When stress is at an all-time high, starting your day off right becomes more important than ever. After all, getting up on the right side of the bed often leads to a healthier, happier day for all. But how do we prepare for the long day or week ahead during the hustle and bustle of work, family, and various social obligations? Take note of the below habits that highly successful people follow in an effort to put their foot on the right track for a great start to each day.
Practice simple meditation
It’s easy to be intimidated by meditation, but this mind exercise is rapidly gaining popularity and understanding in Northern America due to its many health benefits. In its simplest terms, Meditation is the practice of focusing your mind on a specific point of reference such as breath, sensation—or even a single word. Practicing meditation when you first wake up will allow your mind and body to remain in a calm state as you begin a busy day ahead. Not sure where to begin? Research your local area for free meditation classes, or download an app to your phone to help guide you through a beginners practice.
Stretch it out
You may think stretching is reserved for those who run or use the gym, but setting aside time for a morning stretch is an easy way to wake your body. Stretching maintains flexibility and strength in muscles, which comes in handy for those that spend their workday sitting at a desk. You can begin this new routine with a hamstring stretch that will keep the muscles in the back your thigh flexible—but remember—your desired flexibility will not be achieved right away. Like anything else in life, stretching requires practice over time to reach your goals.
Make a healthy meal before you go
They say breakfast is the most important meal—because it is! Fueling up with a healthy breakfast before you leave the house is an easy way to fill your mind and body with energy-boosting nutrients before taking on the day’s tasks. If time is an issue with your schedule, try meal prepping breakfast for a week, or test out simple breakfast alternatives like a delicious, nutrient-dense protein smoothie to cut own time spent preparing a meal.
Don’t forget your vitamins!
Of course, a proper breakfast wouldn’t be complete without adding some micronutrients to the mix. You can make vitamins and supplements a regular part of your day by choosing the ones best suited for your needs. A B12 supplement is an excellent choice to help maintain energy levels throughout the day, while a time-released melatonin tablet aids in increasing your total sleep time—not to mention sleep quality—especially for those whole juggle shift work, or jet lag due to travel.
Avoid distractions before you go
Challenge yourself to keep your phone or laptop away from your fingertips as you begin your day. Not only is the glaring light detrimental to your eyes when you first wake up, but the added distraction of social media, news, and noise can often set your mood down a path that could alter your entire state. Instead, try avoiding the urge to tune into your tech tools until you’ve settle into your healthier daily routines.
Make a plan
Whether jotting down a to do list or mentally preparing the tasks ahead, creating a plan for your day will help ease your mind of any stress-inducing burdens. Once you’ve acknowledged the volume of work (both business and personal) piling on your plate, you can begin to compartmentalize your efforts, thus creating a flow that will keep your mind steady throughout the day.
Take a moment for gratitude
For an extra boost before you leave the house, take a moment to practice gratitude. This feel-good vibe requires you to take time out of your day to think clearly about the people, places, things—and anything else—that you feel a deep appreciation for. The benefit over time in acknowledging your gratitude is longer lasting positivity, and thankfulness all around.
- Psychology Today. All About Meditation. (July 2018)
- Harvard Health Publishing. Harvard Medical School. The importance of stretching. (2013, September)
- Positive Psychology Program. What is Gratitude and What Is Its Role in Positive Psychology? (February 28, 2017)