Morning Habits That Can Help Jumpstart Your Day
The key to forming morning habits and sticking to them is being able to wake up early. There are lots of tips on how to get out of the bed on time (like placing your alarm clock far from your bed so that you actually stand up to turn it off). But among the best motivations is actually thinking of its benefits— when you get up early, you feel calm and you will be able to keep your morning habits that will surely make each day a breeze!
- Morning routine. While this takes time to be developed, having a morning routine gives you a sense of purpose and fulfillment as you get things done right at the start of the day. This could be simple as waking up on schedule, meditating before getting off the bed, performing some exercises, having breakfast and getting ready for work or school. It is better to write these down on a list so you could strictly observe this practice and allocate enough time on each task.
- Whisper a prayer. Not everyone gets the luxury of waking up another day so that is one big miracle that you should be thankful for. Regardless of your religion, a simple “thank you I’m still alive” or “thank you for I will see this day” already encourages you to get up and savor each day of your life.
- Hush the mind. Before turning the TV on or reading the newspaper, take a few minutes to sip your hot drink, breathe fresh air and listen to the serenity of the morning. This frees your mind from stress which, if starts your day, will take over your whole day as well, and you don’t want that. This also allows you to organize your thoughts for the day ahead.
- Set your goals. If possible, set at least three most important items that you intend to achieve. This means you will be able to focus your energy and exert a conscious effort to finish them before you get busy for the rest of the day. If you are able to complete at least one (e.g. finish reading two chapters of a book), keeping that one accomplishment in mind will keep you inspired to finish the rest of your tasks for the entire day.
- Be calm. While most of us are rushing in the morning, preparing for work or school, always remember to be calm in your acts. An example would be brushing your teeth. If you put too much pressure in brushing, eventually, this will cause your gums to recede. Another is if you comb your hair to briskly, this will cause it to dry up. Panicking will only cause you to stressfully start your day, so relax and pace yourself. Breathe deeply if you find yourself stressed.
- Fuel up. Almost always, we go rushing in the morning and skip the most important meal of the day—breakfast. The first day of the meal actually breaks your fasting when you were sleeping. This meal will also energize your body for the day. Just imagine a car engine that will go racing in traffic with no fuel, it will surely give up soon and so is your body! If running late, just grab a sandwich and eat it on your way out. Equally important is drinking water as much as you can.
- Exercise and sweat. Exercise warms up your body in preparation for your work load for the day. This does not have to be a one-hour full workout, at least five to ten minutes will to the trick. It can be as simple as stretching, leg raising and doing crunches. You can also alternate like Monday jogging, Tuesday crunches, Wednesday weight-lifting, Thursday dancing, and so on. Alternating is actually more efficient in toning your muscles.
- Take a cold shower. If your body temperature can take it, try to take a bath with cold water. Cold water stimulates circulation of the blood which triggers parts of your body to perk up and start functioning. If you really have to use warm water, at least have cold water for your last rinse. Not only is this good for your body, it is also good for the skin as it closes down your pores.
- Look good and feel good. Whether going out for jogging or buying groceries or heading for a big meeting, always look your best. Being beautiful does not need to have a reason. If you look good, you feel more confident to face anyone and do anything. Combing your hair neatly and clearing up your face exudes a positive aura that brightens up not only your day but of the people around you.
- Smile and smile some more. The song which says “Smile and the world smiles back to you” is very true for all of us. Leave your home feeling very light and the rest of your day will be a piece of cake. While there may be obstacles along the way, you sure are going to surpass them all with grace as you are full of positivism. Starting your day right keeps you feeling delighted all throughout.
Stop making an excuse for skipping breakfast for you know you have all the reasons why you should have one! If there really is no more time to prepare your meal and eat, below are a few take-away options that are equally filling, definitely more nutritious and very easy to prepare!
- The body absorbs better in the morning; hence, you get the most out of the nutrients from the food you eat. This makes you look younger and feel better and of course prevents sickness in the long term.
- Needless to say, breakfast promotes better concentration and productivity. It really is hard to focus on your tasks if your tummy is growling for food. Having breakfast makes you more alert and more active without the need for caffeine intake.
- For those who want to lose weight, having breakfast is the key. Eating in the morning stimulates your metabolism early on, making digestion faster. In addition, if your body is used to food intake in the morning, there is lesser intake towards the end of the day. Binging at night which causes belly will just be a thing in the past.
Below are a few suggestions for easy to prepare meals in the morning. However, if you really think you don’t have enough time, you can always prepare your meal the night before, pack it up and bring with you on your way out.
