If rolling out of bed in the morning has you fantasizing about hitting your alarm with a sledge-hammer or pulling the covers back over your head for another century, don’t fret. You likely just need a little reset of your morning routine. Here are seven easy ways to make sure your day starts better by doing small things to tweak that wake-up ritual:
1. You can start the day earlier by making sure you go to sleep earlier. One of the best ways to increase your productivity is to wake up earlier, but if you’ve been saying, “I’m not a morning person” like a mantra, it may be time to ditch that attitude and find a better, more beneficial way of seeing the rising of the sun.
According to traditional Chinese medicine, your body recharges itself at night, in accordance with the natural rhythms of nature, including the rise and fall of the sun. Good sleep also maintains a balance of yin and yang. The regular succession of daily or seasonal cycles is the primordial expression of the waxing and waning of yin and yang in the universe. In order to promote better sleep, it is suggested that going to bed at the yin predominate time (night) while waking up at the yang predominate time (day) can help someone to function at their best physically and mentally. So, shut down your computer, and turn off your cell phone at least one hour before your desired bedtime. Eat dinner earlier, and hang some blackout curtains if you must, so that you can benefit from the re-charging energies of the night.
2. Ditch the coffee for a better start to your day. Most people can’t even think of having a civil conversation before they’ve had their morning caffeine, but there are better ways to create energy in the body that won’t fry your adrenal glands and cause a long-term interruption in your body’s natural sleep-wake cycles. You can increase your water intake throughout the day to create a better pH balance, and therefore more energy, or you can green juice first thing in the morning for a natural energy boost that doesn’t leave you flat a few hours later. Also try smelling peppermint while you are weaning yourself from coffee or black tea. This essential oil will help with caffeine headaches.
3. Instead of popping right out of bed, do some stretches lying down. Some of us require an easy entrance into the world when we first awake, and stretching the body not only improves blood flow and flexibility, but can send positive signals to your endocrine glands that everything is right with the world, making that morning wake-up call seem downright doable. If those feel good, take an extra ten minutes to do these six yoga stretches that will help wake you up and make you feel ready for anything!
4. Play some of your favorite music. We all need something to look forward to, and if your alarm is an annoying call to arms, it can be tempting to slap it off and snooze, which research has shown actually makes getting up even harder. Instead, program your morning wake up to be a favorite uplifting and jaunty tune that won’t be too jarring, but makes getting up and starting to move, maybe even dance a little, seem well, fun! Music really can soothe the soul, so whether you love Brahms or Bob Marley, add some tunes to your morning routine.
5. Take your vitamins and eat a good breakfast. Even if you have to put out your multivitamin next to the coffee pot (that you are no longer going to use) to remember to take it, getting the right nutrients is paramount to waking up easier in the morning. Eating a good breakfast also sets you up for success too. If you think about it, your caloric and nutritional needs for the day start when you awake, and start to wane as the day moves forward. If you eat well at the beginning of your day, you are less likely to crave junk later on in the afternoon and evening, and that boost of extra nutrition will also help you sleep better at night.
6. Wake up earlier to work out. If chasing the sunrise doesn’t sound like something you’d like to do, consider that some of the most successful, happy, well rounded people wake up super early to get their workouts in. This way there are no excuses. You are charged with energy for the rest of your day, and there is a special confidence that comes with knowing you did something only a small percentage of the world is disciplined enough to do. And then, there are all the actual benefits of getting regular exercise, including better sleep, too.
7. Make the first thought you have when you wake up a positive one. One of the best ways to set the tone for your day is to have a book of inspirational quotes or a notecard with a positive affirmation setting next to your bed. This way, when you awake, you can look at the quote or saying and have a mini-meditation, setting your mind on the right course for positive experience throughout the day. You can also pre-record positive sayings that you play for yourself when you first wake up in the morning. This will eliminate negative self-talk and recreate neural pathways in your brain for positive experience instead. Your mind has a powerful tendency to follow where you lead it, so make sure that the first thoughts you have upon waking serve to motivate and inspire you for great deeds all day long.
Starting your day shouldn’t be a drudgery, but a new opportunity to create the day with your innate powers of focus, positivity and compassion. Remember that your ‘good’ morning starts with an early night, and a few simple steps to make every day a glorious one.
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