You know those days that start off bad and seem to only get worse? A negative start to the day can create an undesirable spiral and leave you feeling stressed and exhausted throughout your work day. This is a shame, since mornings, when done right, can leave you energized, refreshed, and excited to live, instead of snoozing and wishing for just five more minutes of sleep.
If you ask me, mornings are for sleep, but often, we’re just wasting all this precious time. Here are five ways you can upgrade your mornings for a wonderful start to the day.
Indulge the Calm with Gratitude
“The world is beautiful outside when there is stability inside.”
The first few moments when you wake up, your mind is primed to be inundated with gratitude that can improve your start to the day. While lying in bed with those sleepy eyes, make yourself focus on what you are thankful for and why. Play the “What if” game about all the wonderful things that could happen today. Rather than using our imaginations to fret and worry about all that can go wrong, we can use our brainpower to focus on the positive. Positive reinforcement can go a long way.
Pack in the Nutrition
“I have always been delighted at the prospect of a new day, a fresh try, one more start, with perhaps a bit of magic waiting somewhere behind the morning.” – B. Priestley
Instead of going straight to the coffee pot when you wake up, try drinking a glass of lemon water. The benefits are numerous, and starting the day hydrated is a great way to go. Save the coffee for a little later in your morning and opt for a green smoothie earlier. You can add in flax and or chia seeds to keep your body feeling full and nourished. Green Monster Smoothies are one of my favorite go-to smoothies to start the morning off right. Making healthy choices from the get go motivates you to keep it going as the day goes on.
Get Your Workout On
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau
We often feel like we do not have time for morning workouts. However, I have found myself to be a lot more productive when I have my energy revved up from a workout boost. You do not have to make it an hour and a half ordeal. You could combine your exercise and thankfulness practice by taking a walk to unwind and contemplate.
Communicate with a Loved One
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful — a meaningful friend — or a meaningful day.” – Dalai Lama
Whether in person, by phone, or social media, starting your day talking to someone you love can make a huge difference. Family members and friends can give our hearts a great morning boost. My best friend and I are currently on completely different continents, but I love the mornings where I have a message waiting for me that says “I love you, have a great day!” If you do not receive messages like this, send some. Giving warms our hearts with great feelings too! Start your day off knowing that you have lifted someone else’s.
Prioritize Your List
“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive — to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” – Marcus Aurelius
Often when our days spiral out of control, it’s because we did not start with a clear direction. I recommend creating a quick list the night before of things you need to get done the next day. When you wake up, with clarity of mind, you can look over the list and choose your top three priorities. Complete the most difficult first and you can soar through the rest of your days with ease, feeling accomplished.