Waking up early can be tough, especially as we head into winter. The days get colder and darker and the thought of getting out of bed becomes a little less inviting. However, establishing a morning routine has massive benefits that don’t just stop when the clock strikes noon - last all day. Try incorporating these four tips into your mornings, you might just find that you become one of those elusive “morning people”.
1. Wake up early (and don't hit snooze!)
If you’re not already a morning person, it may be a beneficial 2019 resolution to become one. Fake it till you make it if you have to. Not only does waking up early give us the satisfaction of getting a head start on the day, but it also gives us more time to create a positive mindset. The first hour we wake up is the most important, and how we spend it can influence the amount of stress or productivity we will have. By having more time in the morning, we can immediately reduce the stress in our lives by not having to rush around. Let’s face it, we’ve all dealt with a faulty alarm clock giving us a panic-filled morning. Didn’t it seem like everything went wrong that day? The truth is it was most likely a normal day, but an anxiety-filled morning had a snowball effect.
2. Eat a wholesome breakfast
Getting up early also gives us more time to prepare a healthful breakfast and pack a hearty lunch for the day, instead of grabbing convenience food, a frozen meal or packaged snack on the run. Being able to sit down to a morning breakfast can do wonders for our mindset, even something as simple as a piece of toast with some Rawmio Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and bananas, or a Persimmon Coconut “Eggnog” Shake will be much more nutritious than a sugary energy bar or chugging a cup of coffee! Make a calming ritual out of breakfast time. Start the day with a nourishing matcha latte and make a conscious decision to nourish yourself with positive thoughts and nutrient-rich foods throughout the day.
3. Meditate or exercise
The best way to clear your mind for a productive day is to meditate first thing in the morning (even before that morning coffee if you can!). Not only does this wake us up and get us out of bed, but it also offers various health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, improving our immune system and increasing concentration. Being able to take a moment to forget about the external world stressors and still our mind is such a valuable and important part of a stress-free lifestyle.
Exercise is also an incredible mood-booster we can add to our day. Not only does it give us a serious sense of accomplishment, but it also increases our focus and makes us feel rejuvenated and refreshed. When we exercise in the morning, it releases neurotransmitters in our brain that promote mental clarity and give us an increased attention span, while also boosting our metabolism. Another positive of morning exercise is its ability to balance our hormones and improve our sleep; this is thanks to the dopamine, serotonin, and testosterone for men and estrogen for women, that are released when we exercise.
4. Write a to-do list
It can be easy to get distracted in the morning, especially by social media or television, which can lead to an unproductive and lazy day. To counter this, we recommend writing a to-do list first thing in the morning as this will keep us accountable and ensure we accomplish everything we need to for that day. Just be careful you make realistic goals and stick to them; if you feel stressed out by your to-do list, try to reduce it by prioritizing the most important things. Break it down into more realistic pieces to get a handle on feelings of overwhelm.
By utilizing these few tips, you can begin to reap the benefits of being an early-bird. From increased focus to a more positive and productive mood, you’ll never go back to sleeping in and getting a late start on your day!