Are mornings the most difficult part of your day? Do you feel like a headless chook scrambling to get everything together before heading out the door? Well, maybe your morning routine needs a changeup. Try these tips to help get your day off to a stress-free start.
1. Leave your curtains or blinds slightly open to let in natural light
Natural light is one of the most efficient ways to wake you up. It is an indicator for your brain to increase the production of adrenaline and slow the production of melatonin. If you struggle to get out of bed, try setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier and let the sunshine do its thing.
2. Give yourself enough time to achieve all your morning jobs
From getting out of bed to brushing your teeth and everything in between. It takes time to get ready for the day, allowing adequate time can go a long way in reducing stress. Before going to bed the night before work out what needs to be done the following morning. It is helpful to work backwards from when you have to leave your home. Be realistic with your timing. Don’t say you will only take you two minutes to eat breakfast when you know it typically takes you ten. Give yourself an extra ten minutes to accommodate for any unforeseen jobs that may pop up, or if a task takes you longer than expected.
3. Set yourself a ‘snooze limit.
Do you find yourself spending more time hitting the snooze button than actually sleeping? Set yourself a limit on how many times you hit the snooze button before getting out of bed. This might be difficult at first, but after a few days, your body will adjust. The more you practise this, the easier it will become.
4. Have a glass (or two) of water
Throughout the day you can keep yourself properly hydrated. However, while you’re asleep you can’t, and so your body starts to dehydrate. Rehydrating yourself in the morning is important, as it will improve your brain’s functionality. You should aim to drink at least 2L (8 ounces) of water per day.
5. Eat a breakfast you can feel good about.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, starting it off right sets you up for the rest of the day. Avoid the fast food breakfast option or a heavy meal. Try having some berries, muesli, and yoghurt. Complement this with a small glass of fruit juice. Freshly squeezed is always better than store bought as these can contain high levels of sugar.
6. Do your exercise in the morning
This comes down to personal preference. There are benefits for exercising at all times of the day; however, there are some notable benefits of exercising in the morning. After having fasted through the night, you should have a relatively empty stomach. Research shows that by exercising on an empty stomach, you can burn up to 20% more body fat. Additionally, you are more likely to stick with your exercise regime if you do it in the morning. “Research suggests regarding performing a consistent exercise habit, individuals who exercise in the morning tend to do better,” says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief science officer with the American Council on Exercise in San Diego.
7. Refine your routine
Finding the best routine for you can take time. It is important to find what works best for you and use this to make a routine that makes your mornings the most efficient. There is no one-fit-all solution, as everyone can respond differently. It can take some time to adjust to changes. Don’t discard something too quickly; your body could still be getting used to the change.
Another great way to start your morning off right is making sure you got a good night’s sleep. It’s not only a good way to start your day but also has health benefits. You can read all about it here. There is no one method for everyone. Find a combination that works best for you. Combine these with the methods you’ve already developed, and get your day off to a positive, stress-free start.