Do you find yourself waking up in the morning feeling stressed and totally unready for the day ahead when it’s barely begun? Follow our tips for a restful morning with self-care activities that leave you focused and ready for whatever life throws at you.
1. Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier
Although painful to start with, setting your alarm for some time earlier – and not hitting the snooze button – will give you the extra time you need to have a calmer and more restful start to your morning. Avoid the temptation to sleep in, which might seem better for you in the short term, but actually makes it harder to get into a good routine.
Pastel Alarm Clock
On top of that, you won’t get any better quality sleep once your alarm has gone off. In fact, you’re more likely to lie in bed sleepily ruminating on today’s to-do list until you feel overwhelmed. You’ll have more energy if you get up within a few minutes of becoming fully conscious.
2. Check your phone
I bet you weren’t expecting this! Ok, we all know that we aren’t meant to look at our phone as soon as we wake up (particularly as we’ll spend most of the rest of the day doing just that) but let’s face it, we all do.
It’s usually plugged in by the bed and so picking it up is such a habitual part of most people’s morning. What I suggest, instead of resisting the urge, is to just change what you look at so that it helps you to feel good in the morning.
Rather than going over stressful news stories, or trawling your email inbox for new additions to your already-bulging to-do list, instead, create a private Instagram account or online photo album, and fill it with pictures of all the things you love in your life, or are looking forward to, and look at this instead.
It can be the places you have traveled to – or are planning to visit, your loved ones, your pets, the art you admire, flowers – the list is truly endless, as long as it makes you happy. You can make the account private via your Instagram settings, so it can be something that is completely reserved for you, no judgment! It’s a bit like an online gratitude journal – and something you can take everywhere you go in case you need a pick me up throughout the day.
Starting your day by scrolling through a visual reminder of things that make you feel good, what you’re grateful for or things are looking forward to in the form of bright, vivid pictures is a great start to your day. Plus, the light from the screen will help you to feel awake (which is why you shouldn’t check your phone before going to bed).
So many people struggle to eat in the morning. I went years without eating until several hours after I woke up because I thought that eating in the morning made me feel sick. I later realized that it wasn’t the eating making me sick but gulping food down quickly in the morning dash to get ready.
My tactic back then was to eat nothing in my hurry to get out of the door, then at 11.00 am I was suddenly completely starving, my stomach rumbling like crazy, and I found myself in an irritable mood. At that point, I’d just grab a pastry or any unhealthy snack that was close and then feel guilty about it later.
Now I always make sure I have something ready to go in the fridge so I’m not feeling irritable and grabbing junk to prop myself up when my energy crashes.
If you struggle with this, make a big batch of overnight oats for a few days ahead and eat them slowly.
Overnight Oats Blender Bottle
Kilner Overnight Oats Jar
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Check this post for a list of our favorite recipes:RELATED: How to Make Overnight Oats: 7 Recipes to Turbocharge Your Week
I’m still guilty of multi-tasking as I sometimes eat whilst putting my make up on, but most importantly, I eat something healthy and I don’t rush it.
4. Get some natural light
Light controls many of the natural rhythms of our bodies, which is why you can feel more tired and lethargic when the dark winter nights set in.
Use this to your advantage in the mornings by opening your curtains as soon as you can after waking. It’ll help you to feel alert faster, give you a natural mood boost, increase energy, and reinforce your body’s natural rhythms, helping you to sleep better at night too. If it’s dark when you need to wake up, sunrise alarm clocks really do work and luckily have come down in price in the last few years. I like this one, complete with soothing nature sounds.
HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock
Walking in the first morning light also helps you, so on your way to work get off a stop or two early on your journey and increase your exposure to early daylight to naturally boost your mood.
5. Drink water
Having, hopefully, spent the previous 6-8 hours laying down unconscious, you’ll be in need of a serious thirst-quencher! I’m one of those people who needs to make a conscious effort to drink throughout the day as I often find myself forgetting, however when I first wake up is one of the few times that I actually notice being dehydrated.
Drinking water first thing – at least half a liter- is great because you’ll be less likely to feel moody and headache-y, it will help your kidneys to flush out toxins, and it fires up your metabolism. I keep a covered jug right by my bed so that when I wake up I can have a big gulp of H2O straight away.
RELATED: 8 Amazing Ways Your Body Changes When You Drink More Water
Water Tracker Bottle
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