Oh, the jarring sound of the alarm going off in the morning and awakening you from a deep slumber! You just want to roll over and drift back to sleep. Yet the day awaits, and you have much to do and too little time to do it. Despite your misgivings, you separate yourself from the coziness of the bedcovers and struggle out of bed.
Sound familiar? Waking up is a challenge, especially if you aren’t a morning person. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re hopelessly sluggish in the morning, maybe your morning routine could use an upgrade. Let’s look at some simple morning habits that will jumpstart your morning and get your day started and off on the right foot.
Begin Each Morning with a Light Workout
Who doesn’t feel sluggish when they wake up? As you crawl out of bed, you might have tight muscles, dry eyes, and a hint of brain fog too. It takes time to revitalize and get the blood flowing to your brain and muscles after 7 to 8 hours of inactivity. Rather than stumble to the kitchen for a cup of coffee, do a light morning workout to get your body firing on all cylinders. Ten minutes of light exercise and light stretching will raise your body temperature enough to cast aside the doldrums and jumpstart your day.
A light workout in your bedroom works, but taking a brisk walk outdoors has benefits too. If you time it right, you might get the joy and satisfaction of seeing the sun come up. Even if you save your structured workout for later in the day, add some movement to your morning, even if it’s only 10 minutes.
When you start your day with gratitude, it changes your perspective. Try this. As soon as you wake up, hold up one hand. As you touch each finger, whisper one thing you’re grateful for. If you make this a practice, you’ll be surprised at how much it will uplift your morning and make the rest of your day better.
Gratitude has more benefits than you might think. Glenn Fox, an expert on the benefits of gratitude from the USC Marshall School of Business points out that expressing gratitude can improve sleep, reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and even reign in inflammation. Include some gratitude in your morning!
Open the Blinds
A little natural light in the morning can make the rest of your day better. Studies show that exposing your eyes to sunlight early in the day improves mood, weight control, and metabolic health. Light exposure properly sets your internal biological clock and the circadian rhythms that control hormones involved in blood sugar control, weight, and mood. It’s natural light you need in the morning, not a lamp or overhead lights. So, throw open the blinds or curtains and soak up the early morning rays.
Give Yourself Something to Wake Up For
It’s more fun to wake up if something you enjoy is waiting for you. Do you relish sipping a hot cup of espresso or a cappuccino in the morning? Splurge on an espresso maker and treat yourself to one upon awakening. Another idea is to have a warm, fragrant breakfast waiting. Place steel-cut oats in a slow cooker and let them cook overnight. When morning arrives, breakfast is ready! Add berries, nuts, seeds, and other nutritious goodies to the bowl along with your favorite milk or milk substitute. The smell of warm, freshly cooked oats in the morning will get your day started on a positive note too.
Choose healthy options for your morning meal, not ultra-processed junk food. Selecting healthy carbohydrate sources will prevent blood sugar swings that can affect your mood and performance later in the day. Be sure to include a protein source to further stabilize your blood sugar.
Skip the News
It’s tempting to grab your smartphone or turn on the television to catch up on the news overnight. Resist the urge! Much of the news these days is negative and immersing yourself in it will start your day on a negative note. Instead, turn on relaxing music and bask in the beautiful tones as you dress for work. Classical or New Age is a good choice but select whatever uplifts you.
According to Psychology Today, listening to relaxing music lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces muscle tension, and eases stress. So, you’ll get several benefits by adding music to your morning.
Switch Your Shower for a Bath
Do you usually take a quick shower in the morning? Set the alarm a little earlier and enjoy a relaxing soak in the tub rather than a rushed shower. Add your favorite herbs, bath oil, or bubble bath and turn it into a morning ritual. Bathing is more relaxing than rushing through a hot shower. Remember, how you start the morning sets the tone for the day. Make sure you’re launching your day on a positive note!
Clean Up the Night Before
Waking up with too much to do or to a messy bedroom and house gets the day started with disorder and confusion. Tidy up the night before and keep your bedroom simple and uncluttered. You could even place a beautiful plant or vase of flowers on the nightstand to wake up to. Keeping clutter out of your sleeping area can help you fall asleep faster too. Imagine how much better your day will be if you wake up to a clean, organized bedroom.
The Bottom Line
What you do in the morning sets the tone for the day. If you aren’t a morning person, try some of these tips to make your mornings more pleasant and help them run a little more smoothly. Morning habits matter. Try some of these seven tips to make your mornings run smoother and get more enjoyment out of the day.
- Greater Good Magazine. “How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain”
- com. “Music Is Good for the Soul, and Your Health”