Start Your Day the Healthy (Happy) Way
Starting a new day is like writing a new story. Mornings have the special power to create the mood and make the whole day more productive. But for some reason we often neglect to create a healthy start to the day treating mornings like it’s just a transition into a more meaningful time period. And the memory of it becomes all blurry as we race across the room and off to work.
Start the day on the right foot by introducing these 5 easy steps into your morning routine. They will help you see for yourself that morning moods as well as actions do matter:
1. Become aware of the present moment
Rushing through the mornings makes the start of your day less significant. If it’s oversleeping that turns your mornings into a stressful experience, think about fixing your sleep cycle. For instance, move to an earlier bedtime to wake up early the next day. Even a half hour makes a difference.
Enjoy every little thing you do in the morning exactly for what it is. Try not to flip through the pages of your daily planner or check your Instagram during breakfast, but rather enjoy the taste of your meals.
Stay in the ‘now’ when you brush your teeth or wash your face and enjoy the feeling. These are the small things that make up your entire day. Remember what makes them great, and these moments will immediately become more meaningful.
2. Substitute morning coffee with smoothies
Coffee seems like a more obvious choice in the morning. After all it looks so natural on TV and has long become a part of our morning routine. And it’s delicious, too. However, there are plenty of healthy and delish coffee alternatives to kick-start your day. Accepting them doesn’t mean having to give up on coffee completely. It only means adding a new twist to your mornings:
- Number one option is green or peppermint tea which is rich in antioxidants and immune boosting qualities. Other tea varieties will do as well.
- Next in line are fruit-and-veggie smoothies which can be an exciting option since your opportunities here are endless. All wholefoods will do - be it fruits or vegetables, berries or herbs, or all combined. Balance out sweet, bitter and sour taste, without adding artificial ingredients or refined sugar.
- Water with squeezed lemon juice, some honey and mint is also a powerful source of energy.
3. Take time to breathe
Why wait till noon to boost energy levels? Dedicate some of your morning time to breathing exercises. It’s a chance to take a moment to be in the privacy of our mind. This slow-down before a big speed-up gives us a hand in making informed decisions.
It can be as simple as breathing deeply and slowly for around five minutes. Or you can start with deep long belly breaths followed by short nasal breathing while sitting in a comfortable position. Go on like this for a couple of minutes. Then take deep long breaths again, only this time feel both your stomach and chest expand. And in the end close the right nostril and inhale through your left, pause for three seconds, close your left nostril and exhale through the right.
By repeating this breathing exercise, you let oxygen flow into your brain and travel throughout the body. You will feel pleasantly uplifted and energized afterwards.
Just like our mind, our body has a hard time waking up. It remains motionless throughout the night which causes muscle tightness and joint stiffness. And the morning exercise is what gives your body an extra wakeup call.
Even a 15-minute exercise is enough to warm up muscles and create the mood of the day. The best part is that it can be any type of exercise at all – from short workout sets to yoga. As long as the exercise is not too intense and some stretching is involved. Also doing exercise on an empty stomach helps boost your bowel movement. Combine movements focused on breathing and gentle stretching to get the blood pumping and lymph traveling around the body.
5. Set a positive mindset
Waking up on the right side of the bed has many advantages.
Start with the things that make you a little happier. Like listening to your favorite songs and singing along. Or using essential oils and filling your room with a pleasant scent of tangerine, lemon, orange or grapefruit.
Take a look in the mirror and smile at your reflection, even if it takes an effort at first. And then think about all the things you feel grateful for: a new day of your life, your friends and family, the experiences you had and those that are yet to come. This is how you can start your day truly the healthy way. It also strikes happiness and confidence bringing out the best in you.
Program your mind from the very start that this day is going to be great. Remember that positive thoughts entail positive performance.
Eventually, it’s the little things that do a big difference. Hopefully, these tips will help you be more adaptable and greet life’s curves and turns open-mindedly. It’s not necessarily going to be very easy at first, but it’s for sure going to be worth it.