Special guest post by Harper Reid.
That’s why we’ve collated a selection of tried and true morning rituals which will get you jumpstarted every day – so give them a try this week and see how much lighter and brighter you feel.
1. Wake bright and early
If you’re struggling to wake up in plenty of time to get ready for the day in leisurely fashion, then we incrementally pushing back your alarm by 10 or 15 minutes per week, until you’ve reached a wake-up time that’s 30 minutes earlier than your usual.
The most important tip? Don’t hit the snooze button. In fact, try to jump out of bed without thinking about anything (and especially about sleeping for 5 or 10 minutes more!).
2. Question the coffee
Research suggests that sipping on coffee too early in the morning can lead to a slump later in the day. The optimum time for a coffee is when most people arrive at work, around 9-10am. If you find yourself hankering after caffeine a little too often, you may consider switching to matcha (green tea) or even some natural fruit teas or juices.
3. Look after your mind
These days, we tend to undertake every morning task and ritual in a blind hurry. Think about reserving just 10 minutes of your morning to practice some presentism. If you can find a quiet space like a garden to meditate in, that’s even better – remove all technological distractions and clear your mind for the day ahead.
4. Stretch your body
Now that you’ve looked after the mind, it only makes sense to do the same with the body. Invest in an at-home yoga mat, put on a 10- or 20- minute video class, and loosen up the bones and muscles that have been locked in sleep mode overnight. After all, our bodies were made to move, and they like to be reminded of that upon waking.
5. Get out and about
Since we modern creatures spend such a significant amount of time in unnatural settings – think of our closed-in offices with artificial lighting and no outside view – the morning may be one of the few times during the day when we get to enjoy being outside in the sun. Morning walks in nature are proven natural therapies for stress and related disorders like depression. Here’s an insider tip: the benefits of strolling outside are further enhanced if you opt to walk barefoot.
6. Make healthy breakfast choices
Eating foods rich in fat and sugar first thing in the morning is a recipe for tiredness. Choose whole food breakfast foods like eggs, oats, and healthy smoothies instead to help your body ward against – rather than augment – any natural morning sluggishness.
7. Do one thing that makes you happy
It’s the little things which will make your mornings a part of the day to look forward to. Blast your favourite song in the car, listen to a fun educational or entertaining podcast on your morning walk or spend 20 minutes on a creative hobby before starting work.
8. Break regularly
People who start work very early in the morning will appreciate just how daunting three or four hours of shift work can be when you’ve just woken up. This is where quick breaks come in. As your work allows, take regular small breaks and fill them in with varied activities or rituals (perhaps even some of the ones listed above). That way, you can feel as if you’re striking a work-leisure morning balance while at the office.
Harper Reid is a freelance writer from Auckland, New Zealand who enjoys spending time in nature and the outdoors. Her idea of a perfect weekend includes going for a beach run, relaxing with a great book, and simply practising yoga in her backyard. Check out more of her work on Tumblr.