Tuesday, June 3, 2008 at 6:31am by admin
What you do in the morning sets the tone for your entire day. Making positive choices for your morning routine promises to make whatever comes your way easier to manage. Follow the suggestions below to get a great start on your morning for both your body and your mind.
Food and Drink
Starting the day with something in your body is likely the most important way to jumpstart your day. Whether it’s a nutritious breakfast, vitamins, or a simple glass of water, you will find several ideas for how to get your morning going.
- Water. First thing as soon as you get out of bed, drink a glass of water. Not only will you jumpstart your hydration for the day, but the water will serve to help clear the cobwebs in your mind.
- Eat breakfast. As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Starting the day with breakfast doesn’t have to be a major production and will get your day off to a great start. Find out exactly why eating breakfast is so important in this article.
- Make breakfast easy. Breakfast doesn’t have to be difficult. Grab a bagel or a yogurt and add a piece of fruit to have a quick and easy breakfast. This blog post offers some great ideas for an easy breakfast.
- Coffee. You can always try the old stand-by of a cup of coffee to get you going in the morning. Treat yourself to an automatic coffee maker so when your alarm goes off, you have a cuppa joe ready to go. Take advantage of generous Green Mountain coffee coupons to save some green, or if you enjoy the coffee from your favorite coffee shop, then motivate yourself to get out of the house sooner with the promise of someone else making that perfect cup.
- Tea. For those who don’t drink coffee, how about a cup of tea? It is super easy to make, and the selection is almost limitless. Tea is a great source of antioxidants and you can get it with caffeine or caffeine-free. Read here to find out more about the health benefits of tea.
- Fruit smoothie. Grab your blender, some milk or yogurt, and whatever fruit you have on hand (use fresh or frozen). Smoothies are delicious, easy to make, full of nutrition, and sure to get your day going. Try this peanut butter and banana smoothie for some extra protein in the morning.
- Protein powder. Add some whey protein powder (or soy protein powder if you don’t eat dairy) to your fruit smoothie, and you’ll really add a spring to your step in the morning. Learn about the benefits of whey protein powder here.
- Vitamin B complex. B vitamins give you energy and help memory and thinking. Take a good quality vitamin B complex supplement each morning to ensure you get the proper balance of your B vitamins. Another easy way to get your Bs is to drink them from a supplement like Emergen-C. The packets come in many different flavors and mix into water for a fast gulp of both B and C vitamins as well as other minerals and electrolytes.
- Have a green drink. Green drinks are all the rage in health circles. Imagine a smoothie with vegetables instead of fruit and no dairy. You can make your own like this one, or use a prepackaged version like this.
- Green tea bags. Instead of ingesting this drink, put some green tea bags on your eyes. Steep the tea, then cool the tea bags off in the freezer. Place the cool bags on your eyes for a reduction in puffiness. As an added bonus, you can drink the green tea while you wait for the tea bags to cool.
Getting out of bed and getting your body moving is a great way to ensure you don’t go back to sleep and that you get the morning started with gusto. Fitting exercise in first thing in the morning also means you don’t have to worry about doing it later in the day after so many other tasks pile up and your energy begins to wane. It also gets your metabolism going early in the day.
- Yoga. Yoga is a calming, yet energizing way to get your body and your mind going in the morning. You don’t even have to go to a studio to do some basic yoga positions. Watch this video to learn how to do a sun salutation series, or read about how to do sun salutations at this site (the animated stick figure is actually quite helpful to learning how to do the moves).
- Run. Roll out of bed and into your running clothes. Get in a short run before starting your day and you will have not only awakened yourself, but have done your exercise for the day as well.
- Walk. If running isn’t your thing or you just need to give your body a rest, walking is both an excellent form of exercise and will get your day off to a great start.
- Stretch. It can be as simple as bending down to touch your toes or as elaborate as a workout routine, but stretching will get your blood flowing and keep you from crawling back to bed. Try these easy stretches to get your morning going.
- Jump rope. Jumping rope isn’t just for kids. This exercise is easy to do at home, doesn’t cost a lot, and gets your heart pumping right away. Why You Should Jump Rope not only answers why, but offers four different techniques and a video demonstrating some techniques.
