Are mornings a struggle? Do you find it hard to get going even after a good night’s sleep? Dr Luke Brady has some handy tips for you to help put a spring in your step and make each morning a pleasure not a chore.
I hope you’ve woken up feeling refreshed and alert after trying some ideas from my sleep notes. To build on those habits, here are some tips for creating a morning ritual that helps you get the most from yourself and your day.
1. Get up early. Set your alarm (sunrise alarms) for 5am and join the “5am Club”. The benefits of getting up early are many and varied. Suffice to say it allows you to start the day unrushed and gives you time to plan a great day.
2. Drink water. Drink a large glass of water (with apple cider vinegar). Most people are chronically dehydrated, so starting the day with a half liter is a great start toward your 2-3 litres of water per day.
3. Meditate. Yep, the science increasingly shows that meditation works and is one of the cheapest, easiest and quickest ways to improve the health of your mind and your outlook on life.
4. Keep a journal. Jotting down your thoughts, feelings, concerns and worries is a great way to clear the mind. Things often look a bit less daunting when we’ve got them out of our heads and onto paper. It’s also a great way to gain clarity on what’s most important for you to achieve that day. Make a list of priorities for the day and then circle the ONE thing that, if you accomplished just that, you would feel it to be a successful day.
5. Exercise before breakfast. A very basic exercise routine not only helps you wake up but also gets your metabolism primed for the day. It could be a run or perhaps stretches, push-ups, and sit-ups. Remember, the best exercise session is the one that gets done and the best exercise routine is the one that you stick to, so perhaps start small and easy while you build this important habit.
6. Have a cold shower. This is not everyone’s idea of a great start to the day, but since I watched this film I only take cold showers!
7. Make the rounds. Water and rotate the plants, walk the dog or feed the cat, kiss your sleeping partner, stick your head out the window to check the weather… generally check in with your local natural world to ground yourself in the new day. Caring for the other living creatures in your life also positions you to start the day in a generous and loving mood.
8. Eat breakfast. I’ve read many differing opinions about how important breakfast is to one’s health, and from my experience I feel more energised and alert after eating something before leaving the house. I make a green smoothie every morning and don’t think twice about it.
9. Plan the day. While I sip away at my smoothie, I plan my day. I go over my calendar, review my to-do list and try to foresee any potential stumbling blocks that may interfere with my schedule. I also leave my phone off until this point, as I like to start my day without the inevitable onslaught of digital distractions that most of us are all too familiar with!
It’s a long list. Do I get all of them done every day? Not always, but I do get them done often enough to know that those days do seem to flow better, and I’m definitely more productive. Try a couple of these ideas and experiment with them until you find a routine that suits AND stretches you.