Do you wake up and bounce out of bed, singing and dancing? No neither have I not once, not ever! But the reality is that the way you start the morning can have a big impact on the rest of your day. If like me snoozing your alarm for an extra 15mins feels soooo good, it may be time to revamp your morning routine in order to create a more productive, stress free and organised day. Here are some tips and hints to give moody mornings the kick. Remember it takes 21 days form a habit.
Set your alarm 15 minutes early to give yourself some extra time to eliminate the rushing around and hopefully give you more time to wake up.
Alarm sound. As someone who suffers with anxiety, I was searching for ways to make my anxiety more bareable so decided to tune into Vogue Williams' My Anxious Life. Until watching this I had no idea that alarm sound and volume could have an impact on your day. Within the documentary there was a discussion about how if your alarm is loud and the tune startling, it will shock your body awake which can trigger anxious responses from the moment you wake. Since watching this programme I have change my alarm sound to a softer tune and turned down the volume. Waking up is a much more pleasant experience.
No, No to your Smartphone.
What's the first thing you reach for the instant your eyes open? I bet its your smartphone, within 105 seconds, you've checked Facebook, Instagram your inboxes and messages. Next time you do this really take time to acknowledge how this effects you emotionally. It would make me feel unnecessarily stressed, inadequate and anxious about how my day would pan out.
Wake with intention.
Allow yourself time to enjoy the feeling of waking up, of how rested your body feels and by thinking of three positive things you are grateful for in your life. They do not need to be hugely important just three humble things, my favourites are I have a loving family, a roof over my head and wonderful friends who care for and love me. It gives you perspective and it is proven to make you more relaxed, happy and healthy. If thinking gratefully is not for you, try thinking of two affirmations to live your life by that day. This will hopefully set a positive and happy president for the rest of your day.
On rising drink a pint of cold water, it is so important to rehydrate after sleep as your body has not had any liquid for 7 hours plus so is essentially dehydrating resulting in your body working on 'low fuel' which can cause you to feel tired, drained, result in headaches and may increase mood fluctuations. Drinking water first thing on a morning plays other important roles in the proper functioning of your body such as jumpstarting your metabolism, helps the body flush out toxins and help you to stay full longer.
Make your bed.
After snoozing your alarm for 30mins, the last worry on your mind would be making your bed and more about if you can sneak in a coffee before you need to leave the house. But if you can do this immediately after getting up (it takes 2 minutes) that is one task accomplished before you have even started your day showing discipline and productivity which will stay with you.
Headspace and Stretch.
This technique may not be for everyone but stretching your body first thing is proven to help you focus better, boost your energy, reduce stress and help you tone. There are plenty of beginners yoga stretches online, finding one that suits you is important for forming a positive habit.
Headspace is a free guided meditation app which encourages you to take 10 minutes out of your day to help you reframe stress. Meditation isn't quite what people imagine it to be, its about changing your relationship with thoughts and feelings and learning to view them with perspective. My key piece of advice is that meditation is not about instant perfection but about allowing yourself some daily headspace from busy, hectic and constant lifestyle we all live. It can bring calm, wellness and balance to not only your morning but your life.
Healthy balanced breakfast.
Eat, eat, eat a healthy balanced breakfast it has so many positive effects on your body and your mindset. It can keep your from overeating, boosts your metabolism and starts your body burning calories from the very beginning of the day, prevents crankiness, increases focus and energy levels. I have built time into my morning routine to ensure that I eat, as without food first thing on a morning I may as well walk around with a neon sign above my head saying 'approach with caution'.
Preparation is key.
Mornings are hard for most of us so why make it more stressful by being under prepared? Try and organise as many things as you can the night before pick out your clothes including your underwear and socks, choose your shoes, pack your bag, make your lunch, leave your car keys somewhere you'll remember and even where possible get your breakfast ready. Preparing as much as you can the night before can drastically reduce stress and the feeling of been unorganised. There's nothing worse than running round like a headless chicken first thing trying to remember everything and then leaving the house to realise you have forgotten something.
Shower, get ready and enjoy your day!
The highlight of my morning is a nice hot shower to wake me up, its made all the more pleasurable when I actually have time to really enjoy it as mindful experience recognising the feel of the water on my skin, really smelling my choice of body wash and drying myself with a nice prewarmed towel. When you are running out of time occasionally doing your skincare routine, make up and perfecting your hair can end up taking a back seat. Please, please give yourself time to do these things as it will help you to feel clean, tidy and prepared to take on the rest of your day.
For someone who is not a morning person (me included) these hints and tips may seem like a lot to achieve but honestly they take minutes to complete, I am certain if you incorporate all or just some of the points listed in this blog mornings should become less stressful and rushed. Hopefully resulting in a calmer, happier and positive experience which will encourage you to become more of a morning person.
Always start your day with positive thoughts, these will follow you throughout the day.
Author Faye Johnson