How to Give Your Morning a Boost
The sun is up and your alarm clock is ringing. It’s the beginning of a new day, so why not get it off to the best start possible? After all, the mood you’ve got in the morning is going to set the tone for all the hours ahead of you. Here are four ways to give your morning a boost:
Start the Night Before
A hectic, high-stress rush from bed to out-the-door is a guaranteed mood-buster for the rest of your day. Instead, make things easier by starting your morning the night before. That means setting out your clothes (or at least deciding what you’ll wear); gathering up papers, keys, laptop and other work necessities and placing them near the door; packing a healthy lunch that will be ready to grab-and-go in the morning; and writing out a to-do list or agenda for the following day. If you have kids, they should follow the same routine. When you prepare the night before, your mornings become smoother, your mood improves, and you’ll even sleep better.
See the Light
You’ll sleep best in a completely dark bedroom, but you’ll wake up easier and in a better mood when you expose yourself to natural light as quickly as possible in the morning. When sunlight hits your eyes, it helps your brain switch over to “awake” mode, instantly making you more alert and cheerful. Open your curtains and peek outside as soon as you’re out of bed; or even better, step outside for a minute or two and soak up the dawn’s early light.
A great day starts with movement. Before even getting out of bed, take a couple of minutes to gently stretch your entire body, head to toe. Once up, warm your muscles with a few lunges and squats, a slow jog in place, or a yoga routine. Next, get some real exercise; go for a short power walk, head to the gym, follow along with an exercise video or pump it up with your home set of resistance bands, dumbbells or other equipment. It’s hard to feel sleepy or blue when your blood is pumping and your endorphins are surging.
Fuel Your Body
Mom always told you that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, and you know that Mom was usually right. Forget about breaking your fast with a sugary donut and cup of coffee (or worse, nothing at all); your body needs and deserves quality fuel in the morning. That doesn’t have to mean a big cooked breakfast, but it DOES mean a nutritious and filling meal that includes quality protein, complex carbs and something from the produce section of the supermarket.