By: Eileen Guo
Starting off your day right can maximize your effectiveness, increase your positivity, and form good habits that will carry you through your day. Once you settle into a routine, it becomes a perfunctory part of your lifestyle; if you can lock in a good morning routine, you’ll naturally begin to do it everyday.
- Get hydrated
Water does wonders for your health and wellness. An adult body is composed of around 55-60% water, so making sure you get enough is absolutely vital to ensuring your mind and body function properly. First thing in the morning, make sure you drink water because your body has been dehydrated for the past 8 hours.
Starting the day off by drinking a large glass of water is a great way to replenish the fluids you lost during sleep and help your body feel revitalized. While dehydration leaves you feeling drained and sluggish, guzzling some water after waking up flushes toxins that have built up in your system overnight, and gives your metabolism a little boost. It also helps reduce stomach acidity and reduces symptoms of heartburn.
- Practice a deep-breathing exercise
Research shows that changing our breathing pattern to take six to 10 deep breaths per minute restores balance to our stress-response system. It reduces anxiety and depression, increases energy and strengthens our immune system. Better yet, it improves our mental concentration.
Here is a simple breathing exercise. Start with one to two minutes and work up to longer practices.
- Lie on your back on a flat surface or in bed, with your knees bent and your head supported. You can use a pillow under your knees if you like. Place one hand on your chest and the other just below your rib cage, so you can feel your diaphragm move as you breathe.
- Slowly inhale through your nose, drawing the air into the bottom of your lungs. You should feel your abdomen rise.
- Tighten your stomach muscles and pause for a moment, then exhale through pursed lips.
- Gently blow all of the air out of your lungs. Drawing your belly button toward your spine, push any residual air out of the bottom of your lungs.
- Take about six deep breaths per minute.
- Stretch and wake up your body
Doing some simple stretches first thing in the morning can help with muscle tightness and joint stiffness, as well as enhance your circulation and increase overall body flexibility.
These easy morning stretches are a powerful way to give your mind a natural boost and wake up your central nervous system.
Sit on the edge of your bed with your feet on the floor.
Slowly bend over, reaching your hands toward your feet.
Arch your back.
Hold for a count of 10.
Remain seated, with your feet on the floor.
Slowly rotate your neck in a circle, touching your ears to your shoulders.
Rotate clockwise and counterclockwise several times each way.
Stand next to your bed.
Lace your fingers together.
Raise your hands above your head, palms upward.
Lift up, stretching your rib cage.
Hold for a count of 10.
- Give thanks
When we take time to give thanks and be grateful for all we have, we’re happier and less anxious, and our relationships improve. Take a few minutes every morning to write down at least one thing you are grateful for in your life.
This could be something as simple as getting a good night’s sleep or feeling grateful for spending time with friends and family. Or it could be something more profound, such as having good health, having food in your refrigerator and never having to worry about going hungry.
- Visualize your daily success
By simply spending a few minutes visualizing what you want to achieve today and over the long term, you can give yourself a plan to follow in seeing these goals accomplished in real life. Things may not always go as you imagined, but at least you’ll have a roadmap of where you’re going and how you plan to handle different situations.