Maybe it’s because I’m a bona fide morning person, but I believe the AM hours are some of the most important ones of the day.
Why? Because what you choose to do during that time sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you start off feeling calm, refreshed, and joyful, you’re more likely to sustain that positive vibe as the day goes on. On the other hand, if you wake up and immediately feel rushed or sluggish (or worse—both!), it can be tough to snap out of it even when you really needto.
Want to make sure you’re consistently waking up on the right side of the bed? Try incorporating one or more of these into your morning routine.
Please notice I said “move,” not “exercise.”While some people love to jog before the sun rises or go to a 6am spinning class, formal exercise isn’t the only way to benefit from morning movement.Something as simple as a 10-minute stroll or even just some light stretches when you get out of bed will wake up your body, get your blood flowing, and help you feel more refreshed as you start your day.
2. Pray or meditate.
A mere five minutes of quiet time spent talking to God, doing some deep breathing, writing in a gratitude journal, or anything else that requires you to be calm and present will then help you remain calm and present as the day progresses.
3. Hold off on checking their devices.
I will admit that oftentimes the first thing I do in the morning is reach over, grab my phone from my nightstand, and check my email. Sad, right?
Plugging in as soon as we wake up puts us in “go mode” way too early. Before our feet hit the floor our minds are already cluttered with messages we need to respond to and Facebook statuses we need to like—which almost guarantees our lives will feel cluttered the rest of the day.
Next time your 6am smartphone alarm beeps, try turning it off and putting it down without looking at it further, and see how it affects your morning.
4. Eat a satisfying breakfast.
Giving your body some proper fuel within a few hours of waking is key to feeling energized throughout the day. And no, a cup of coffee by itself does not count as proper fuel.
The ideal morning meal will make you feel full and satisfied but not weighed down. Additionally, when you eat healthy from the get-go it usually makes it easier to make good food choices the rest of the day.
I like to aim for a nourishing combination of protein and complex carbs. Some ideas: greek yogurt with fruit and wholegrain cereal, oatmeal with peanut butter and banana, or a veggie omelette with wholegrain toast on the side.
5. Plan for the day.
Happy and productive people intentionally take a few minutes in the morning to map out their days—that way they don’t end up fluttering around aimlessly from task to task, or procrastinating on the stuff that really needs to get done.
Keep in mind that this plan can and should go beyond your to do list; it should also be a plan for your attitude. What challenges might you face today? What hurdles might you encounter?
Making a plan includes adopting a daily resolution for how you want to react to whatever life throws your way.
6. Say “I love you.”
Happy people communicate their love and appreciation for those closest to them—partners, children, family, and friends—at the beginning of every day. Doing so strengthens the meaningful relationships in our lives, which in turn makes us happier, healthier, and able to thrive.
The key is to say those three little words intentionally, genuinely, and with feeling, so that they don’t lose their impact. When possible, throw in a hug too!
Does your morning routine include any of these?
For more information go to things happy people do every morning.