For some people, morning equals dread. Whether you start your day with a blaring alarm or wake to the sunlight, it may take only a few seconds for panic to creep in when you think about everything you want to accomplish. Some among us hide from the obligations ahead by snoozing the alarm or burrowing under the sheets, which may result in starting the day behind schedule and rushing out the door without breakfast or a sense of peace. Do this enough, and eventually, you become one of those people who owns a “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” mug and starts to get grumpy as the sun goes down and another day is “lost.”
If this sounds like you, there’s hope. Starting your day with specific actions to give your mind and body what they need can not only make you more productive, but also evolve you into a rare “morning person.” The secret? Move through your morning with intention. The commitment to move gets the motor running, and doing it with intention nourishes you mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s crucial to fill your reserves before the day starts pulling you in a thousand directions, and here are five simple steps to get started.
Drink Water First
The body performs some much-needed repairs during sleep, such as regulating hormone levels and flushing toxins, which also leaves it naturally dehydrated. Forget drinking coffee upon waking. Opt instead for a tall glass of H20 for a refreshing, hydrating boost that will instantly energize you. If it’s not your favorite, water can be easily jazzed up with detoxifying lemon, turmeric or apple cider vinegar or transformed into luxurious spa water with mint and few slices of cucumber.
Make Your Bed
Military veterans are likely to attest to making their beds each morning to set up the day for success. There is much debate on whether this actually works, and we’ve shared in the past that there’s not a correlation between making your bed and having other good habits. So if you're among those who leave it unmade, you can luxuriate in your mess without guilt. However, at the end of a long day, we're hard-pressed to imagine a more welcoming scene than a beautifully made bed in a clutter-free space.
Move Your Body
We don’t all have the bandwidth, energy or budget for a sunrise surf or 7:00 am spin class. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give our bodies what they want after hours of being horizontal: movement! A little wiggle in the form of bedside isotonic or isometric exercises, a walk around the block or dancing as you cook breakfast will energize you for your commute—even if it’s just to your home office. Simple stretches or a couple of yoga poses in the sunshine are quick, easy ways to activate your muscles and joints and say “good morning” to your heart. (Is morning movement challenging for you? Check out our Sport Stick and Relieve Lotion.)
Eat a Nutritious Breakfast
What you put in your body in the morning matters, especially when it comes to productivity. For work days, fueling up with the right amount (and balance) of nutrients is necessary for staying on point. Too much food can make you feel sluggish, and not enough can leave you distracted and foggy. If you’re trying to curb a hurried coffee shop habit, keeping breakfast simple and consistent during the week can make it easier to work it into your morning. Consider weekend meal prep if you like a heartier breakfast but lack the time to make it from scratch every day.
Five Minutes of Meditation
Did you know that you don’t have to spend hours meditating to reap the benefits? It can feel a bit counterintuitive to close your eyes so soon after waking, but just a few moments sitting still and concentrating on your breath before leaving the house or starting work can put you in a calm state of mind. Clearing mental clutter and focusing on the three biggest goals ahead will to ready you for the noise of the day.