[Guest Post By Jessica Herbine]
For most of us, waking up to the start of a new day is a difficult and dreaded chore.
Those last few minutes of precious sleep are drawn out with a couple of punches to the snooze button, which makes getting out of bed an action that elicits a negative mental and emotional response. That negative attitude experienced in your waking hours often sets the tone for the rest of your day.
What if you could set yourself up for success from the moment you wake up? Here are 6 Simple Tips to Show You How:
1. Make your first thought a positive one
Instead of groaning at your alarm clock, focus your sleepy thoughts on 5 things you’re glad for in that moment, or fuel your drive with visions of things you are working towards, be it a new business, an upcoming vacation or even just a meal with a loved one. Then take in a deep breath and focus your first thoughts on an empowering mantra, and repeat it every morning until it becomes your new normal way of thinking.
2. Use music to get in the right mindset
Music has been proven to improve mood, providing a therapeutic coping mechanism during hard times and acting as a natural motivator during good. Consider breaking the silence by giving your morning routine its own soundtrack. Put on your favorite album while getting dressed, making breakfast, shaving or doing your hair. You can even utilize a shower radio such as these from Bed, Bath and Beyond to maximize those few minutes of pampered “me” time. If you have an MP3 player, set your alarm to go off to music for a more positive wakeup call (just test it first on weekends to be sure it wakes you up!)
3. Get your blood pumping
There’s no better way to shake your body awake than with a bit of light exercise. While for some that may mean a morning jog, half hour on the elliptical or full session of yoga; a morning routine can be as simple as a few light stretches while still in bed, a short walk around the block, or a few minutes of playtime in the backyard with your dog.
4. Put effort into your appearance
It may seem counterintuitive to use the few extra minutes you could have spent sleeping to apply makeup, select the perfect suit and tie combination or trying a new hair-do. However, when you show yourself a little TLC by putting together a great ensemble, you give yourself the poise and confidence to take the day head-on. A well placed scarf, belt, watch or other piece of jewelry is simple enough to incorporate, and can elevate a so-so outfit into one that turns heads. The time you spend on cosmetics can be cut in half if you have a clear complexion that needs little more than SPF-enriched beauty cream, so invest in quality cleansing or anti-aging skin kits that you can apply before bedtime, like the Skinn Cosmetics sets, available here. Remember, looking and feeling good is worth the extra effort, and will help you to present yourself in a more positive light.
5. Refrain from connecting
To ensure that you have ample time to relax and focus before diving into the daily grind, wait until you are at work to connect through your phone or laptop. Enjoy your coffee with a newspaper, magazine, or nice chat with someone in your family. If you commute to work, bring a book or journal to read or write in, instead of checking through emails or catching up on paperwork. Indulging in hobbies or conversation will give you a better sense of personal connection and stretch your imagination, which will help with problem-solving and creative thinking throughout the work day.
6. Start with a balanced breakfast
Boost your energy and level of engagement with a wholesome breakfast that’s fit for a king, as the saying goes. Even if you aren’t a “breakfast person”, a small glass of orange juice and granola bar can go a long way in regulating your metabolism and getting both mind and body awake and alert. While coffee and a baked good from a quick-service restaurant are better than nothing, the best alternative for a relaxed morning is a simple meal made at home.
If you’re shy on time, prepare the ingredients for a smoothie the night before, or cook up a simple plate of meat and eggs, or toast with healthy apple butter. Put down the remote control and enjoy a couple of minutes with loved ones or on your own, reading or mentally preparing for your day. You will feel more centered and in control, and your body will be ready to keep up the pace.
If your mornings are a continuous source of stress and agitation, it’s time to make some changes into the way you start each day. Adjusting your routine only seems difficult until you do it. Taking the care to cater to your body’s wants and needs will improve not only physical, mental and emotional health, but also your relationships with yourself and others.
Jessica Herbine is a marketing and PR specialist hailing from Philadelphia. She enjoys reading and writing, adventuring through the city, attending dance and theater performances and seeing her favorite bands perform live. You can locate to her little corner of the blogosphere over at www.100wpm.wordpress.com.