Monday, March 14, 2016

7 tips to start your morning

Waking up early on a free day? Eating breakfast? Definitely not my cup of tea. Or so I thought! I was that person who loathed getting up before 9am, felt sick with the thought of an early breakfast, ánd needed 3 alarms to feel somewhat rested (i.e. snooze addict). But now, I actually value my mornings and don't waste them sleeping in!

These are my 7 tips of how yóu can also start off your morning on the right foot!

1. Going to bed on time

Although this step must be done the night before, it plays an essential part in determining your morning mood. I used to set 3 alarms for snoozing and actually getting up. Why? Because I was the snooze queen, and thrived on waking up knowing I'd still have n-th minutes of sleep left. The problem is that these alarms wake me up regardless of the sleeping state I'm in! Waking up in the middle of a deep sleep, chances are higher I'll feel tired and grouchy!

My starting point in starting a morning ritual was the 'sleep cycle' app, which awakens me in my lightest sleep phase. I'm not going to bore you with the technicals behind the app, but I sure do know that I've changed my ways since I started making use of it!

2. Actually GETTING up
Not just waking up, but actually getting up from you bed! Even if you turn on your nightlamp after waking up, your bed is so comfortably warm you'll probably fall right back asleep if you don't get up. I try to stretch a bit before I put on my warm slippers, set up the coffee machine (which I use to make tea), grab my lemon water and visit the bathroom within 5-10 mins of waking up.

3. Change clothes
If you work from home or have day off, make sure you take off your pj's after waking up. Even if it's just a comfi pair of sweatpants and a top, as long as it's not the (warm) pj's you had on. You'll feel more productive stat!

4. Drink a glass of lemon water and herbal tea
Before eating any breakfast, I always drink a cup of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice, or cold lemon water. The fresh flavor will give you an immediate energy boost! What I love about drinking tea in the morning is that it brings up your temperature and prevents you from running back to your warm bed. My favorite teas are from Yogi Tea (e.g. 'Positive Energy Cranberry Hibiscus',  'Green Energy'). Every tea bag comes with an inspiring quote! Today mine was: "Your greatest strenght is love". And no, I don't drink my tea with any sugar* or sweetener!

You don't have to be great to get started, but you have to get started to be great. - Les Brown
5. Read something inspirational
Something I often do is reading some inspiring words after I wake up, like a book on how to be productive or an article on any inspiring website. Another tip is to start your morning with a TED lecture that covers motivational topics (there's an actual TED app, which I love!).

6. Plan your day
Together with my cup of tea I usually climb behind my desk to make a day planning and update my monthly planner. My day planning is basically just a to-do list, of which I'll write down the important things in my planner as well. Keep that great feeling you get ticking off your list in the back of your mind!

7. Eat a nutricious breakfast
I'd preferably start my day with a heavy hearty meal, but early morning I'm usually not very hungry. Lately I've been eating knäckebrod with spinach, tomato, and feta cheese! Yummy, healthy, and not too heavy on the stomach!
8. Exercise and meditate (bonus tip)
Another great way to start your day with energy is to get your daily exercise out of the way! After you wake up, drink a glass of water, splash some onto your face, and get into your workout gear! Make sure you choose your workout gear the night before, so you can put them on immediately in the morning! You can finish your session with a (short) period of meditation to start off your day on a positive and grateful note. Take a rejuvenating shower afterwards and begin your productive day feeling so fresh and so clean clean!

If you're like I used to be, and love to sleep in, I'd really advice you to start waking up earlier every day. Even if it's just 15-30 earlier than you're used to. Eventually it'll become a habit! Now I wake up early morning even without an alarm clock. When I wake up early on a free day feeling quite rested, but too tempted to stay in my warm bed until the sun actually rises, I always regret it! Sleeping too much always gives me a headache and makes me feel extra tired and wasteful. Because I wasted my entire morning sleeping! Getting up earlier also takes off some stress, because you can take your time and won't have to rush anymore to get ready.

I hope you found (some of) my tips helpful! Let me know if you've got a morning ritual tip I haven't mentioned!


Check out my previous monday motivation post on 5 reasons Monday is my best friend HERE

*I actually got rid of my a cup of tea with 5 tsp of sugar-habit when I was studying abroad in Canada, where I drank green tea as a cheap drink (aside from water). Initially I planned on pairing it with honey, but because I found the honey to be too pricey I forcefully learned myself to drink tea without any sweetener. Now I can't even stomach one tsp of sugar in my teacup!