Who wouldn’t love to be the type of person who leaps out of bed each morning, ready to seize the day? Following these 9 simple morning rules will boost your productivity, health, and overall happiness, and let you reap the rewards of all-day energy.
1) Go to bed at a decent hour, wake up refreshed.
That’s right. Habit number one actually begins the night before. Skimping on sleep is never a good idea, just ask Arianna Huffington, so make sleep the priority it deserves to be and aim to get at least seven hours a night (preferably 7-9). The best part is that when your body clock self regulates you can wake up naturally without that pesky alarm.
Bonus Tip: Avoid digital devices before bed for optimal Zzz's and better sleep quality to feel even more energized come morning.
2) Soak up some rays first thing in the morning.
Research has proven that it’s beneficial to expose yourself to direct sunlight within five minutes of waking. This helps reset your hormones by revving up the ones that energize you in the morning and shutting down the sleep promoting hormones that help you snooze at night.
If your home doesn’t get great natural light, raise your blinds and open your curtains to the maximum capacity the night before. Alternatively, you can try to incorporate a light box or a smart bulb to boost your energy and mood.
3. Stand like a superhero.
You know the typical superhero stance: legs spread about hip width apart, hands on the hips, and chest toward the sky? Psychologists refer to it as an open-stance and while it may look silly, standing in that position has powerful effects on your psyche.
“Our bodies change our minds,” says Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, who famously talks about the superhero stance in this TED talk about body language.
While you’re outside catching a few rays in the morning (Tip #2), stand like a superhero for 2 minutes and you’ll obtain the confidence boosting benefits that will get you ready to take on the day.
4) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
One of the best things that you can get in the habit of doing in the morning is to drink a big glass of warm water (cold water would be a shock to your gut that would slow down digestion). Doing so helps to get your metabolism ramped up for the day. It also gives your cells a nice refreshing drink after a long sleep. Add a squeeze of lemon for a bonus detox. The citrus will also work wonders for improving your metabolism.
5) Take the time to eat a simple, unprocessed breakfast.
It is important to fuel yourself with a nutrient dense and balanced breakfast. Many traditional breakfast foods, such as pastries or greasy, frozen, breakfast-sandwiches won’t do you any favors, and will leave you feeling hungry in short order.
Instead, aim for a breakfast with a good source of protein, such as eggs or oatmeal, with sautéed veggies or fresh fruit, and maybe even a handful of nuts. Avoid anything too sugary first thing in the morning (and in general) as it can lead to a crash later. For healthier alternatives, try some of these delicious plant-based protein recipes.
6) Space out your caffeine intake.
While that twenty-four ounce iced coffee may look tempting, breaking up your caffeine intake will help you achieve a steady energy flow throughout the day. Drink a small coffee first thing, then wait to have another only if the craving hits.
Coffee should ideally be consumed in eight-ounce servings because any more would have an adverse impact on your mood, energy, and adrenal function. Not to mention, for you sweetened coffee lovers out there, twenty-four ounces of coffee requires a LOT more of your chosen sweetener. We often let this early morning sugar bomb fly under our radar.
Keep in mind that caffeine intake past 5:00 PM can reduce your quality of sleep (Tip #1) so try to avoid it whenever possible.
7) Be prepared to master your day by writing a to-do list.
When you write a to-do list and plan your day, it is easier to stay on top of things, and therefore keep stress at bay. We all feel more energized when heading out for the day knowing exactly what we need to do and having a game plan to tackle all of the tasks awaiting us.
Try taking 5 minutes the night before to analyze what you did that day as this will help you make an actionable list the following morning.
8) Move your body, feel energized!
Stretch, move around, and take the time to breathe, walk your dog, or dance while your coffee brews. Doing so can improve circulation, reduce stress, release endorphins that help you feel good, and boost your overall mood and energy levels.
Bonus Tip: To avoid that snooze button, do a cat stretch instead, right there in your bed.
9) Focus your thoughts and energy on positivity.
Even if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, remember the quote, “Where attention goes, energy flows.”
If you focus on gratitude and the positive things in your life, you will give energy to those thoughts and be uplifted. Dwelling on the negative will only increase the negativity that comes your way. Think happy thoughts, set an intention for the day, force a smile if you have to, and a real smile will surely follow.
Downloading a mindfulness app can be a great way to introduce mediation and intention building into your morning routine.
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