I used to wake up panicked every morning. This went on so long I could not remember what life felt like without that feeling creeping in the second I opened my eyes. It wasn’t that I was dreading school, work, or my day (this happened on weekends, birthdays, christmas – you name it!) It’s was just that I automatically felt really bad when I woke up. I felt like I was being constantly bombarded with terrible news, negative friends and a listless job, so it’s no wonder every morning looked like doom and gloom.
Now a days, most of my mornings deeply reflect my personal version of perfect. And I truly believe that doing things for myself right at the beginning of the day has had a huge impact on my mood, my health and my overall sense of well being. It’s improved my life, put me back on track and allowed me to accomplish huge tasks (like writing my book) in a really short period of time.
You can truly make your day better no matter what situation you have in life. So, in order to overcome that awful sinking feeling to make your day a rich, bright and beautiful one, apply a few or more of the following tips throughout the day.
I know, I know. If I write one more thing about how important meditation is for you, you’re gonna strangle me. But but BUT… it IS.
Done earnestly, even 15 minutes of quiet meditation a day has been linked to lowered blood pressure, better stress management, kinder personality, and improved work performance. Among having the immense capability to decrease your anxiety, or give you life-changing revelations about life, meditations benefits cover helping arthritis, improved grades, and it literally protects your brain. Ever wondered why mindfulness meditation can make you feel more focused and zen? It’s because it helps the brain to have better control over processing pain and emotions, specifically through the control of cortical alpha rhythms (which play a role in what senses our minds are attentive to), according to a study in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Mindful meditation improves our focus on music, helping us to truly enjoy and experience what we’re listening to, according to a study in the Journal: Psychology of Music.
9. Eat Something New
Switching up your breakfast in the morning is so important for health and wellness. Your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Some days I’ll have a smoothie, some days some meat, cheese, and a croissant. Some days it’s turkey bacon and potatoes. I listen to my body instead of being generic about my breakfast, and it’s been amazing! However, it’s important to note that in a study from the Journal of American College of Nutrition, “… when people eat eggs at breakfast, they felt more satisfied and consumed fewer calories throughout the day, compared to those who ate a primarily carbohydrate meal like a bagel.” Aim for variety, with plentiful vegetables, some fruit and lean sources of protein.
8. Leave Your Phone In Another Room (Preferably Off)
Forget TV, iPhones, iPads, radio and newspaper for a moment, and spend a few quiet moments when you wake up collecting your thoughts. Nobody is going to email you about a true emergency (a death in the family, etc.), so leave your email alone for the first few hours of each day. Use the morning to do what’s important rather than responding to what is “urgent.” If I have a day where my schedule is flexible, instead of being interrupted by other peoples thoughts, feelings, emotions and problems, I leave my phone charging (in a different room from my bedroom) until I’ve read for at least an hour after waking up. If I absolutely MUST write down an idea or get to working on some music, I will do so in a notebook and transfer it to my computer later on if I have to. Taking control of the thoughts that set the tone for my day has been amazing.
7. Play Music
Whether it’s sounds to heal you, quiet meditation music, or Van Halen, the right playlist may help you over the morning hump. I especially like to play relaxing music while I shower or take a bath. Ahhhh!
6. Wake With The Sun
It seemed all the adults I grew up with as a child were always awake before the sun was out. My Mom would have breakfast ready and laundry done by 6:30 every morning, so I always associated waking up early with “being an adult”.
Now, I’ll admit: I love sleep. Specifically, I love cuddling in bed for long hours with my warm, people-size dog. But I know I’ve already wasted a lot of hours of my life I can’t get back because I pushed the snooze button for hours, or took (prescribed) sleeping pills or pain killers that just stole hours of my life by knocking me out.
But, let me tell you: the World is a much quieter, easier to handle place at 5 or even 6 in the morning.
Stimulating yourself with light biochemically can reduce your cravings for caffeine in the morning, and even reduce your cravings for alcohol at night. Sunlight is ideal, but turn on the all the lamps (full spectrum bulbs are best) if you’re up before the sun. Unlike caffeine, there’s no impending energy crash waiting for you in a couple hours.
If you can, use natural light to wake yourself with open curtains (unless outside artificial light will disturb your sleep at night) or a progressive light “alarm.”
5. Drink Plenty of Water
Did you know that drinking water in the morning immediately upon waking up can have amazing therapeutic effects for a multitude of health conditions—ranging from pain to asthma to cancer? This is achieved through the production of new blood, or haematopaises. This fresh blood has an immense restorative effect in the body and can even cure existing ailments. Drinking a gallon jug or four 8 ounce glasses of water in the morning has also been linked to decreasing nausea (from which I suffer chronically ), and improves the symptoms of arthritis, anemia, migraines, headaches, constipation, obesity, asthma, diabetes, amongst other things. Yes. Water.
4. Spend Time Outdoors
Timmy sits focused on his computer screen. Kara’s watching her favorite television program. And Kathy is enthusiastically playing video games. What do these three scenarios have in common? They’re all taking place indoors – a situation becoming more and more typical in the lives of American children and teenagers. These habits can creep into our adulthood, and before you know it, it doesn’t even occur to us to “play” outside or focus on the importance of spending time outside with our friends and loved ones. My favorite morning activity is sitting on the porch in the sun reading. Not only does this normally get someone else to join me 😉 it gets me up and on my first walk or hike of the day much faster, it gets me in the sunlight doing something that I could easily do inside but not get the added benefits of Vitamin C, D, and A (and freckles!)
3. Drink Tea
The Health Benefits of Coffee vs Tea are in this handy graph from Visual.ly
I adore tea for everything from waking me up to curing my cough! It’s great to start a day with a warm cup of delicious herbal brew, which you can tailor to your own health needs at whim! I’ll always be a tea fan. Not too much has helped my health journey in the same way tea has. I can’t say enough about how amazing it is!
My dog does it, big cats do it, dinosaurs did it. No, not that. Jeez! … We’ll get to that later. 😉
According to NBC News, there are a number of benefits associated with stretching, such as improvements in posture. Many people, especially those who sit in front of a computer for extended periods of time, develop poor posture as a result of overstretched back muscles and tight chest muscles. While these aches and pains can develop at any time throughout the day, they often occur in the morning — after the body has been at rest for a long period. According to Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists, morning stiffness and pain often occur because there is an increase of fluid in the joints and spinal discs overnight while the body lies horizontally. For best results, use gentle stretching to warm up the body and alleviate joint discomfort. Stretching in the morning helps support your energy throughout the entire day by preventing lethargy and feelings of tiredness.
Most people I know feel like they barely see their partners and families in the morning. It’s rushed, stressful, even agitated time. Don’t take the day – or them – for granted by accepting this as an inevitable consequence of Life.
I said it. Having sex in the morning is probably the best way to switch up and dull, boring, listless or even a daunting routine. It leaves you feeling loved, energetic, helps you face problems throughout your day and gives you that killer glow! The Queen’s University of Belfast in a research discovered that morning sex decreased the risk of heart attack or stroke by half and improved blood circulation, thus reducing blood pressure.
Just remember to brush before, if you can! 😉
Want more tips to living a more fulfilling life?
Check out my health journey here!