For some of us, starting your day with a healthy morning is hard. For others, mornings in general are just hard. Whether you’re the definition of a morning person or you would rather hide under the covers until noon, these tips will help you kickstart your daily routine and make the most of your morning.
Let in the natural light.
As tempting as it is to close your blinds or curtains at night and wake up to a cozy, dark cave of a room, leaving them half open will make it much easier to get out of bed in the morning. Natural light will let your brain know it’s time to wake up by slowing melatonin production and boosting adrenaline. To make it even easier on yourself, get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day so your body gets on a schedule. If possible, make sure the schedule allows for seven or eight hours of sleep each night.
Set your alarm early, but don’t snooze it.
If your blinds are half open in the morning, you’ll probably be somewhat awake before your alarm even goes off. Give yourself extra time, but don’t use it to keep sleeping in 9-minute increments. The longer you snooze, the harder it will be to finally get up. Instead, use the extra time to stretch, do yoga or meditate for 10 or 15 minutes before you officially start your day. This will leave your mind and body feeling refreshed and ready to go.
Eat well and hydrate.
Stay full longer and boost your energy level with a healthy breakfast of fruit, whole grains and low-fat protein. Have a glass of orange juice and a glass of water with your breakfast, too. The water gets you a head start on hydrating your body with the recommended eight glasses per day. Orange juice aids your immune system with vitamin C and studies show that the small amount of sugar it contains can actually be good for you to have in the morning.
Reduce stress the night before.
If you’re someone who moves slowly in the morning, you might get stressed out when you end up running late trying to fit a million tasks into a small time frame. Reduce your stress and make room for more healthy morning habits by doing things like laying out an outfit, showering, packing a lunch or a bag and planning out your breakfast the night before.
Think about your goals.
At some point in your morning routine, take time to think about what you want to accomplish during the day. Make a mental checklist of your goals or even just one promise to yourself that you will keep that day. You don’t have to take time to sit down and write it out — just do it while you’re in the shower, making breakfast, on your morning run or while you meditate or stretch when you first wake up. This practice will mentally prepare you for the day ahead and help you stay focused on what you want.
Not everyone is going to wake up at 6 a.m. to go to the gym before their daily engagements, but even the smallest amount of physical activity can help get your blood pumping, boost your energy and keep you healthy. Go for a 10- or 20-minute jog around your neighborhood, or if you don’t have time for that, take the stairs instead of the elevator when you get to your destination.
Wake up with a motivational quote. Don’t forget that mental and emotional health is just as important as physical health. Getting yourself excited to start the day will make achieving all these healthy morning habits more possible, and the good mood it will put you in is likely to carry on and continue to motivate you throughout the day. When you encounter challenges later on, think back to the quote and the attitude it created when you read it that same morning.