1. Low fat yogurt with blueberries and granola
2. Hard-boiled egg with a piece of fruit and skim mozzarella stick
3. Scrambled tofu
4. Muffin and jam
5. Toasts with egg (white only)
6. Cottage cheese and fruit
7. Fresh fruit salad
8. Oatmeal, flaxseed, blueberries and almonds
9. Cold cereal with fruits
10. Smoothie blended from exotic fruits with low-fat yogurt and wheat germ
11. Egg white omelet with fresh or frozen veggies
12. Vegetables, salsa and low-fat shredded cheese wrapped in tortilla
13. Microwaved potato topped with broccoli and grated Parmesan cheese
14. Whole-wheat sandwich with lean meat and low-fat cheese
15. Whole grain waffle with peanut butter
16. Multigrain pancakes with fruit and yogurt
17. Leftover vegetable pizza
18. Toast and bagels with peanut butter and raisins
19. Whole-wheat pita stuffed with hard-boiled eggs
Many people realize the importance of exercise both for good health and a young-looking appearance. However, it really is hard for most to do this regularly especially when a lot of distractions such as work, parties and sleeping extra hours can be really attractive. Here you will find reasons why to exercise and why do it in the morning.
- Body boost. When you wake up early, you find yourself rationalizing why you need to go back to sleep instead of getting up to exercise. Next time you think of sleeping some more, think about how your body is ageing because of stress and lack of workout. This morning is the only time you will pamper your body and that should be priority number 1! So get up and do some stretching (even when your eyes are still closed) then gradually proceed to your routine.
- Keeping a promise. Whatever happens to your day, no matter how busy you will be, you are sure to have ticked one important to do on your list—exercise. If you plan to do it at the end of the day, sure that works, but sudden plans will easily make you break your routine. In the morning, you are the master of your schedule (at least before going out) with no distractions to stop you from working out.
- Increased metabolism. The average person can expect the metabolic boost to last for 30-60 minutes after exercise. This phenomenon is called EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption where you burn extra calories even after workout, apart from the calories lost during the exercise. Exercise in the morning regulates the appetite for the day which is good for those who want to lessen their food intake.
- Body clock synchronization. The body regenerates itself in accordance to your natural clock so it is important to have a consistent sleeping and wake up schedule. This allows your body to anticipate when you will get up and recharge itself completely before you do. When you finally wake up, you feel totally energized even without the alarm clock annoying you. Getting up on time also enables you to get better sleep on time.
- Mental fitness. Not only does your body benefit from the workout but also your mind. Exercise in the morning increases blood flow to the brain so it gets more oxygen and nutrients. This keeps you focused and allows you to think faster. Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee to awaken your senses, exercise a little to keep that idea bulb brightly lit.
Seize the day!
Once you get to office, how do you start working? Do you instantly immerse yourself into analyzing documents and creating reports? Of course you have to ignite your engine before you run it. Below are a few start-up tips that will surely make you start right and seize the day.
1. Be clutter-free. It will be very helpful if you spend a few minutes clearing your desks from unnecessary objects before you start working. If you have piles of paper flying around, pens and cards everywhere, you will be as confused as your desk. Remember that your surroundings reflect your state-of-mind. Spending time on clean ups smoothen up the mood and your way of thinking.
2. Have a to-do list. Keeping a list of to do’s keeps you focused. It is also a quick guide on the succession of your duties instead of wasting time thinking what to do next. Make sure that in making the list, be very specific on what exactly you want to achieve. It’s possible that each bullet may have a sub-bullet. It may also be arranged according to degree of importance where you start with the tasks that you will have to allocate. Whichever works for you, keeping a list allows you to do more.
3. Old vs New. Each day, new tasks may flood which may overwhelm you. This is an unlikely scenario if you stick to your current list of to do’s and write down the new tasks on another list. This way, you are sure that you’ll never forget any new assignment that you may have to do soon while keeping you focus on the job at hand. Once you’re done with your old list, you transition to the new one will be smooth and easy.
4. Time your tasks. One day only has so many hours and you don’t want to be spending the whole day working. That is why you have to anticipate the time you will be spending on each task, like compartmentalizing your schedule. Example, 9AM to 11AM will be allocated for the report and the next two hours after that for the meeting. “Boxing” your time keeps you working at a fast pace as you feel the need to meet the schedule.
5. Use an inspiration. There are lots of daily guide booklets that you can purchase around or easily search online. These passages can be really helpful in keeping your spirits high all throughout the day. When your load gets heavy or should you feel troubled, a simple quote such as “The best way out of difficulty is through it” can keep you going. Inspirational notes can serve as your motivation triggers.