Do you wake up feeling frazzled and rushed in the morning? Do you jump out of bed, ready to take on the day? Imagine a morning where you wake up early, feel rested, and check things off your to-do list all before 9:00 AM.
Here are thirteen tips to help you start your day with more energy.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Starting your morning on the right foot actually begins with getting enough z’s the night before. Sleep is as important to your physical and emotional well-being as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. In fact, adequate shuteye improves your concentration and productivity, enhances your athletic performance, reduces inflammation in your body, helps regulate your blood pressure, and lowers your risk of serious long-term health issues. Plus, you’re more pleasant to be around during the day when you’re well-rested.
2. Wake up early
When you go to bed at a decent time and get the recommended amount of sleep for your age group, waking up early—and not hitting snooze—is easier. Rising early will allow you to not only ease into your day but also make the most of your day, especially if you incorporate some of these other healthy habits into your morning routine.
3. Smile and give thanks
Every day is a gift. As soon as you wake from your slumber, let your first conscious thought be one of gratitude. And as you give thanks to God for at least one thing in your life, smile. The simple act of smiling transforms you and the world around you. It lifts your mood, relaxes your body, and lowers your heart rate and blood pressure.1 Smiling can even lengthen your life.2 Now that’ssomething to grin about all day long.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
4. Make your bed
In his commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin, Naval Admiral William McRaven, ninth commander of US Special Operations Commands, said:
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. . . . And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
Making your bed first thing in the morning not only gives you a sense of accomplishment and creates order in your life but also increases your happiness.
5. Brush your teeth and scrape your tongue
Most of us were taught to brush our teeth after we eat, however, it’s healthier to brush your teeth as soon as you wake up.3 Bacteria naturally forms in your mouth while you sleep. As soon as you wake up, it’s important to brush away that plaque.
And while you’re at it, scrape your tongue. It will not only give you fresh breath and healthier teeth but also boost your immunity and stimulate your taste buds.4
Then after you have eaten breakfast, rinse your mouth with fluoride mouthwash.5
6. Drink a glass of water
Having a glass or two of H20 first thing in the morning has many health benefits.6 It increases your alertness, strengthens your immune system, rids your body of toxins, jumpstarts your metabolism, improves your complexion, gets your bowels moving for regularity, among many others.
Making time in the morning for prayer is one of the best ways to set the tone for your day. This quiet time alone with God can give you strength, direction, motivation, and remind you what’s most important in life. Whether you read the Bible, meditate with a daily Christian devotional, engage in spontaneous prayer or the Morning Offering, talking with God in the morning will bear much fruit.Morning Offering
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month. Amen
“Rising very early before, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.”
8. Stretch and practice deep breathing
One of the best ways to loosen stiff muscles and get your blood flowing right away in the AM is to engage in a morning stretch routine that incorporates deep breathing exercises—like Pietra Fitness classes. Whether you do a short workout like Sunrise Stretch or Core Challenge, or you do a longer class like Live! from Home: Morning Glory, you’ll start your day feeling calmer, more relaxed, and connected to your body, mind, and soul.
9. WorkoutGetting your sweat on first thing in the morning is another way to feel accomplished and energized before your launch into the rest of your day. In addition, studies show that working out first thing in the morning can increase energy and focus throughout the day, improve mood and sleep, and aid in blood pressure management, among other benefits.7 Go for a walk or a run. Lift some weights. Do a spin class or a Pietra Fitness class. It doesn’t matter what you do, just engage in some kind of physical activity that you love.
10. Eat a healthy breakfastStudies show that breakfast should be considered the most important meal of the day. But whatyou eat for breakfast can have a profound effect on your health, well-being, and cognitive performance. Instead of having pancakes, waffles, donuts, and other sugar-laden foods that will slow you down, choose energizing foods like green smoothies (fruits, veggies, nut butters, and protein powders), eggs, oatmeal, and sweet potato toast with avocado.
11. Get a dose of natural sunlight
Spending time outside in the sun feels good, boosts your mood, and is the most natural way to get vitamin D. Exposing yourself to sunlight as soon as you rise from your slumber will help you wake up. Have your morning coffee or breakfast outside, open up curtains and blinds, or go for an AM walk.
12. Lay your clothes out the night before
Avoid racing around in the morning trying to find your shirt, pants, other sock, or whatever by laying your clothes out the night before. It will not only save you time in the AM but also be one less decision you have to make when you wake up.
13. Make your to-do list the night before
At the end of your workday or before going to bed, write down your tasks and schedule for the next day. When you wake up in the morning, you’ll already know your priorities so you can hit the ground running.
How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. Incorporate these habits to ensure that you start your morning on the right side of the bed—and feel energized all day long.______________
- Abel E. and Kruger M. (2010) Smile Intensity in Photographs Predicts Longevity, Psychological Science, 21, 542–544.
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