The alarm is blaring, the sun is shining, the birds are singing — it’s the dawn of a new day. What do you do when you get out of bed? For most of us, once we have managed to finally pry ourselves out of bed, we drag ourselves to the bathroom and quickly freshen up before rushing out the door to get to work. Sounds about right?
While that may be how you start your day, did you know it’s not exactly optimal? In fact, there are plenty of things you can do in the morning that can actually help you to have a better day ahead. Productivity and life coaches believe that following a proper morning routine every day can lead to a successful, constructive, and an overall better day. It can help to keep you healthy — both physically and emotionally — and make you feel a sense of wellbeing. It will give you the confidence you need to tackle any problem that comes your way. It will even give you the peace of mind to keep harmful stress at bay.
If you’re ready to make some changes and make your days the best that they can be, here are some of the things you should do in the morning before you leave your house.
Stretch Your Body
It may sound trivial, but having a good stretch in the morning can be effective for many reasons. One example is how it can improve your posture and relieve your aches and pains. Many of us spend our days sitting in front of a computer for long hours and as a result, we end up with poor posture and sore muscles that can cause our bodies to stiffen up. If you were to stretch well every morning, your muscles gradually become more flexible and you’ll feel changes in your posture.
Stretching also helps to alleviate aches and pains, especially in your joints. Overnight while you are sleeping, fluid builds up in your joints and spinal discs, and they are mainly responsible for causing all the stiffness and aching pains you feel in the morning. Stretching in the morning can warm up the body and bring relief to these aches, but remember to be gentle or you might cause more pain.
Make Your Bed
In 2014, Admiral William McRaven of the U.S. Navy gave a commencement speech at the University of Texas, and his words have since gone viral with many people quoting him to this day. His message? “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”.
The idea behind this message sounds simple enough — how hard can it be to make your bed? But if you think about it, how many people actually bother to do this before they rush out of the house every morning? When you make your bed in the morning, you’re accomplishing your first task of the day. This gives you a small sense of pride, and it will grow and encourage you to complete more tasks throughout the day. It also speaks to the idea of how completing small tasks will make the bigger things seem less overwhelming and easier to deal with.
Look In The Mirror
The act of self-affirmation may seem funny — imagine if you walked into the bathroom and your roommate is looking into the mirror and telling his reflection how handsome he is — and something we ridicule other people for, but did you know there are actual psychological benefits that come from this practice?
Having a visual image of yourself saying positive phrases can have an impact on your overall state throughout the day. Repeating phrases like “I will make today the best day of my life” and “I will be more patient with people today” can instil in you the drive you need to keep to these words. Over time, this will help you gain confidence in your abilities and make you feel ready to take on any challenge.
Many people think sunscreen is only for use at the beach, but did you know most dermatologists recommend applying sunscreen every day when you have to leave the house?
The sun emits harmful UV rays that can damage our skin’s cells. This can lead to sunburns, and also bring about signs of premature ageing like wrinkles and dark spots (Read about this). If you want to maintain your youthful-looking skin, apply a little sunscreen on your face before you leave the house.
Grab Some Breakfast
Last but certainly not least, never ever skip breakfast. There’s a reason why breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day — it kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to burn calories throughout the day, and also gives your body the energy it needs to accomplish all your tasks.
If there’s no time in the morning to sit down for a meal, prep some ready-to-go meals the night before so that you can quickly grab and eat them on the go. Sandwiches are a great option for this, and there are so many different ways to make them so you’ll never get bored of eating them.