What is the first thing you do in the morning? Do you hit the snooze button and desperately try to get nine more minutes of sleep? Or do you grab your phone and start scrolling?
Either way, you should understand that the tone of your morning establishes the tone of your entire day. The good news is, you can set yourself up for success with a few easy morning habits.
Humans are programmed to create habits and then follow them. Whether you realize it or not, there are things you do each day out of habit. You probably don’t think that you do it out of habit, you’re just doing it because it’s easy, or that’s just the way you do it. But with a little work, you can change that to create a new, healthier habit, which could lead to a happier day.
Try adjusting your mornings with new habits, and watch how your day unfolds. If one of these tips works for you, keep it as part of your routine. If it doesn’t seem to have any effect, you can opt to oust it. And if you would like more tips, check us out on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs.
1. Leave the Phone Alone
Staying unplugged is difficult. There’s no way around it. As a society, we’ve all embraced cell phone technology so much that it’s become an addiction.
The problem is that when you grab for that phone, you’re putting yourself in a reactive position. You’re set to react to things you see rather than being proactive and in charge of your day.
Try not using the phone for the first hour of the day. Get your thoughts centered, stay positive, take care of your tasks at home, and then check your phone. This gives you an hour of peace and allows you to be more in-the-moment.
2. Break the Snooze Habit
Stop hitting your snooze button. To many, this habit feels like you’re cheating the system a little bit and stealing more sleep time. The truth of the matter is that you’re cheating yourself of some quality sleep.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, using a snooze button disrupts the crucial restorative part of your sleep cycle. Rather than enjoying those last minutes of sleep, you’re interrupting it. A better option is to set your alarm to the time you actually have to wake up and then get up.
3. Make Sleep a Priority
As long as sleep is the topic, having enough sleep is a crucial part of having a good day. Your body needs 7-9 hours of restful sleep a night to support a healthy brain and body. You’ll feel better all day with the right amount of sleep supporting you.
4. Be Thankful
Practicing gratitude has become a hot button topic. While many trends are just passing fads, gratitude has science on its side.
If there’s one trend you’re going to follow, make it this one. Studies have proven that gratitude reduces stress hormones, improves mood, boosts physical and psychological health, helps you sleep better, improves self-esteem, and more.
If you wake up and then dread the day because of all that you have to do, stop that thought process immediately. Take a thankful approach, and set yourself up to have the positive power to deal with your day.
Take that thankfulness to the next level by adding a little mindful meditation to your daily routine. Relax, focus on your breathing, and be aware of the moment. Once you feel peaceful, set an intention for your day, and visualize yourself accomplishing that goal.
This step doesn’t need to take more than a few minutes of your morning, but the effects can last throughout the day. It not only sets you up to prioritize your intention, but you’ve already visualized achieving it.
6. Drink a Glass of Water
Going without water for an entire night, or even just a few sips, dehydrates the body. Filling your empty stomach with a glass of water first thing in the morning helps rehydrate your body while aiding in digestion and metabolism.
7. Exercise or Stretch
If you can arrange your schedule so that you get a full workout in the morning, that would be fantastic! Unfortunately, most people are a little too pressed for time to commit to that level of exercise in the morning. But stretching is something that everyone can do.
Simple stretching in the morning has a number of benefits. You’ll have fewer aches and pains throughout the day with a gentle warm-up. Your circulation is kick-started, and healthy blood flow to the brain is a great way to feel refreshed and awake. Stretching can also give you more energy and ambition.
8. Make Your Bed
Yes, making your bed is a chore. It’s also probably one you’re not fond of, which is why it’s important to do it. Making your bed is an easy task that you can cross off your list right away. You’ve just started your day by accomplishing something.
Stand back and look at your bed and be proud of yourself for accomplishing something so early in the day.
9. Get Ready
Most people don’t pop out of bed and head out the door. There’s usually a considerable amount of personal grooming that goes into each morning.
Enjoy this time with favorite cosmetics, clothing that makes you feel good, and a positive attitude about your appearance.
10. Talk to Yourself
It will feel weird in the beginning, but it works. Look at yourself in the mirror, and say a positive affirmation for your day.
Talking to yourself in the mirror actually works to boost confidence and to set the stage for positive emotions throughout the day.
11. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now it’s time to put that adage into action.
Skip the candy bar disguised as a protein bar, and focus on real, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains, so you have the energy to power through the day.
12. Make a To-Do List
You’ve already made your bed. You have your daily intention in mind. What else do you have to accomplish?
Making a list keeps you on task, and checking off items gives your brain a little reward that makes it easier to move on to the next step.
The key to having a better day and a more efficient morning isn’t in being a different person, so don’t worry about not being a morning person. Changing a few habits and then creating some new ones is all you need to conquer mornings like a champion.
For most people, avoiding that cell phone for an hour is going to be the hardest habit. Don’t beat yourself up over it, master the other habits first and then work on leaving tech until later. You’ll find that you’re actually a more engaged and happier person if you can step away from the phone.
In a month’s time, you’ll be so happy you decided to make these changes, and who knows what you’ll accomplish.
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