Today we have a informative article by Jennifer Clarke about 8 Morning Rituals that Will Help You Through the Day.
Some people seem to have no issues getting up early in the morning and performing the proverbial six impossible things before breakfast, with hearts full of cheer. Others engage in constant, exhausting battles against the alarm and snooze buttons, only to wake up to a new day of never-ending problems, with hearts full of dread.
If you are the type of person who starts the morning with coffee and cigarettes, the bad news is this type of lifestyle and morning routine is not healthy. While many of us survive on caffeine, we have other means to boost our energy levels, problem-solving skills, cognitive acuity, physical endurance, and stress coping capacities.
Today, we will talk in detail about eight-morning rituals that will help you through the day and allow you to embrace a healthier lifestyle altogether.
1. Hydration with a Drop of Lemon
One morning ritual many people swear by is drinking a glass of lemon water first thing in the morning. Lemon water does not have miraculous properties and benefits, as the entertainment industry taught us in the last years.
It acts just like water (with some enhancements), thus contributing to your health in the simplest manners possible: it hydrates, and it detoxifies early in the morning so that you can get a fresh start.
What is truly important about lemon water in the morning is that it offers you a refreshing dose of Vitamin C and some trace amounts of folate and potassium. Vitamin C is essential to our wellbeing. It acts as an antioxidant and boosts up your energy levels.
In other words, you will feel a bit better about your day and your organism will start to function at the desired standards once you have your glass of lemon water.
2. Mindful Meditation
In case we did not specify this at the beginning, you do not have to perform these entire morning rituals one after the next, all in the same morning starting tomorrow. It would be difficult to change your lifestyle in only one sitting completely. Instead, pick the ones that you find the more comfortable and easy to follow, and progressively introduce the other ones in your routine, to get the hang of them.
Now that we made this clear, it is time to speak about meditation as a morning ritual. Mindful meditation made the study interest of scientists and for all the good reasons. Recent studies conducted by Carnegie Mellon University specialists and published in the Biological Psychiatry Journal showed that people who practice mindful meditation had enhanced brain activity in their dorsolateral prefrontal cortex – the area responsible for attention, other executive functions, and executive control.
The same study also showed that a 5-minutes session of mindful meditation reduces Interleukin-6, an inflammatory health biomarker, in high-stressed adults. In other words, a thorough session of morning mindful meditation boosts your brain connectivity and cognitive functions, while reducing inflammation in your body.
3. Have a Healthy Breakfast
Some people could not eat in the morning even if their life depended on it. Others cannot even manage to go out through the door on an empty stomach. While having a healthy breakfast is important, not all like feeling a bit sluggish in the morning when they have so much work to do by the end of the day.
If you cannot handle a full healthy breakfast, you can try to compromise: a yogurt, a smoothie, some fruit (if you tolerate the fruity acids in the morning) or some cereal, a handful of nuts, a pancake, etc. Nothing too much or too heavy to put you down before even starting, but not an empty stomach either, because your brain needs nutrients to keep you in full shape throughout the day.
If you cannot work without coffee, integrate it into your breakfast morning routine together with some healthy food.
Physical effort boosts your body and your brain, making you happy and keeping you energized. You should not be afraid of introducing exercises in your life and your morning and you should not give up on sleep for fitness. You can spare, however, just 5 to 10 minutes of your time every morning to put your cogs and wheels in motion, now that your brain is awake, relaxed, and positive.
If you are not the sporty type, you should not worry either. All you need in the morning is some thorough cardio workout to boost your circulation and cardiovascular system’s function, give you a push into the new day, boosts your endorphins, and relieves stress and depression.
According to the specialists at Mayo Clinic, any exercise will do: cardio, yoga, a short run around the block, a treadmill session, anything.
What you need to remember is to coordinate the breakfast with the exercise well. You should eat a little first, before engaging in a workout session, to avoid feeling lightheaded or dizzy afterward. If you love a hearty breakfast in the morning, wait at least for an hour before you go for your morning jog or treadmill session.
5. A Good Scottish Shower
A hot shower after the exercise may put you down a little, although it will relax your muscles after the workout. However, a Scottish shower may be exactly what you need to fully wake up and gain the energy you need to make it through a stressful day.
Hot altered with cold water helps with your blood flow, wakes you up, and helps your body adjust to its surrounding reality, especially after you had a short, intense workout.
According to scientific studies, hot-to-cold showers have subjective benefits for people performing such rituals. Study subjects reported better quality of life, more mental energy, and fewer illnesses in the long term, and improved mental and physical wellbeing. Some even compared the Scottish shower with the effects of coffee or exercise on the brain.
6. Prioritize Your Work Day
Some people do not have what we might call specific, predictable schedules, while others’ jobs depend entirely on how they can follow such schedules and to-do lists. No matter how chaotic and unpredictable your job is, however, you still know you have to do some things before others once you arrive at work.
As a morning routine that you should introduce into your life, prioritizing your work day and making a list, now that your head is clear and your body is full of energy, can help you manage stress better. Some mornings, things may seem too hard, too many, and too exhausting for you to handle – thus you arrive at work already stressed.
If you put down on paper the things you need to do, the things you can do without panic, the things you can delegate to others, and the ones that you can leave for another day, life will look a lot easier. Make sure you cross off the list the tasks you accomplish during the day – the emptier the list, the better you will feel.
7. Do not Get Distracted
If you like having your morning coffee while reading your news feed or inbox, stop. Some people manage to work themselves up before they even step out of the house and this is unhealthy and counterproductive.
You can check your email in the morning if there are indeed urgencies needing your attention, but otherwise, spend your time in a productive manner instead of wasting your time and your nerves with debris.
Social media is especially harmful, as it keeps you hooked (and many times angry) and you forget that is healthier to squeeze in some yoga in your morning schedule instead of the latest scandal or political nonsense.
8. Listen to Music on Your Way to Work
Now you are ready to get out of the house, heart pumping, brain working, and life offering you its best. Until you arrive at work, however, keep your mood up by listening to your favorite tunes. According to research, music has powerful benefits not only for your brain but also for your body.
The neuroscience of music is a hard-science field interested in using music as a remedy for neurological and even psychiatric disorders. Moreover, science is beginning to find links between music and immune system’s functions, and more.
In other words, no matter if you love to rock your body in the car or embrace the universe through some classical tunes, listening to music on your way to work will help you start the day on a positive, powerful, and optimistic note that will help you throughout the entire day.
These were our eight favorite morning rituals to include in your everyday life to alleviate stress, become more able to manage a day’s work, and keep your mind and body healthy to avoid fatigue, depression, and burnout.
Author Bio: Jennifer Clarke, financial advisor from 9 to 5 and a writer in her spare time.
The website she’s managing in her spare time is HealthCareSalariesGuide, a blog filled to brim with salary data about almost every position there can be health care.