- Swim. Whether you have access to a swimming pool or a natural body of water, taking an early morning dip will get your blood flowing and stimulate your appetite for that healthy breakfast. Swimming is an excellent workout for your body and offers some quiet time for your mind.
- Tai Chi. In many Asian countries, it is not unusual to see people outside early in the morning practicing their Tai Chi. Learn more about the benefits from this graceful, low-impact exercise in this article.
- Bicycle. Jump on your bike, whether it’s stationary or the traditional kind that can take you places. Cycling is good for your heart and will get you going in the morning. If you are lucky enough to ride outside, the fresh morning air will help get you going too.
- Push-ups. While these may bring visions of boot camp or memories of that crazed PE teacher you had in school, push-ups are a great way to get your morning started and require no extra cost or equipment. Here is one way to do those push-ups to get your blood flowing in the morning.
- Dance. Fulfill your childhood dream of being a ballerina or just get down with your funky self and make up your own dance steps to your favorite music. Dance is a fun form of exercise that you can do in the privacy of your own home. If you don’t know how to dance, get some tips online. You can also rent or buy a DVD to help you learn.
Getting things done in the evening or before bed will save you much time in the morning. Not only will your head be clearer, but it will save you from having to do lots of small tasks when you have little time.
- Lay out clothes. Get your clothes ready for tomorrow by selecting and laying them out. This will save you time in the morning when you might not be as alert for making decisions or when you realize that shirt needed to be ironed.
- Pack lunches. Prepare lunches for yourself and, if you have kids, for your children. An easy way to streamline lunch-packing is to use a system like the Japanese bento box or Laptop Lunches.
- Pick up clutter. Clean up the shoes, dirty clothes, and various other stuff that gets left around the house so that you wake up to a clean house and don’t have to go searching for that second shoe. Follow these tips to declutter you house in just 15 minutes every day.
- Wash dishes. After a satisfying dinner, the last thing you probably want to do is clean up the kitchen. However, taking care of this task in the evening will have your kitchen clean and ready for you to start breakfast the next morning.
- Prepare dinner. Not the dinner you just ate, but get everything ready for tomorrow’s dinner. If you like crock pot cooking, get everything assembled in the evening, add it all to the crock pot in the morning, then you have dinner ready for you when you arrive home. Even without a crock pot, you can get veggies chopped and ingredients assembled so that dinner is ready for the making the next day.
- To-do list. Write down reminders of what you need to do the next day. In the morning, you won’t need to search your sleep-addled brain for the tasks ahead of you.
- Shower. If you don’t rely on your shower as a method of waking up, why not take it at night? Not having to shower in the morning will give you a good extra half hour for your morning routine.
- Check email. Don’t leave this task for the morning when you have so many other things to do to get ready for your day. Take care of your email business, then walk away from your computer so you won’t be tempted to take time away from the rest of your evening routine.
- Be ready to go. Put what you’ll need the next morning by the door so that you don’t have to go looking for your stuff. Keep bags, keys, backpacks, and whatever else you need to take with you ready to go.
Sleep and Waking
How you go to bed at night and get up in the morning will certainly affect how you begin your day. Follow these tips for getting a good night’s rest and waking up ready to greet the day.
- Go to bed. Of course you are going to go to bed, but make sure you do it before you feel exhausted. Pushing yourself to stay up for the news or the end of a TV show means you are probably cheating yourself out of your much-needed sleep. Make your bed more inviting and perzonalized with this Domestications coupon code
- Get a good night’s rest. After a good sleep, you will feel much more energized and ready to start your day. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed, leave your worries behind you, and sip some chamomile tea. Here are more tips for how to ensure a great sleep.
- Wake up earlier. Give yourself just 30 extra minutes in the morning and you will be amazed at how much more you can accomplish before starting your day. Many people snooze for at least this long, so just try getting out of bed instead.
- Don’t snooze. You certainly wouldn’t want to purposely give yourself a poor night’s sleep, so why do you hit the snooze button in the morning? Snoozing guarantees that you will not be getting quality sleep during those last few minutes or hours of the morning. Make a change for a better start to your morning and skip the snooze.
