How you start your day often sets the tone for the rest of it. If you get up early and take some time for yourself, you're more likely to have a productive day. On the other hand, if you sleep in and rush out the door, you're more likely to feel stressed out. Let’s explore some inventive ways and a few tips on how to start your day off right.
Wake up early
No one likes getting up early. Like most people, we like to sleep in on the weekends or laze about in bed until we feel like getting up. Although everyone can attest to the latter, it’s best to wake up early when preparing for work or just a day on the weekend.
Waking up early also has heaps of benefits, such as:
- Being able to go through your morning routine calmly instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off being rushed.
- Having time for introspection and getting yourself in the right frame of mind.
- The quiet morning hours are a great time to get things done. You can get an early start on your goals, such as exercising daily or tackling a 30-day challenge.
Waking up early will also allow you the time to incorporate the rest of this list into your regime, which will help you to start your day in high spirits, ready to tackle anything that life throws at you throughout the day.
A little bit of water goes a long way. Waking up with a warm glass of water with some lemon or electrolytes helps prepare your body for the day. When we sleep, it’s around 8 hours that we don’t drink water, replenish the electrolytes we lose during sleep as the body detoxes itself, or even through sweat. Giving your body a fresh start helps with energizing your body and prepares you for the rest of the day. Adding lemon to your warm water also boosts your metabolism, freshens your breath, and gives you a bit of Vitamin C!
Make the bed
Making your bed helps your morning mindset. While it may appear to be a waste of time, trivial, or unneeded (you'll only use it again at night), making your bed is a simple activity you can do in the morning that makes you feel accomplished—and what better tone to establish than a sense of pride and accomplishment? Taking the initiative and finishing modest chores will lay the groundwork for you to take on more and more throughout the day.
Incorporating a mindfulness practice, such as meditation, into your daily regimen may help balance you and regulate your mind and emotions, which impacts how you respond to difficulties throughout the day.
Setting your purpose for the day is also a good opportunity to meditate. When you are clear on what you would like your day to go or what you want to feel or achieve, you can make clear decisions that will lead you to the life you genuinely desire.
Meditating can be a little hard if you’re not sure how to, but here are some great tips:
- Get into a comfortable seated position and set a timer for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Inhale through your nose for four counts, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose for eight counts.
- Every time you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to focus on your breath.
- When the timer goes off, release your counting but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
- Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention.
- Open your eyes, draw your arms up to the sky for a stretch, and then move on with your day, carrying the calm energy and intention with you.
Putting time and attention into your look might help you gain confidence. When you feel "put together," you have one less thing to worry about during the day.
Take a bath, cleanse your face, brush your teeth, floss, comb your hair, use lotion/oil, dress to impress, and indulge in other personal care practices that leave you feeling good about yourself. This may be choosing your clothes the night before (particularly when you're short of time the following day) or ironing your clothes—whatever causes you to feel like you are caring for your health, looking nice, and feeling very confident.
Write a to-do list
Spend a few minutes making a "to-do" list for the day ahead. Then prioritize it such that your day's list only has 3 to 5 items, ordered in order of importance to ensure you solve the most important issues first.
Writing down your "to-dos" rather than letting them float about in your head helps to eliminate mental noise. When you understand what you need to do daily, you give yourself a feeling of purpose. And something is fulfilling about checking things off your to-do list—it fosters a sense of completion.
Starting your day with exercise energizes both the body and the mind, whether it's a basic yoga routine, a brisk stroll with your pet, a short round of sit-ups and push-ups, or the gym to burn off yesterday night's feast. Determine the best type of exercise for you and plan it. It doesn't have to be difficult, long, or challenging, but doing something physical in the morning will get your blood circulating and help calm any brain chatter. You may even vary the type of exercise you perform each day to keep your program fresh.
It's clear that how you start your day significantly impacts the rest of it. If you want to be productive and have a good day, try waking up early and taking time for yourself. You can use this time to do something calming, like reading or meditating. Alternatively, if you're not a morning person, try setting an evening routine to help you wind down before bed. Whatever approach, give yourself enough time to relax and prepare for the day ahead. How do you start your day? What tips would you add?