Rise and shine! How do you start off your morning? Whatever the case, what you do in the morning sets your mood for the rest of the day. It makes sense, then, to make sure you’re having the healthiest, most productive morning possible. Read on for ways to have the best mornings ever.
Do you have your own awesome tips for a productive morning? Let us know about them in the comments!
1. Prepare as Much as Possible the Night Before.
If you can do it the night before, do it the night before! Make your to-do list ahead of time. Set out your clothes and whatever you need to make breakfast. Make your lunch. Put anything that needs to leave with you by the door or in your car. Pack your purse. Spending 5 minutes getting ready for the next day the night before can shave minutes, and plenty of stress, off of your morning routine.
2. Get Up The First Time Your Alarm Rings.
Resist the urge to hit the snooze button. Research shows that, the more you delay your wakeup time, the more likely you are to fall back into deep sleep — thus making it harder to wake up after that extra snooze time. Find the best time to wake up and stick to it.
3. Don’t Drink Coffee First Thing.
Reaching for that pick-me-up first thing in the morning? Research says it’s actually not the best time to get the full effects of coffee. Your body produces cortisol, a hormone that, among other things, regulates how energized and alert you feel, at different amounts at different times of the day. Drinking a cup of coffee when you’re at your peak cortisol levels will greatly diminish the caffeine’s effectiveness. No matter when you wake up, hold off on indulging in coffee for about 1- 1 1/2 hours.
4. Eat Breakfast.
This is obvious, of course; eating a healthy breakfast has been linked to a whole slew of benefits. But when you eat breakfast matters, too. If you plan on working out in the morning, eat something 1-2 hours beforehand. If you aren’t working out in the morning, make sure to eat something within an hour of getting up. This will assure that you’ll make healthier choices in the morning and throughout the day, help regulate your weight, and so much more.
5. Have a Little “Me Time” in the Morning.
Whether it’s yoga, stretching, writing affirmations, or enjoying a cup of tea and reading the paper, make sure to set aside a little pleasurable time in the morning.
6. Find a Ritual and Stick to It.
For two weeks, take notes about how you use your time every morning, and note whether you felt it was particularly productive or unproductive. Build your best routine off of the most productive mornings you have. Always forget to eat breakfast or floss? Take a close look at the days that you did accomplish those things and think about why you did. Sticking to routines creates healthy habits and turns daunting tasks into painless automations.
Though it’s better to exercise at the time that works best for you, there are some major benefits of breaking a sweat in the AM. For busy people, people that struggle with sticking to an exercise routine and getting motivated, morning is the prime to hit the gym. Why? Well, because getting exercise out of the way first thing in the morning has been shown to help you stick with it before the trappings of daily life get in the way.
8. Start With the Big Stuff First.
Whether you’re at work or at home, start with the hardest stuff first. As the day goes on, you become more fatigued both mentally and physically. Since you have more self-control in the morning, start off your day with the things that are the most mentally and physically demanding.
*Image of “jump” via Shutterstock