Have you ever had a bad morning and find that it follows you throughout the entire day? Too often, something happens to throw a monkey wrench into your morning. You spill your coffee all over yourself as you're rushing out the door, or the dog (or worse, your child) throws up on your shoes. If a lousy morning can turn your day upside down, then the opposite must also be true. Starting your day off on the right foot can pave the way for a happy and productive day no matter what happens to you on the way out the door. But how do you do that? Here are 8 things you can do to start your day in the right direction.
- Wake Up 15 Minutes Early
Sometimes what puts us in a bad mood is all the running around we do every morning. You snooze your alarm, rush through your morning shower, wake the kids, make lunches, scarf down some breakfast and run to the car, already 10 minutes late leaving the house. Waking up just 15 minutes earlier than usual gives you some stolen time in the morning. It's amazing how not rushing through your morning routines can stop disasters before they happen. You may also be surprised by how magical early mornings can be. Being awake while the rest of the world is asleep gives you the chance to take a deep breath and look around for a moment. And who knows? You may even find time to take advantage of some of the other tips you'll find in this article.
- Make Your Bed
In a commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas in Austin, retired Navy Admiral William H. McRaven said the following:
"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. By the end of the day, that one task will have turned into many tasks completed."
Making your bed in the morning does several things. It gives you a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning. It automatically makes your bedroom look less cluttered, which helps unclutter your mind as well. It grounds you in performing a simple task, especially on those days when you feel overwhelmed. And last but definitely not least, it contributes to good sleep hygiene!
- Leave Your Phone In Its Charger
No, we aren't talking about battery life. We're talking about real life. And by phone, we also mean laptops and tablets. We often reach for our phone to check social media before we even get out of bed. There are two problems here. First, doing this puts you in a position of having to react to things before you even check in with yourself. Sure, you might find some positive things to look at, but there are way more sources of stress waiting on that tiny little device. Second, have you ever heard the expression "falling down the rabbit hole?" We've all found ourselves navigating to Tik Tok or YouTube, and the next thing you know, an hour has gone by. This is a sure-fire way to ruin your morning routine. So do yourself a favor and leave your phone (or tablet) on the charger for at least 30 minutes after you wake up.
- Drink Some Water
Hey, we know more than anyone how much you treasure that first cup of coffee. And by no means are we telling you to skip it - on the contrary, drink up! But consider drinking a glass of water first. When you wake up after getting (hopefully!) eight hours of sleep, your body is in need of hydration. Most of us don't drink enough water during the day, so starting off your morning with 16oz of water does your body a host of good. If you want to take it a bit further, add a squeeze of lemon into it first. Lemon has lots of vitamin C, antioxidant properties. and leaves your mouth refreshed after waking up.
Take 10 Minutes of Quiet Time
Some people prefer to meditate; some want to journal. Maybe you could go for a short walk or simply sit quietly and read a book. The point is to take 10 or 15 minutes in the morning solely for you. Use it however you want, as long as it's something that puts your mind and body in a relaxed state. Slowing down in this way will center your energy and allow you to focus on what's important to you over the next 12 hours.
Create a Self-Care Routine
Self-Care has become a bit of a buzzword, and a lot of people still think it means doing something special for yourself, like buying yourself a treat or taking a nap. But proper self-care is something you do to take care of yourself. Setting up a self-care routine for yourself in the morning will leave you feeling fresh and ready to take on the day. I could look something like this:
Wake up and spend a few minutes stretching your body. Take a leisurely warm shower and brush (and floss!) your teeth. Apply lotion to your skin and get dressed.
It sounds pretty routine, right? But when you slow down and pay attention to what you're doing instead of thinking it's a chore, you start to appreciate your physical state of being. It sets you up for success!
You may have to get up more than 15 minutes early to get this one done, but exercising in the morning does wonders for your body and your brain. It gives you energy, puts you in a better mood (endorphins!), and can even motivate you to make healthier food choices throughout the day. For many of us, it's much harder to get revved up to exercise after putting in a full day of work, chores, and decision-making. So get out there and ride that bicycle, or take a brisk walk. Do some yoga or weight training. Whatever sounds good to you is what you should do, the most important thing is to get your body moving. And of course, regular exercise can improve your sleep, which brings us to the last tip...
Get a Good Night's Sleep
There is no room for doubt, getting good quality sleep is vital to setting yourself up for a productive day. Suppose you wake up feeling groggy and irritable. It's going to affect everything - how well you think, work, react, and even how well you get along with others. Start your morning off right by creating a healthy before-bed routine. Strangely enough, it sounds a lot like the tips for a great morning: Turn off your phone, take some quiet time, wash your face and brush your teeth. If you think you've had a little too much caffeine for the day, take some Daily De-Caffeinate to help your body shed the extra caffeine. When you lie down to fall asleep, let your mind drift over your day and reflect on what you've accomplished. It will help put the day to bed as well as your mind.
Pick and Choose
Not all of these suggestions will appeal to everyone. Choose the things that will serve you well and disregard the rest. You don't want your morning routine to sound like a chore. If there is one thing we want you to take away from this article, it's to s l o w d o w n. When you rush, you aren't focused on the task at hand, and that's often when things go wrong. Take your time, take pleasure in the little things and go take on the world!