Your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day. We have all been there — stressful mornings when you rush out the door, still feeling lackadaisical. However, having a stress-free morning not only drastically improves productivity throughout the day, but also has many proven health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. Though some of us will never be morning people, simple changes in routine can make your early day just a little more manageable. We have eight simple morning rituals to keep you focused and energized.
1. MAKE NUTRITION A MUST
Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. There are so many health benefits to eating a healthy breakfast! It’s essential to eat a healthy meal to boost and energize us through the day. Think colorful fruits or veggies, a protein, and a whole grain.
2. TURN UP THE MUSIC
You might want to start your morning with upbeat music, or you might prefer something calming and relaxing; whatever you choose, be sure it makes you feel good and charges you in the morning. Music is not only therapeutic, but takes us on an emotional journey. A song can bring back nostalgia, or heighten a mood – – both excellent ways to release endorphins.
3. GET UP AND STRETCH
Stretching first thing in the morning has several health benefits, including muscle and joint flexibility, stress relief, and improve circulation. Before getting out of bed, lift your arms and begin stretching the length of arms to your hands and fingers. Do the same for your toes and legs. Finally gently stretch out your back. Doing this loosens up your muscles and joints and enhances blood flow. Talk with your doctor on different types of stretches that would be beneficial for you.
4. TAKE VITAMINS
Vitamin supplements can prevent deficiencies that lead to potentially serious health conditions. Try to keep multi-vitamins on the counter to remember to take them daily. Remember, they often go better after having a full meal. Check with your doctor to see if any supplements you’re considering may interact with any medications you’re on, as you may need to take the supplements at a different time or not at all to limit the risk of adverse effects.
5. START YOUR ENGINE – WORK YOUR BRAIN
Simple games or puzzles to start your day can help you be more productive the entire day. Start a crossword puzzle, play sudoku, do a math quiz or read a book. Whether you prefer mathematical problems or word games, a brain puzzle in the morning will stimulate the mind and improve brain function. Puzzles also improve memory and reduce the likelihood of brain degeneration in your later years!
About 60% of your body is made of water, and after sleeping for 7-8 hours without water, your parched body is practically begging to be replenished. Without water, your brain can suffer from memory function, focus, and attention span. It’s recommended to drink 2 cups of room temperature water right when you wake up in the morning. It is also important to stay hydrated if you choose to exercise in the morning.
7. MINIMIZE DECISION MAKING
Help fight against the encroaching reality of decision fatigue; making too many decisions in the morning can exhaust your willpower and decision-making faculties. Instead, work to reduce the number of decisions you’ll have to make. For example, the night before, decide what clothes to wear, prepare your breakfast ingredients, or put the coffee pot on a timer.
Even if you don’t feel like it to begin with, smiling has been shown to have a massively beneficial effect on your well-being. The simple act of smiling when you wake up gets your brain to release endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that make us happy.
Remember: Every morning you have a new opportunity to become a happier version of yourself.