It’s important to start your morning on the right foot. If mornings are stressful you will carry this stress into the rest of your day. Optimal Living is about achieving more and being positive – the best place to start is in the morning. So wake up and start living. The following tips will help you turn your morning routine into a time to relax, while getting you out the door quickly feeling energized, positive, and ready to tackle the day.
Your New Morning Routine
1. Follow a Sleep Schedule. Your body thrives on many routines, but this one clinches the top spot. Create a sleep schedule by picking a time to get up every a.m., regardless of what time you went to bed. Yes, including the weekend. This will trigger your internal clock to help you fall asleep faster at night, for a deeper, peaceful rest. So stop sleeping in and from this tip alone you will find your morning will run much smoother. Sleep is so important; it is one of the crucial keys to optimal living. Read More – I Can’t Sleep – How to Sleep Deeply.
2. Now wake up 30 minutes earlier. If you feel you never have enough time, this is a great place to find it. Schedule in a workout, reading, meditation, or anything you never seem to have time for later in the day. If you are following a sleep schedule you will be sleeping better and will not miss this time. You may simply find this time by not hitting the snooze button. Need more motivation try The Six AM Challenge – The Benefits of Waking up Early.
3. Keep the Blinds Open. The early dawn sunshine will help you wake slowly and naturally. The light triggers your brain that it is time to rise.
4. Write a to-do List the night before. This will help you concentrate on your priorities for the day. Include at least one positive task that will excite you to get started. If you enjoy yoga, do this as soon as you wake as a reward for getting up. This can also help clear your head before sleep by stopping you going over it a hundred times while in bed.
5. Have simple morning routines and stick to them. Every decision you make expends mental energy, therefore the less choices made in the morning the better. Set out your clothes the night before and make your lunch before going to bed. The morning is a time to relax and prepare for the day, save decision making power for something important.
6. Drink a glass of water. When you wake in the morning you are dehydrated. Many times people can mistake hunger for thirst. If you make the water cold, your body will burn extra calories warming it up.
7. Have the same breakfast every morning. You grew up being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day… well your parents were right. Just make sure it is healthy. Having smoothies for breakfast is the newest craze, but there is good reason for it. It is quick and easy to mix a bunch of ingredients into a blender for a great tasting shake providing you with the energy and nutrition for the day. Pop a quality multivitamin while you’re at it. Lately, I’ve been on a yogurt kick. It is just as easy as a shake. Mix Greek yogurt with almonds, seeds, and frozen fruit for a healthy, nutritious, high protein meal.
8. Enjoy that cup of Joe. You always hear many different things about coffee, but in the end it is good for you. Coffee is chalked full of vitamins and minerals. Coffee can reduce your appetite and increases your metabolism. But… There is always a “but”, isn’t there. Stay away from fancy drinks filled with sugar and cream. Stick to black if you can, or cool it with a little skim milk.
9. Sip some tea. Ok, not a coffee fan. The health benefits of tea have long been known. Green Tea is high in the antioxidant called ECGC, which may reduce cancer and also promotes weight loss through fat burning. Both coffee and tea (most) have caffeine so save them for the morning and try to limit your caffeine intake after four in the afternoon as it may affect your sleep later that night.
10. Read a motivational quote. Why not try starting your day with something positive and inspirational? There are many websites and Apps that will send these straight to your mailbox – all you have to do is read them.
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”
~ C. S. Lewis
Turning your morning into a relaxing and enjoyable part of your day.
11. Go for a walk or run. The a.m. is a great time to exercise. If you wake up early there are no distractions and you can gain the positive feeling of knocking it off your to-do list early. At the end of a long day you can be strapped for time and energy, creating a poor workout or giving you an excuse to skip it all together. Working out in the morning is also a great way to keep you burning calories throughout the day.
12. Stretch it out. Try a simple yoga routine to help you wake while increasing the blood flow in your body, loosening tight muscles, and increasing flexibility. No time for yoga? Take five minutes and stretch anyway – your body will thank you.
13. Skip the long hot shower, for a quick cold one. There are many health benefits from having cold showers, but another benefit is time. When the water is cold you will get down to business quickly, which is wash and go, trust me! The feeling of a cold shower is an invigorating way that leaves you feeling refreshed and clean… in other words a great way to start your morning.
Let me know if you have any other early morning routine secrets!