Workday Morning Habits that will put you in a Good Mood for Work/School!
Most of us have little time to think about and prepare breakfast in the morning when trying to make it to work on time. For me, ironing clothes always happens to take up more time than it should, and my poor breakfast plans are often reduced to munching while walking. But, putting a bit more emphasis on breakfast actually exceeds the benefits of those extra minutes of sleep. A recent consumer report on health that was published this month confirms that the benefits are not only beneficial in making us feel better throughout the day, but that how and when we eat breakfast matters: it can influence our overall mental function.
The findings show that following certain breakfast practices can both sharpen the mind and raise the spirits. Here are the major tips:
1) Eat a balanced breakfast rich in protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fat within 90 minutes of waking, every morning.
2) Keep blood sugar steady (don’t skip meals and try to eat at the same times each day).
3) Drink enough fluid (fatigue and irritability can be the causes of dehydration).
In addition to these very helpful tips, I have some of my own morning tips that I find as equally stimulating for a fresh start to a workday as that of a balanced breakfast.
Well, I absolutely love and recommend that instead of the usual NPR, TV or morning radio programs blasting in the background, you instead turn on upbeat, dance music instead. For one, being bombarded by the world’s problems is not the best way to start the day and may slightly depress you and affect your mood. You can always get a dose of news on your break at work or on the way to work (when dancing and singing along to cheesy music would not be as appropriate as is it is at home). What the happy, upbeat dance music will do is get you to enjoy your morning by affecting your mood positively before the day’s stress get to you. Likewise, dancing around while getting ready will not only get some of that well-needed morning exercise in to wake you up from the morning slump, but singing along can help warm up your vocal cords, especially if your job entails speaking with clients or directing staff.
Another favorite tips comes from the world of yoga. I know that many people don’t have the time to do yoga or exercise in the morning, but doing a 3-minute breathing exercise that is taught in the Kundalini Yoga practice will clean your blood by delivering maximum amount of oxygen to your heart and brain and make you feel immediately refreshed and as if you had additionally slept for hours. Initially, you may feel lightheaded, but once you get used to it, you’ll love the difference that it makes. This is how you should do my favorite version of the “Breath of Fire.” Sit with legs crossed and close your eyes. Lift your arms and place them in a ninety degree angle pointing up; join the middle and thumb fingers together. Now, shift your head and the corresponding arm quickly from left to right and breathe in and out of your nose as you do this. Keep this up for as long as you can….and if you reach the 3-minute mark, your body has been fully oxygenated!
I am also a big fan of aroma. If you like a particular scent- perhaps citrus or lavender, I recommend that you buy it in a form of a pure essential oil. You can mix drops of it with water, place in a plastic spray bottle and spray it around the house when you wake up in the morning. It will stimulate your senses, make you breathe deeper (healthier) and enjoy getting ready for work all the more.
Meditating by concentrating on affirmations or practicing “metta” (love) meditation are also my personal favorite morning rituals for a positive start to the day.
Think about the smallest of things that make you happy throughout the day and incorporate them in your morning rituals. It will make your morning before work enjoyable, fun, energizing and will affect your work performance greatly.