There are very few of us who are excited to greet the day when our morning alarm goes off; for some of us that feeling of dread even starts the night before as we set the alarm. While there isn't much you can do to prevent your alarm from going off, you can make the most of your time in the morning so that you start your day on a positive note with a well-thought out morning routine.
When you barely want to even roll out of bed, the last thing most people want to do in the morning is even think about being physically active. However, exercising in the morning has proven to have amazing benefits on your performance for the rest of the day. Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, Kevin O'Leary, Anna Wintour. Do any of these names sound familiar? They are some of the most successful people in the country and all claim to start their day with some physical activity. Not only will exercising get your blood pumping and therefore make you more alert for the rest of the day, but studies show that people are more likely to stick to an exercise routine if they do it in the morning. Still not convinced? If working out is the pit of your day, it's been proven that by "eating the frog," or getting the worst part of your day over with, will give you the perfect boost of accomplishment to start your day off right.
For those of us who wake up not only groggy, but cranky, it is important to take a few minutes to meditate. There are ample amounts of apps available that can help guide anyone through their meditation if they are unsure of where to start their practice. If the traditional sense of meditation isn't your thing, no problem. Take the time to sit down, take 10 deep breaths, and think about the things in life you're grateful for. Mindful meditation like this has proven to lower cortisol levels, which leads to a calmer day.
Eat to Power Your Day and Night
It's no secret that eating breakfast is the key to a good start every day, but for some reason people continue to ignore that advice or eat a breakfast chockfull of sugar that causes a huge spike in blood sugar, followed by a crash comparable to the Great Depression. By eating a high-protein breakfast that is lower on the glycemic index, you will have more energy throughout the morning and could have overall better health. Those who don't eat breakfast, or an insufficient one, typically consume more calories throughout the day than those who start their day with a well-balanced meal.
On the flipside, many people don't realize that what they eat later in the day has just as big of an impact. Just like there are certain foods you should avoid in order to achieve a better night's sleep, like coffee, alcohol and chocolate, there are also foods that can help you fall asleep faster and promote a better night's sleep. Incorporating almonds, bananas, potatoes, honey and turkey into your dinners and late snacks can help you catch all the Zzzz's you need.
Have a Morning Routine and Plan For It
While there are key elements in a morning routine that make it most effective, like gratitude, big picture goals and planning, at the end of the day, the most important part of a morning routine is to just have one. Experiment with what works best for you in the mornings and stick to it every morning. One way to make sure you stick to your morning routine is to plan for it. Start by planning your breakfasts for the entire week, set out your workout clothes the night before and prepare for any scheduling conflicts that may pop up midweek. Taking a few minutes at night to make sure everything is ready for you to start your day on the right foot can make a world of difference.