8 Practices to Get Your Day Started Right
With so much on our daily schedules and the inability to sleep in every day, mornings can be a dreaded, hectic affair. However, an established morning ritual can reframe the way we view waking up.
Here are 8 practices that you can incorporate into your mornings to ease your way into a great day!
1. Let There Be Light
Here’s a helpful hack for night owls that find it difficult to wake up in the morning. Anyone who’s ever been camping knows that sunlight provides the wakeup call—no alarms needed (or snooze buttons allowed). The sun acts as a natural cue, gently rousing our bodies and letting them know that it’s time to get going.
If you don't want to leave your window or blinds open overnight to allow light to filter in, you can simply open your window once you wake up to bask in the glow. For early risers who beat the sun to the punch, there are alarm clocks that simulate sunlight (here’s an affordable one and a more hi-tech option)!
2. Lend an Ear to Positivity
From the jarring, much-dreaded blare of the morning alarm to the constant stream of stressful events highlighted on the news, it’s easy to start the day with negativity – which can set the tone for the rest of your waking hours.
Instead, consider playing music or an upbeat podcast while you shake off the sleepiness to put yourself in a good mood. With a playlist of all your favorite songs, mornings will be far more fun!
3. Start with Self-Affirmations
In a similar vein as the previous practice, affirmations are an excellent way to consciously frame your mindset and day.
Aloud or in your head, either works! Here are some sample affirmations to give you inspiration:
- I provide myself with the care and consideration I deserve.
- I am in control of how I feel. I choose happiness.
- I will not compare myself to others.
- I am enough. I am whole.
- I let go of all that does not serve me.
Even if it feels silly at first, stick with it and see how your perspective on life and performance shifts. You just might find that it completely changes for the better!
4. Drink Water
After a night’s rest, water should be the first thing you reach for in the morning. Dehydration can contribute to feelings of lethargy and exhaustion. Not only will a tall glass help to jumpstart your systems and wake you up a bit, but it also:
- Helps clean out oral bacteria before brushing
- Rehydrates the whole body
- Promotes bowel movement
- Supports bladder and kidney health
Water isn’t only important in the mornings! Be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day for optimal health and organ function.
5. Make Your Bed
First things first: Get out of bed! A body in bed tends to stay in bed...indefinitely. So make that herculean effort and get your day started. The movement will alert your body’s systems that it’s time to go to work.
Next action item: Tidy up your bed. It’s a simple task that’s easy to accomplish. This act will reinforce the idea that you are productive, providing satisfaction in a matter of seconds.
Everyone deserves a clean, clutter-free space to unwind in. As a matter of fact, a survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation showed that people who made their beds in the morning were able to sleep better at night.
6. Write a To-Do List
Moving right along! Now is a great time to figure out what you need to do today. However, don’t overload your list, or you might risk feeling overwhelmed before you’ve even gotten started. Take some time to write down the things you need to accomplish, but limit it to only the number of tasks you can reasonably complete in a day.
Prioritize the tasks according to which are most pressing. This will help organize the thoughts in your head and provide purpose for each day. The sense of gratification you get from crossing each task off as you complete it is just the cherry on top.
7. Get Your Blood Pumping
What better way to kick the day off than to engage the whole body? Get all systems firing with some morning exercise. The mood-enhancing benefits are sure to make the sweat worth it! Doesn’t sound like your speed? Physical activity doesn’t have to be intense to be effective and beneficial. Try:
- Doing Yoga
- Going for a Walk
- Squeezing in an at-home workout video
- Heading to the Gym
8. Start the Night Before
A restful night of sleep is key to being able to wake up early. Whether you incorporate the other seven practices or not, the body can’t sustain good habits and optimal function when it’s overly deprived of sleep. So, the key to unlocking a good morning is truly a night of good rest. Unfortunately, there’s no hack to eliminate the need for sleep. Plus, who would want to give up that incredible feeling of waking up physically and mentally recharged?
If you have a hard time falling asleep, put away your electronic devices at least an hour before bed. Darkness signals to the body that it’s time to power down. However, blue light from device and TV screens can confuse your body, keeping your brain active and interfering with the hormones that encourage relaxation and sleep.
Mind Over Matter
On a fundamental level, each day is all about perspective. A good morning doesn’t promise a great day, nor does a bad start dictate that an unpleasant day will follow. Happiness is a mindset – it’s up to you to shape your reality.
Decide not to let a small incident turn the whole day on its head. Choose to have a great day anyway! Choose to take care of yourself and give your body what it needs to thrive.