Thursday, April 12, 2012

Getting a Good Start to Your Morning

How frequently do you dread mornings because you always associate them with rushing, a race against the clock and a time to jolt yourself awake for another long day? Well, the morning can actually be a time of ease and relaxation; it’s all in the way that you embrace it. Check out the following tips for improving your morning routine so that you can start your day with renewed energy and calm.

• Plan ahead as much as you can from what you will wear the next day to what steps you will take to prepare breakfast or even have it partially prepared the night before. Delegate these preparation tasks as much as possible if you have family members and/or roommates who are willing to help out and make it a team effort.

• Start your morning at least 30 minutes earlier than usual. The later you start your morning, the more prone you are to rushing and pushing everything to the last possible minute. Allowing yourself the extra time to not only wake up, but to do something enjoyable like exercise or meditation will help you to feel less stressed as you head out the door.

• Make pleasant sounds a part of your routine. Rather than wake up to a blaring alarm clock, make plans to wake up to your favorite kind of music, be it upbeat 80’s tunes, the comforting lyrics of country music, or the relaxing melodies of classical music. These familiar sounds will eventually make waking up in the morning, a comforting, rather than a mind-jarring experience.

• Make time for quiet time. Spend 5-10 minutes reading a reflective book or writing in a journal; meditation and exercise are great ways to clear your mind so that the stressful moments and/or unexpected “curveballs” don’t hit you as hard first thing in the morning.

• Eat a healthy breakfast, rather than rush out the door with coffee and a candy bar. Take your time to prepare something that contains adequate vitamins and nutrients to last you through the morning such as a high fiber cereal or an English Muffin with almond butter. Ideally, combining a protein source with a complex carbohydrate is a good idea to promote lasting energy. Throw in some blueberries or a fruit of choice for added vitamin C and antioxidants.

• Finally, show your family and friends that you care and remind them of what they mean to you. For example, hugging your family members that you live with will reinforce the special bond that you share. Sometimes, just the very act of reaching out to family and friends via phone or e-mail, reminding them that you care can go a long way in putting some positive energy into their day. One of the best ways we can create a smooth and positive morning for ourselves is to pay it forward.

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