Not a morning person? Like anything, we can train our bodies and minds to be anything we want them to be, so long as we’re dedicated. This includes forcing ourselves up and at 'em with the break of dawn. It’s a simple matter of rewiring our body clocks to take advantage of an energized, healthy, and efficient start to the day. So how to be more productive? Follow these 4 easy steps every morning and you will no doubt feel (and see) the difference throughout your entire day:
Ditch the Caffeine
I know, this is not exactly what you want to hear. That morning coffee has become an ingrained part of many of our rituals, almost like a drug that we feel we can’t function without. Well, the first few days will be hard. However, swapping your morning cup of joe for a glass of lemon water will have many more health benefits, and eventually have a similar energizing effect. The difference is, lemon water will leave your system hydrated and cleansed, where coffee leaves you dehydrated and artificially stimulated. To name a few health benefits of lemon juice, it boosts your immune system, purifies the blood, and flushes toxins from the body. Extended consumption will also make your skin look healthy and radiant. :)
Make time for Meditation
It may not seem like an important enough reason to miss out on that extra ten minutes of sleep, but making time to clear your mind and calm yourself before the hectic day ahead has proven to have positive effects on one’s stress level, mood and overall emotional balance throughout the day. You don’t have to be a meditation expert, or even dedicate a huge amount of time to it, just simply allot ten minutes or so to lie in a quiet room, focusing on your breathing and clearing your mind of stressful thoughts and worries. This will help you feel centered, and start the day calm and relaxed, so that you’re better equipped to face any curveballs or obstacles that might be thrown your way. For more guidance on meditation, check out a book called Meditation Made Easy.
Get your Blood Flowing
Not everyone has the stamina to attempt a full workout first thing in the morning, especially before a full day’s work. (Though this is the recommended time to exercise.) That being said, taking a few minutes each morning to stretch your muscles and get the blood flowing is hugely beneficial in raising energy levels and releasing tension. It will also increase blood flow so your brain functions better too! Try a few yoga poses, or jumping rope at home for ten minutes. Whatever your quick routine of choice, all it takes is a few minutes to wake up your system. As this isn’t a ton of exercise, we recommend that you try and fit in a proper visit to the gym or a workout class of your choice later that day.
Don’t Cut Corners with Breakfast.
Whether you’re a chronic breakfast skipper, or you tend to be lazy and hit the first fast food joint during your mad dash to the office, you’re not setting yourself up for success with these habits. Make it a priority to allot that 15 minutes to whip up a balanced, nutritious breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day! It gets your metabolism started and gives you the energy (and brain juice) you will need to have a productive morning. Smoothies are an awesome way to pack in a lot of nutrients with very little prep time. It also helps to pre-cut your fruit so that you can save time in the am. Remember to add protein, flax seeds, and other supplements if you’re substituting for a proper meal.
These steps combined should take you no more than 45 minutes to an hour every morning. Find a few that you enjoy and you will be more inclined to stick with it!