A daily practice is a great way to get the most out of life. It helps to maintain mental and emotional balance, boosts confidence and wellbeing, and can keep you present and in the moment. And there are some very simple things you can do every morning after you wake up to get the ball rolling in the right direction and put yourself into the best state of mind for whatever the day may throw at you.
So here are five things you can include in your morning routine to help you own the day. Get into the habit of doing these things every morning and you’re already winning.
1. Get up straight away
When the alarm goes off do you hit snooze or do you immediately get up? Whichever action you choose will begin to define your state of mind throughout the morning. So why not nip procrastination in the bud and swing your legs out of bed and sit up without a second thought? Taking action now will encourage you to be proactive throughout the day and build a propensity for action. And, as the saying goes, “the way you do anything is the way you do everything.”
2. Drink water
Staying hydrated is fundamental to staying healthy. It keeps you alert, helps to maintain a healthy immune system to fit coughs, colds and other illnesses, fights the signs of ageing, reduces anxiety and helps wake you up. And that’s just a few of the benefits of drinking hydrated. Studies with school children have shown that proper hydration helps them perform well in school and raise their grades in exams. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us.
Keeping a big glass of water next to the bed to gulp down the moment you wake up will go some way to replace the water you lost while you were sleeping. And hopefully it will encourage you to stay hydrated throughout the rest of the day – two litres is the recommended minimum intake of water for every 24 hours. Considering our bodies are more than fifty percent water, prioritising hydration makes sense.
For added benefits, if you want to supercharge that first glass of water, add a squeeze of lemon and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt. This will help to replace electrolytes making you even sharper for that morning meeting with the boss.
3. Move – and breathe
Any kind of movement is better than no movement. Whether it’s a gentle stretch, or even just five press ups, movement helps to prime the body for the demands that the day will place on it. It also gets the blood pumping, which is great for circulation and oxygenation, and kickstarts your immune system and your metabolism for the day ahead.
If you want to get even more out of this activity, give your full focus and attention to taking six slow, deep breaths. That’s all it can take to calm the mind, reduce your blood pressure, and your cells will be replenished with the oxygen they need to keep them healthy.
4. Get a protein hit
The brain runs on protein, not carbs, so avoid the toast and wolf down an egg or a nut bar instead. Bread and cereals are carbohydrates, which can send your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster ride that can cause you to crash and feel sleepy not long afterwards. The protein from an egg or a smoothie with a spoonful of sugar-free peanut butter, on the other hand, will help to keep you sharp and get the metabolism fired up.
5. Be grateful
Owning the day isn’t just a physical and mental task, but a spiritual one too. Who hasn’t turned up at work on a Monday morning in a foul mood for no apparent reason? Give your colleagues a break and yourself an emotional boost by spending a minute or two in a state of gratitude. Pause for a moment, think of something that brings you pleasure, and focus on how that makes you feel. It could be the smell of your first cup of coffee, the thought of the sun streaming in through the window, or the smile on a loved-one’s face. Even the smallest things can bring a great deal of happiness, so take a moment to be grateful for those small pleasures and it’ll add a shine to your day. And don’t forget to mix it up – choose a different thing to be grateful for tomorrow for and your feeling of gratitude will spiral upwards.
Do these things each morning before you leave the house and you’ll arrive at worker, sharper, more focused, and in a better mood to tackle the day ahead. Add your own steps and practices to your daily routine, and truly make it yours. And before you know it you won’t be just owning the morning, you’ll be owning the day too.