- Get a pleasant alarm. A jarring alarm might wake you up, but so does an air horn blast to the ear or a douse of icy water. Instead of waking up startled, try an alarm that wakes you up gently such as the Zen alarm clock. You may be surprised at how well it works to get you up in the morning–and it’s definitely a more calm way to do so.
- Get an alarm that won’t let you sleep. Another great idea when it comes to alarms is using one that won’t let you sleep such as this light-producing alarm or these fun alarms from Japan. If you don’t want to shell out the money for a special alarm, try setting your radio alarm to talk radio.
- Move the alarm. Don’t put your alarm next to your bed. In fact, put it as far away from your bed as you can. When your alarm goes off, you will have to get out of bed to turn it off, thereby making it easier for you to stay out of bed.
- Sleep routine. Stick to a routine with consistent bed time and wake-up times. Consistently sleeping at the same time every night provides you with a better chance for a good night’s sleep. You may even discover that you begin waking up at the same time every morning without an alarm clock.
- Just sleep enough. The range of sleep a person needs is highly individualized. Some people get by just fine with six hours a night while others need closer to nine. Find out how much sleep you really need. Give yourself a week to try this experiment, then once you know, set your sleep routine around the correct number of hours you need.
- Get a dog. Any dog owner can tell you that there’s not much sleeping late in the mornings when you have a dog. As a puppy, they need to be taken outside immediately for potty time. As they get older, the routine of doggie breakfast and potty will become so ingrained that they will wake you up mercilessly with kisses or whines if you try to stay in bed for that extra sleep.
Wake Up Your Mind
Getting your body out of bed is half the battle. Waking up your mind so that you are focused and ready for your day is one of the best ways to jumpstart your day. Take these suggestions for ways to get your brain awake in the morning.
- Shower. Take a refreshing shower first thing in the morning. Keeping the temperature moderate will get your blood flowing and wake up your mind. Learn how finishing your shower off with cold water benefits your health and well-being.
- Write your goals. Take a few minutes to think about what you want to accomplish that day and write a list of your tasks or goals. These can be as simple as errands you need to run or a part of a larger life goal toward which you are working.
- Read the newspaper. Take a few minutes to catch up on current events and wake up your mind. Some people enjoy opening the newspaper and scanning the news while they sip on a cup of coffee. Finish it off with the crossword puzzle and you’ll really have your brain working.
- Get the news online. Another great way to keep updated is find your favorite online news source. If you are short on time in the morning, receiving a daily email with the news headlines gives you a brief, ready-made update. Many online sources offer an email option and will let you tailor which type of news headlines you receive.
- Slow down. Start the morning slowly. Frantically rushing around to get everything done in time to leave the house not only starts your day off on an anxious note, it doesn’t give your mind time to wake up.
- Read a book. In busy lives, it can be difficult to find time for quiet recreation. Give yourself 10 or 15 minutes to read a book or magazine each morning. You’ll start the day having already rewarded yourself.
- Meditate. Take advantage of the peaceful quiet the morning can bring. Set aside a few minutes for quiet meditation. This can be as simple as sitting peacefully and becoming aware of your breathing and how your body feels. Read this blog post for how to dismiss distractions while you are learning to meditate.
- Turn on the lights. Not just in the bedroom, but all over the house. Get out of bed and start turning on lights in every room. The extra light will trigger your natural circadian rhythm and help get your mind going.
- Listen to a podcast. With so many free podcasts available, you can certainly find one that piques your interest. Whether you subscribe to a daily or weekly podcast, take advantage of the time while you are eating breakfast or getting dressed to listen to something on your favorite topic.
- Journal. Whether you write your thoughts, dabble with poetry or haiku, or draw a picture, take a few minutes to document your thoughts. If you are more tech savvy or like to keep connected with remote friends and family, consider starting a blog. You can spend a few minutes in the morning typing your thoughts or updates on your life and sharing with those you know and love (and even a few people you don’t know).
- Thank the universe. No matter how you thank the universe, be it through prayer or simply acknowledging the beauty of the sunrise, take a moment to be appreciative for the day ahead of you. Realizing that each day is a gift is a powerful way to jumpstart your day.
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