How do you usually start your day? Is it with a slap to the snooze button and a groan followed by, “is it morning already?” The five minute snooze then becomes 10, 15, 20 minutes long and all of a sudden you’re already 20 minutes behind schedule. You rush through the morning routine: shower, brush your teeth, get dressed. With all of the rushing you have no time for breakfast! You run out the door and suddenly when you’re out on the battlefield of the Gold Garage at MMC, scouting a parking spot, your stomach starts to grumble. The line at Starbucks is too long and you’re forced to make the decision of being late to class or waiting in line. Most of us will choose to skip grabbing a bite and from there your day is a mess, things go wrong, and it’s all because of the way you started your day!
Let’s face it, the annoying buzzing sound of an alarm clock prompting you to jump out of bed is not exactly pleasant. Unfortunately, there is no magic spell to start your day off on the right foot. But your morning routine can determine your decisions and reactions to obstacles for the next 24 hours. Luckily, a few simple tweaks to your routine will help put a smile on your face every morning that will last throughout the day.
Preparation begins the night before:
We all know that our day begins in the early hours of the morning, but what you probably didn’t know is that the formula for a great day starts with the night before! Just before you hit the sheets, set your alarm two minutes earlier than usual. When you wake, resist the urge to press snooze and use the time to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. This will give you the motivation you need to spring out of bed and will allow you to enter and more positive mindset. Studies show that practicing “grateful thinking” makes people more energetic and enthusiastic. Just try it! You’ll notice you won’t miss those 120 seconds of sleep.
A rested mind is a happy mind:
Not many of us can say that we get the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep every night, but why shouldn’t that be the case? If you’re sleeping schedule is off, find a schedule that allows you to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. You cannot function correctly if your mind is not rested. If you get less than the recommended hours of sleep then you are going to feel groggy in the morning, and that’s no way to wake up.
Try this: Set some guidelines for yourself. Pick a bedtime that works best according to the time you need to wake up. When the designated time rolls around; turn off all electronics and stop any projects you’re working on and get some shut-eye!
Reach for the stars:
Stretching when you wake up is a wonderful way to loosen up your joints and increase flexibility. Mimic the way a cat wakes up by elongating your spine and stretching out your arms and legs, one at a time. Slowly stand up, inhale as you stretch, and exhale as you contract. Stretching makes you feel blissful. Add it to your morning routine as well as to your breaks during the day. A one hour yoga session in the morning is also a great way to relax your mind and work on your core. If you have the time, check out FIU’s Recreational Center’s website for yoga classes that are being offered on campus. If you don’t have that kind of time, shoot for a 10 min session of mindful breathing and stretching. Click here for a step-by-step guide to a quick yoga session.
Eat a good breakfast:
Usually skip breakfast? Don’t! Despite how often it is said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it’s also the most commonly skipped. Breakfast doesn’t have to be of Grand-Slam portions; there are light, nutritious options. It doesn’t take long to pour yourself some cereal. Fuel yourself with a high-fiber breakfast that includes whole grains, fruit and low-fat protein. Make time for breakfast!
Try this: Wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual and eat breakfast before you get ready. That way, it won’t be the last thing on your list and it will be impossible to miss.
Never underestimate the power of a shower:
Jumping into a cold shower in the morning is that last thing we want to do. That’s because hot showers are often associated with being a sort of safe-haven from the day’s responsibilities. A better way to look at your morning shower is a way to cleanse your mind and body. Put the water on hot for about five minutes and feel your pores opening up. Mentally focus on positive thoughts and use the pressure of the warm water to stimulate your muscles. Take this time to relax and set your goals for the day. But many don’t realize that there are great benefits to cold showers too! Our body’s reaction to the cold water leads us to breathe heavier and causes our heart rate to increase as our blood vessels open up, which gives us a nice dose of natural energy.
Waking up happy on an early morning is easier said than done, but think of everything your mind will be open to if it is clear and ready to go! If you choose wisely, you can look and feel your best for the entire day. Selecting the right foods and physical activity in the early morning can give you the stamina, focus and optimistic attitude you need to tackle the busy day ahead. Make the effort to try a few of these suggestions, and enjoy your day to the fullest.