Do you ever wish you were living back in the days before our mornings started off with phone alerts and emails waiting to be answered? Yes, it’s annoying to have modern day technology interrupt what could be a pleasant start to your day, but the good news is that you have the power to create a morning ritual that is energizing and inspiring.
Rather than opening up your phone to check social media or your computer to get ahead at work, start your day off right with the following tips to guarantee a positive beginning to your day.
My favorite daily practice that starts the day out right is being grateful. Find three things to be thankful for each and every morning before your feet hit the ground and at night before you lay your head down.
It could be for a great day at work or for your wonderful partner beside you. It could be the volunteer job you love, the yoga mat waiting for you, or the five-mile run you’re going to brave the cold for.
Choose to start your day from a place of abundance, because research shows that those who do are more optimistic, have more social connections, sleep more soundly, exercise more and are happier. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious and greedy.
Practicing gratitude is a no-brainer!
Quit Skipping Breakfast
You may think skipping breakfast will save you time and calories later in the day, but unfortunately it does just the opposite. Studies show that eating breakfast actually reduces hunger later in the day, and gives you more energy and brain power to get through your to-do list.
Need more proof? Eating a nutritious breakfast can:
• Help you lose weight, and decrease your risk of obesity.
• Increase brain function and concentration.
• Increase metabolism by as much as 10 percent.
• Decrease stress.
• Help you stick to your diet, and prevent snacking throughout the day.
Most people claim they don’t have time to eat breakfast. So if that’s your favorite excuse, I have great news - there are plenty of quick and easy breakfast ideas to get you started on the right track - even if your only breakfast encounter has been at the drive thru.
It takes more time to wait in line at your favorite breakfast stop than it does to make my favorite protein-filled shake. Even if you need to drink it on the go, it’s the best kind of morning take-out there is.
Pineapple Green Smoothie
1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk
1 ripe banana, frozen if possible (makes it creamier)
1 large handful of fresh spinach leaves (or a scoop of Life’s Abundance Greens Blend)
1 cup of frozen or fresh pineapple
1 scoop of Life's Abundance Vanilla Plant Protein powder
Large handful of ice
Mix all ingredients in blender and drink up!
Most of us are slaves to our computers and sit for hours on end each day, which studies show can lead not only to obesity, but also depression, neck and back problems, and even a shorter life span. What?!
The good news? Researchers at the University of Bristol(1) found that employees performed significantly better in areas of productivity, energy and focus on days that they exercised. If you’re a morning person, try to work out before you get to the office so a late day meeting doesn’t force you to ditch your evening spin class.
On days when I debate with myself whether to exercise when I’d rather not, I ask myself this:
“One hour from now do I want to feel SWEATY or SORRY?”
I can honestly say that nine times out of ten it works. (I’m human; I sometimes cave.) But, when I close my eyes and ponder this question, I know that I’m never sorry for putting on my sneakers, and always sorry when I don’t; and that’s all the motivation I need to get myself moving.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Restful sleep tonight sets the stage for increased energy and productivity tomorrow. Studies have shown that decreased sleep time leads to a drop in physical and mental energy. So, go for a full eight hours if you want to nail that presentation or stay awake for your kid’s afternoon soccer match.
Your kids probably have a peaceful nighttime routine, and so should you.
• Make your bedroom sleep-friendly by eliminating noise with a sound machine or earplugs, and turn off anything that emits light.
• Keep your room cool. The temperature of your bedroom can interfere with getting quality sleep.
• This may seem obvious, but make sure your bed is comfortable.
• Take a warm bath.
• Wind down with your favorite book.
• Prepare yourself for your next day; running through your schedule, getting the kids bags packed, and anything else that would make you late in the AM.
• Incorporate relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation before you fall off to sleep. This helps to relax the nervous system and prep for ZZZZs.
If you’ve been feeling “off” and can’t figure out why, vow to implement a few of these tips into your daily routine and I promise you’ll find more focus, energy and happiness in each day!
(1) International Journal of Workplace Health Management 09/2008; 1(3):176-197.