What is your mood like in the morning?
Do you leap out of bed before the alarm has even buzzed, or are you more of a snooze hitter? Either way, whether you have been up half the night studying or hit the hay at a reasonable hour, a solid morning routine can transform the outcome of your whole day – and you can complete most of your routine before you even get out of bed!
So, start your morning off right with the following tips to achieve just as much as those ‘early bird’ enthusiasts:
1. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier
When you wake up, give yourself a few minutes to readjust to reality, get ‘back in the body’.
Rather than bounding out in a mad rush, slowly wake up and stretch, mentally map your day, meditate or even plan what you’re going to wear.
If possible, try and avoid social media – do you really want the first thoughts of your day flooded with sad news headlines? Reflect on your goals, positive affirmations and things you’re thankful for instead.
2. Expose yourself to natural light
Light is actually imperative to your sleep – it serves as the major synchronizer of something called your ‘master clock’ – a group of cells in your brain that link to other biological clocks in your body.
Go to sleep with your blinds or curtains halfway open so that the natural light of the rising sun will send a signal to your brain to slow its production of melatonin and bump up its production of adrenaline – a sure signal that it’s time to wake up.
If you maintain this routine, it’s likely that you can start relying on your body clock rather than an alarm clock for waking and improve your overall sleep patterns.
Limbering up your body not only feels good after a solid rest session, but increases blood flow and oxygenates your cells energy, muscular agility and mental clarity. And best of all, it can be done with your eyes closed and incorporated into your 15 minute routine mentioned above.
Starting at the toes, work your way up the body and stretch every muscle up to the neck. Alternatively, you can begin your day with about 10 minutes of gentle yoga stretches next to your bed – it’s a terrific way to wake up your system (without committing to a full yoga class).
4. Read an inspiring quote or passage
Rather than instantly scrolling through Facebook or news headlines when you pry your eyes open, a more uplifting narrative can provide a thoughtful focus to your day.
You can still do your Facebook scroll later in the morning, but a positive passage or affirmation will help you start your day right and deflect any worrisome thinking. Read a few pages from an inspiring book you enjoy or the affirmations in your journal.
5. Drink your green smoothie
Even though Instagram has elevated the humble green drink to an almost-cliché, it’s still a nutritional way to start your day.
You can make a large green smoothie with green leaves, juice or water, a bit of fruit and some healthy fats, proteins and supplements – you could even drink it in bed!
Fresh fruit, such as bananas or berries will satisfy your sweet tooth, while the veggies will infuse your system with brain-boosting vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Your green smoothie can give you so much energy you may even forget that coffee – and keep yourself full until lunch.
You didn’t think we were going to skip the most important step in this plan, did you? While starting your morning with a 30 minute workout releases important feel good chemicals and endorphins, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do a part of your routine in bed. Hip raises, sit ups and dips can all be done from the comfort (or the side) of your bed.
Some mornings you may just leave it at that, while other times the energy boost will propel you to get outside or head to the gym. So many successful people attest their results in life to their morning exercise routine, so don’t let the fact that you’d rather stay in bed stop you.
7. Listen to uplifting music
It’s no secret that music is one of the best ways to boost your mood, so why not start the day with melodies that instill positive and powerful emotions?
The best way to do this is to wake up to your favourite song as your alarm, or putting on your favourite playlist instead of the news as you enjoy your 15 minutes of me-time. Listening to music is all really about relaxing the nervous system as it works on a cellular level. We’re sold!
So as you can see, while starting the morning off right is the secret to a day well spent, you can achieve real focus and insight from the comfort of your own bed. Fuel your mind and body with positive nourishment and you will have more to give to your studies, family and work. Time to rise and shine!