Do you roll out of bed in the morning and mindlessly slink through your social media feed, or is their purpose in your actions? The way you wake up determines the tone for the rest of your day.
Nutrition, sleep, fitness, mind-set, family life and productivity are areas of our life we often focus on separately, although we may try to improve on each of these areas independently they are ultimately interconnected.
When we overly focus on improving just one of these areas of our life we can end up throwing everything else out of balance. Instead of narrowly focusing on making big changes in one aspect of our life what if instead we could improve wholistically with just a few small tweaks.
Consider just how many effortless choices you have in a day. Stay in or eat out? Pop or water? Walk or drive? Social media or a book? These in the moment decisions don’t require alot of effort to implement- they are generally answered with a habitual response. By focusing on the micro choices in our life the macro takes care of itself. Below we’ve outlined some simple but effective changes you can begin to implement into your morning routine to help you win the day and live your best life.
If you’ve managed to get a full night’s rest that means you’ve gone at least 7 or more hours without water. A variety of factors including the climate, if you were physically active the afternoon before, or if you consumed alcohol can leave you dehydrated upon waking. By immediately drinking a large glass of room temperature water upon waking you can rehydrate, prime the digestive system, balance and maintain pH levels, and get a dose of vitamin C and potassium. Add in a tiny pinch of pink himalayan salt for an extra dose of minerals.
Your sleep cycle and energy levels are regulated by your circadian rhythm, this physiological cycle controls a variety of processes including telling your body when to wake up and when to go to sleep, your body temperature, hormones and metabolism. The circadian rhythm is influenced by light and movement. Exposing your body to natural light upon waking delivers an energy boost that will help to synchronize this process. You can do this by simply stepping outside in the morning and letting the light wash over you for 10 minutes. Extra credit for walking barefoot on the ground- this has also been shown to connect your body to the Earth’s natural energy system and regulate circadian rhythm.
We know meditation can seem daunting, but all it takes is 5 minutes of sitting in stillness and focusing on the breath to decrease overall stress levels and instill mental clarity. Focused breathing helps turn off the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and turns on the autonomic nervous system (rest and digest.) Beginning the day with a clear mind enables us to become more receptive to creative thoughts and allows us to better handle whatever stress comes our way.
The ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome leaves us constantly comparing our lives to others’ and wishing we had something other than what is right in front of us. If we start the day by writing out the things we’re grateful for, it helps us focus on the abundance of things we already have. Over time we will stop worrying and wishing, and start living and enjoying.
Even a light dose of exercise has been proven to increase circulation, improve cognitive performance and release endorphins. A short yoga flow, a few sets of push-ups or squats or a light jog are enough to do the trick. By fitting in as few as 10 minutes of exercise into your morning routine you are able to prime your day for success.
This concept is easier to grasp when it comes to our physical health, most of us understand what goes into our bodies determines how we look and feel. But it’s just as important to be aware of what we’re feeding our minds. By watching negative news stories, reading tabloids, or compulsively checking social media we start our day full of mental clutter and with lowered energy.
Identify and list the tasks you’d like to have accomplished within the day that will help support your long term goals- not just daily chores. By doing this in the morning it helps you to better manage your time and focus your energy according to what is essential.