Mornings can be more enjoyable than you think. If you are a night owl and just the thought of getting up early in the morning makes you tired, it’s time to make some changes to shake up your morning routine. With these few healthy tips, you will be waking up fresh and ready to tackle the challenges of the day.
Take a cold shower
If you can’t imagine your morning routine without a long shower, swap your warm stream for a cold one. Stepping out of a hot shower into a cold room will cause your body temperature to drop suddenly and will instantly make you sleepy and tired. Cold showers have the opposite effect – they will leave you alert and energized. They stimulate adrenaline secretion, which will give you a chilly jolt of energy, improve your mood and wake up your metabolism. If that sounds like too much, keep your warm shower routine but finish it with a short cold blast. You can also start your morning by splashing your face with cool water.
Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up has a number of important health benefits. It detoxes your body and cleanses the digestive system after a night fast. It will give you a steady, natural energy boost that lasts the length of the day by improving nutrient absorption in your stomach. Additionally, lemons are packed with nutrients; they’re chock full of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Get a glass of lukewarm water with freshly squeezed lemon and a dash of honey if it’s too sour for you. And don’t drink the juice without water because it’s harsh on your teeth – and wouldn’t be a nice surprise for you stomach either.
Listen to your favorite music
Music can resonate with your spirit. Listening to motivating music during your morning routine and just after waking up will energize and empower you for the rest of the day. Set your favorite playlist and turn it on once you get up – or find an alarm clock that will do it for you. If music doesn’t do it for you, try a motivating podcast or audiobook that you find interesting.
Morning exercise is a great energizer. I know you probably don’t think that exercising when you are feeling sleepy will make any positive difference, but give it a try. It doesn’t have to be a long, complicated routine – just a few warming up exercises will help you to wake up and will keep your energy levels up. Exercise also improves circulation, boosts energy and releases feel-good endorphins that help enhance mood and reduce stress. Just 10 minutes of movement helps stimulate hormones that keep you alert. Stretch while you wait for your coffee to brew, do lunges while you’re brushing your teeth or jog for 15 minutes – that’s really all it takes. You could even do a short 15-minute yoga sequence!
Refresh your eyes
Eyes are a big part of how we take in information from the world around us. Refining the senses will bring greater clarity to your perceptions and your experience of life. Just after waking up or during your morning shower, wash our eyes with cool water and massage the eyelids. Blink your eyes a few times and rotate them in all directions. If you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, spray some rose water or eye refresher on your eyelids.
Okay, we all know that coffee is necessary to keep most of us alert and ready for the day. But tea might be the healthier choice – it may contain considerably less of the jitter-causing stimulant caffeine, while offering health benefits like lowered blood sugar and an improved immune system. Tea will also keep you energized but without this “shaky” feeling that we get after drinking too much coffee. If caffeine is a problem for you, try decaf options.
Breakfast – fuel right!
Food is fuel for your body and breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it wake up your metabolism by breaking your overnight fast, but it also dictates your energy levels for the entire day. Aim to eat within two hours of waking up for maximum benefits and make sure your morning meal contains protein, some healthy fat and complex carbohydrates to keep your brain focused and control your appetite until lunch time. Eggs with avocado and veggies, homemade chia pudding with coconut milk or a great green smoothie are much better options than granolas, sugary cereals and cheese sandwiches.
Get some sunlight
Studies show that exposure to bright light within five minutes of waking can help alert your system that it’s time to get up and get moving. Sunlight is an important part of our natural body clock and cues the body to produce hormones and substances that increase alertness. It shuts downs sleep-hormone production so you don’t feel sleepy and sluggish. Morning light helps set that circadian rhythm for times that work with your school schedule. If it’s not that easy to get sunlight where you live, get a light box – it can do miracles for your energy levels!
Studies agree that daily meditation is crucial for a human’s well-being – it’s not only reduces stress and lowers blood pressure but also creates a surge in mood-stabilizing chemicals and feel-good hormones like serotonin. Mediation is super simple. First find a quiet place with no distractions and clear your mind. Or just sit up without getting out of bed, close your eyes and count your exhales. When you get to 10, start over again at 1. Doesn’t matter if you do this for just a minute or for half an hour, you will start your day with a clear mind and stable energy levels. Mediation is a practice, so acknowledge thoughts that enter your mind and then send them on their way! It takes time to master.
Start by smiling at yourself in the mirror for a few seconds. It will boost your self-esteem and once you get into this habit you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it. This works on a number of different levels, but most importantly, it gives you the ability to talk right to the person inside you – the one who is getting the important things done and can’t allow him- or herself to run out of energy. Make sure you are smiling – you will be surprised at the positive thoughts this simple routine conjures.
Set goals for the day
It really helps you keep your energy levels in check and keeps you going throughout the whole day. If you wake up and you have no plan or goals for the day it’s natural that you feel drained of energy. Research shows that having concrete goals is correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control. Setting goals specific to the day puts everything into motion. Narrow your goals down to a few achievable ones that can easily be broken down into steps. Now you have more than just something you want to achieve—you have a way to achieve it.
Have some mint
Mint can do more than just freshen your breath. You can drink some mint tea, get some strong mint-flavoured gum, brush your teeth with mint toothpaste or use some peppermint oil behind your ears and on your temples. Mint increases your mental alertness and acts as a natural stimulant. It will keep you focused and energized during the whole day.
Scrape Your Tongue
Taking time to scrape your tongue is one morning routine you won’t want to give up once you start it. It helps get rid of morning breath and is in line with the rejuvenation process you need to do to make the transition from sleep to wakefulness each day. You will be able to taste food much better without the film that’s on your tongue even after brushing your teeth!
Feeling grateful for those little moments in your life is probably one of the most overlooked and underestimated morning rituals. We live in a rush and we don’t really have time to stop for a second and appreciate daily life. Practicing gratitude is a perfect morning ritual that will help you to start your day on a positive note and will give you enough energy to keep you going through the challenges of the day. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your every day living. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter, just do it every morning and see what happens during the day.
Wake up earlier
This is the most important one because in order feel great in the morning you will need some extra time compared to your current routine. If you normally enjoy peace and quietness of the night, you will find early morning equally rewarding without messing with your body clock. If you can, try waking up in conjunction with your circadian rhythm. Dawn is a great time to wake up because there will be enough light to see, and you still have time to catch the sunrise. Give yourself an hour and a half before you have to be out the door.