Sometimes … er, most of the time … just getting going can be the most difficult part of the day. But your morning is also the time that sets the stage for how you’ll experience your whole day.
Morning is your moment to choose. Will your day be frantic? Stressful? Or will you walk into your day feeling prepared, calm, and confident?
So much of it comes down to that morning regime. How can your day be wonderful even before you walk out the door? Here are six helpful suggestions.
1. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Seriously. A good day begins with a good night’s sleep. And this isn’t just about insomnia or what time you hit the sack. A lot of us suffer from disrupted sleep patterns, thanks to late-night screen usage.
The blue light from our screens throws off sleep, in large part, by suppressing melatonin. Avoid your screen, as well as exercise and big meals, for an hour before bedtime.
A good bedtime meditation can also help you refocus your mind and let go of the day’s cares.
Healthy sleep is half the morning battle, and healthy sleep aids can be just the ticket to a restful night.
Eight hours (or, to be honest, more like six) is a long time to go without water. A glass or two of water first thing in the morning rehydrates you and kick-starts your body’s systems, getting it ready to move nutrients, regulate heat, and face the day.
Hydration is important and, while it’s tempting to reach for a tea or espresso first, it’s good to remember that water helps you maintain your entire body, from your brain to your gut to your skin.
On average, you should drink 6–8 glasses (1.2 to 1.5 litres) of water per day.
Celebrities and influencers are all about lemon water, believing that it balances your pH and boosts digestion and metabolism. It definitely includes a healthy dose of vitamin C, and it’s certainly one of the most budget-friendly healthcare trends these days.
3. Avoid the Phone
Now that our phones are also our alarm clocks, we find ourselves with that little screen in our hands before we’re even fully awake. It’s so easy to slip straight into a nice morning doom-scrolling session.
We’ve become a society that checks work email in bed and reads the day’s bad news before we’re mentally prepared to digest it.
A morning digital detox is vital for a healthy morning routine, and it helps you keep your regime on the rails — nothing can throw your day off so quickly as an “urgent” email.
Avoiding stressors, from bank balances to “sorry to bother you so early” texts, can make your morning more enjoyable, and make your day more productive by sending you out into the world mentally prepared for whatever may come.
4. Take Quiet Time for Yourself
Reserving some time just for you can be the key to calm and productivity in your day. This quiet time can take a lot of different forms, and there’s sure to be one to fit your personality and needs.
Meditation is an increasingly popular personal practice, and it can offer a host of valuable benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, increased compassion and kindness, and a longer attention span. If you’re unsure about how long you should sit, or if you’re nervous about being alone with your thoughts, there are several meditation apps to help you get started and to provide guided meditation sessions.
Practicing gratitude is another great morning habit. Like meditation, generating and holding a state of gratitude can greatly improve your kindness and compassion, while helping you keep your priorities and goals in perspective and in sight. This can be as simple as listing the things you’re grateful for, or giving thanks through prayer, contemplation, or in writing.
Speaking of writing, journaling in the morning can be a huge help in sorting out your thoughts and preparing for the day. It provides an opportunity to work through anxieties, conflicts, hopes, and fears in a judgment-free setting, and can improve your mental health.
If journaling isn’t your thing, simply working through your day’s goals and objectives can be a productive and brain-organizing morning habit. For a lot of us with hectic morning schedules — getting the kids up and fed, walking the dog, finding that lost sock — this can be a very centering habit that doesn’t eat up too much time. From bullet journals to vision journals, there’s a style that can fit your needs.
Whether you meditate or plan, the most important thing is that you make that time for yourself.
5. Move Around
If you’re not already a morning runner, yogi, or gym rat, this recommendation can be groan-inducing. But, exercise is incredibly important. Any exercise.
Yes, there are some CEOs who start their day with a 10-mile run, but we don’t all have that time … or energy. You don’t have to be a marathoner to have a healthy morning exercise habit.
Choose something you enjoy, will make the time for, and that you will actually make into a habit. Deciding you’re going to hit the gym at 5 a.m. every day after a lifetime of never going to the gym isn’t a sustainable exercise practice.
Full-body stretches or tai chi can be just what you need to get the blood pumping.
If you are a serious athlete and sometimes find that your mornings start off with stiffness and muscle pain, our CBD Muscle and Joint Cream or Muscle and Joint Balm Stick could help turn morning discomfort into an opportunity for soothing massage.
We’ve all heard it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Some people roll out of bed already planning what they’ll eat, while others need to be up and awake for a while before they can even consider food.
Whatever your preference, good morning nutrition is vital to a good day. It provides the glucose you need for energy and alertness, and the nutrients to keep your body and mind operating at their best. And it fights off the mid-morning hangries.
That doesn’t mean you have to sit down to a table of pancakes, eggs, hash browns, oatmeal, and juice every day like you live in a cereal commercial. But it also doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. Many of us have to grab breakfast on the go, and a healthy breakfast smoothie is the best alternative to a bacon sandwich.
Finally: Know Your Chronotype
No, that’s not an expensive watch. For decades now, scientists have looked into what they call chronotypes. This is quite literally a natural variation in sleep-wake time preference — in other words, scientists believe people are naturally night owls, morning people, or something in between.
It all comes down to evolution, they say. Back when humans were hunter/gatherers, some of us had to get up early and hunt, while others had to stay up late and keep watch.
That said, be careful not to confuse your lifestyle with your chronotype! You might be a morning person in disguise, thanks to bad sleep habits.
These are just a few of the morning habits that can help you have healthy, happy days. Whatever you choose, here’s hoping your mornings are calm and your days fulfilling.