Everything seems to move so fast these days. We’re all trying to get somewhere, all in a hurry to get things done within our 24 hours. When this happens, it’s easy to overlook some of the other important things, such as slowing down, taking good care of ourselves, and living ordered and intentional lives. Creating a routine is one of the best ways to navigate this reality and mornings are perfect for this. It is the most important time of the day and whether we realize it or not, a good morning greatly influences the productive hours ahead. That is why adopting a healthy lifestyle right from when the sun rises is not only beneficial, it is necessary. Let’s get down to some of the simple habits you can adopt to help you get the best out of the day.
1. Stop Abusing Your Body
In other words, get enough rest at night. More often than not how our days go, whether gloomily or full of positive vibes and energy, depends on how well-rested our bodies are in the morning. The body is not a machine, and even machines get tired and need time to recharge. The rapidly moving world seems to be churning out a population of insomniac people who make such utterances as “it’s me and my 3 hours of sleep against the world” and then punctuate it with a laugh. But beyond the humour in this, there lies an entertaining problem that needs to go away. If your body clock has malfunctioned, try to get it back on track. Cut off screen time at least 30 minutes before bedtime and banish the night owl in you because early to bed…you know the rest. And yes, some people do work at night, but even they have to rest too. What’s important is to create a sleep schedule that allows you to get at least 7 at night. And if you have trouble sleeping, do seek medical help because it’s one thing surviving on a couple of hours of sleep, but it’s a different kind of pain wanting to sleep and not being able to.
2. Avoid the Snooze Button!
It’s tempting to hit snooze in the morning, yes. But it’s also dangerous and really, what good could those fragmented extra 5 minutes of sleep do? Your bed is comfortable and the desire to close your eyes again is really attractive, but don’t give in! Experts believe hitting the snooze button actually does more harm than good. It is disconcerting, messes up your internal composure and contrary to what you may think at that moment, it actually makes you more tired during the day. Imagine this: you snooze the alarm, slowly drifts back into light sleep, and the moment deep sleep is nigh, the alarm goes off again, restarting your entire body quite harshly. Your heart rate, body temperature and mind, if they were persons of their own, would be as confused as can be. Now imagine doing this multiple times in the morning. You’re not helping yourself because post-snooze sleep is not restorative. You’ll only become disoriented for the rest of the day. So once again, avoid the snooze button!
3. Water Is Life. Drink Lots of It
Hydration is of the utmost importance. Some people can go a whole day on say, 300 ml of water, and how they do that is baffling. Unless you’re allergic to water – this is a very rare occurrence – then staying hydrated throughout the day should be a non-negotiable exercise, especially, drinking water in the morning right after waking up and before breakfast. These have been proven to augment other conscious efforts to keep the body healthy. Water does not only regulate blood pressure or the body temperature to keep the body cool, it also acts as a lubricant for some body parts, joints, and bones and improves metabolic processes. It carries nutrients around and is researched to improve cognitive performance. But of course, there’s the obvious reason: water keeps you alive. You’re not a lone traveller with an empty bottle in a forever-stretching desert. Stay hydrated, folks.
4. Get Some Stretches Done
Stretching is one of the best ways of awakening the body and getting it pumped up for the day ahead. Sometimes when you wake up, it feels as if you’ve still left your body in the comfort of your bed. Stretch to get its body back up. This can take as little as 5 or 10 minutes. “You’re not old, you just don’t stretch”, someone said, and that couldn’t be any truer. Stretching is a relaxing activity, great for the muscles, for dealing with back pain and some other body aches, and for relieving stress and built-up tension. It also makes you more flexible and who doesn’t want to loosen up a bit? Some stretches can be done sitting, standing, or lying down and they are neither difficult nor have negative tolls on the body. Do some cobra, neck, and side stretches or spinal twists in the morning. Your shoulders, back, muscles, arms, and legs are counting on them.
Are you familiar with the joke of the person who saw 3 people jogging outside and got inspired so much to get up and just close the blinds? Well, don’t be that person. Needless to say the list, of “benefits of exercising” is quite an inexhaustible one. Whether you hit the gym or go for a run or do yoga or skip rope or simply take a walk in the morning, do something. Of course, sometimes, time defeats us in the morning and makes it impossible to exercise throughout the week. Nevertheless, it is possible to set a few days aside for this purpose. Help yourself to keep not just your body, but your mind healthy. Whatever you do, move your body, burn some calories, get your heart pumping, and your blood flowing, and feel your body come alive. Quit making excuses. Those never got anyone anywhere. Morning exercises are also said to make a person more focused, determined, motivated, and positive because a fun fact is that “feel good” neurotransmitters such as dopamine and endorphins are released when you exercise and yes, they do make you feel good.
6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
It is not by mistake that breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day and should not be skipped. You slept in the night, and woke up in the morning, your body is famished and needs nourishment. Remember, it’s not about eating big, it’s about eating properly and by “properly”, a French monarch-style breakfast is not what is being suggested. Even with a low budget, your breakfast can contain the right nutrients in their right proportions. Try to cut down on processed foods and include whole grains, proteins, veggies, and fruits in your morning meals. Also, it is crucial to take your time when eating. Have a leisurely meal. Don’t rush yourself with violent mastication. The last thing anyone wants is indigestion or worst, choking on Greek yoghurt…
7. Switch Up Your Commute
We use cars or other means of transport to get nearly everywhere. They’re convenient and indispensable all right. But sometimes, we could also choose to make changes to how we get to where we want to go, whether it is in the workplace or we’re just running errands. Instead of the full ride to your destination, you can decide to walk some distance, especially if the weather is good and you also have some time to spare. This helps you to enjoy extra physical activity, which as has been established, improves mood and keeps the body and mind active.
8. Plan Your Day, Set Some Affirmations, and Go Break a Leg!
Now before leaving your house (or perhaps you won’t), do make plans for the day. Proper planning, it is said, prevents poor performance and as Dale Carnegie also puts it, “an hour of planning saves you 10 hours of doing”. On that note, it wouldn’t hurt to do this activity in the morning to help you stay on top of tasks or assignments and save some precious time. Through this, you can also set and keep track of your daily goals, staying organized through it all. Also, if you do believe in affirmations, then go for them. Tell yourself the good and positive things and believe in them. They’ll go a long way to inducing a constructive state of mind in you.
All in all,
Each day is precious and to get the most out of it, conscious efforts are required. You have to be willing to work for the well-being you desire. Sometimes when you treat your body as a living human being separate from you, it is easy to take better care of it. Do what needs to be done enough times and you’ll come to enjoy having these morning habits around. Everything aforementioned, you probably know about and then some. Hence, this has just been a gentle reminder that they all point towards healthy living. Invest in your health for health is…
don’t make me say it.