One of the most critical moments that determine whether or not you have a good day happens upon the moment you wake up. It’s the reason behind the saying “waking up on the wrong side of the bed.” If you wake up tired, dehydrated, frustrated at your early alarm, or uncomfortable in any way, it could have a negative impact on your entire day.
But there is a way to prevent bad days. With just a few changes to your morning rituals routine, you can almost guarantee a great, productive day by picking up these eight habits.
Rest up: A great morning starts with a good night’s sleep. Simply put, you need to get to bed on time. How? Avoid caffeine late in the day so you can fall asleep within a reasonable time frame. Eat at least three or four hours before bedtime, drink a half-cup of chamomile tea an hour before bed, do some mellow stretching and keeping all screens and electronics off for an hour before you want to fall asleep (read a book, listen to music, write in a journal, draw instead). Yes, we live in a busy world, but your body is not an iPhone — it needs time to unwind at night.
Commit to waking up: If you are unable to wake up on time every single morning (and you are no longer a teenager), you are sleep-deprived or working against your chronotype. If the latter is true — you are getting enough rest but the timing is just too early for your body-clock, see if there’s anything you can do to adjust your schedule, like changing your wake-up time, but not your sleep duration. If you can’t change your schedule, stop torturing yourself with the snooze button — you are just cutting into your sleep time and making mornings a stressful occasion every day. It’s unhealthy. Promise yourself that you will wake up when your alarm goes off for one week, and set it at an appropriate time. Do it for five days in a row (getting to sleep on time the night before) and see how your mornings change.
Work can wait: Looking at your inbox on your phone before you get out of bed can mean the difference between a great morning and a horrible one. Since it takes over an hour for most people’s brains to wake up, checking email before you get out of bed means you are more likely to misunderstand something that was written to you — or stress about it until you get to work. What’s the point? Keep your mornings as “you time” or for you and your family alone. Your first hour each day shouldn’t be about work.
Keep it quiet: Leave the TV off, the talk radio silent, anything loud and aggravating blocked out, for now. This is called “keeping the world out” and it’s a popular tactic by those who want to take control of their day and not have the day take them over before they’ve had a chance to get their footing.
Drink water: Your body has been resting and processing the previous day all night long. Beginning your day with a large glass of filtered water gives your body a chance to clear whatever might be hanging out in your kidneys from the day before, rehydrates you and gets your digestion going.
Stretch and move: Taking five minutes to work out the kinks in the morning will ground you in your body for the rest of the day, and it gets your blood flowing and gives you a chance to focus on your breath, which can come in handy later in the day. Try a good yoga sequence to calm your mind and body and keep you energized for the day.
Meditate: Meditation doesn’t have to mean sitting on a cushion with your legs crossed; it is just a piece of time, every day, during which you breathe and clear your mind for the day ahead. You can combine it with movement: stand, walk, even do something relatively mindless like dishes or folding laundry. Whatever it is that works for you, it is a ritual or habit that signifies that the workday is about to begin. Your body and mind will now be ready for your day.
Eat — or don’t: Some people need to eat in the morning, but not everyone does. The idea that we should all eat a hearty breakfast has been found to be untrue, as is the idea that not eating breakfast will make you fat. But some people need the kickstart of breakfast — so what’s the answer for you? Judge for yourself if you feel better eating within an hour of waking (are you hungry?) or not.
Think this is all too much to fit into a morning? If you are efficient about your bathroom time, you can do it all, without feeling rushed, in about 30 minutes. Try it, and see how it changes your day.
Information gathered from Mother Nature Network