your mornings. How? Research shows that people who make their bed in the morning are more productive during the day. Why? Because completing this task gives them a sense of accomplishment. Isn’t that a great feeling right after you wake up? In other words, it’s a way to put the night behind and welcome the new day.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve been hearing that one since childhood: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eating a balanced breakfast gives you enough energy to complete your to-do list and also helps you eliminate that dreaded 10:30 I-want-carbs-attack, which will most likely send you running for the vending machine and its high-calorie-super-processed snacks.
Sit Down to Enjoy Your Meal
If you already go the extra mile to prepare a healthy breakfast, make sure you sit down to enjoy it! If you are guilty of gobbling down your piece of whole grain toast while trying to put on a shoe and asking-yelling at your teenager to hurry, read the next sentence. Eating meals while standing increases the chances of overeating and eating too fast. So, even if it means getting up a few minutes earlier, make sure you schedule enough time to enjoy breakfast without having to multitask at the same time. Set the table, cut some fresh fruits, choose your favourite breakfast food and make it a relaxing moment.
Resist the Urge to Pick Up Your Phone
Before you start reading the status of your sister-in-law’s cousin’s cousin on social networks about her frustrating experience with the lack of customer service at her favourite doughnut shop, or the news, or your work emails, give your time a few minutes to think about … nothing. In fact, make that more than a few minutes. If you can, don’t look at your phone before leaving the house. Mornings should be Zen and meditative moments of happiness. After all, you will have the whole day to worry about the fate of the planet and your colleague’s passive-aggressive email.
Think Positive Thoughts
Speaking of chasing away negativity, include positive thoughts in your morning routine. Here are a few ideas. Practice mindfulness and gratitude by thinking of three reasons why you are thankful for the day ahead. This requires you to take a minute to focus on everything that is beautiful and comforting in your life. Reading an inspirational quote could also improve your mood, while visualizing what could go right or writing down your daily goals in a journal might change your mind about how much you dislike mornings!
Exercise Before Leaving for Work
You don’t have to run a half-marathon every morning. A short fifteen minute walk before your daily commute is a fine way to start your day. If you are running out of time, try parking your vehicle a few blocks away from work and speed walk your way to the office. Taking public transportation? Head to the next bus stop instead of the one in front of your house.
Last but not Least…
As someone once said, “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” To start the day off right, nothing beats getting ready the night before. Plan your outfit, set the breakfast table, pack your lunch and put your bag on the doorstep. Make sure your keys are where they should be to avoid playing a recurring role in another episode of “The Endless Frantic Search for the Missing Keys.” (If you are NOT a morning person, you know what we are talking about!). Good morning, time to rise AND shine.