Does the sound of the alarm fill you with dread in the morning? Do you mount a pointless daily battle with yourself to try to steal every last second under the covers before having to face the world? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. According to one study only three countries in the world get out of bed in a worse mood than us Brits.
But, how do you change? How can you become more of a morning person, live with intention and create a feeling of calm before you ‘attack the day’ in a positive frame of mind? Here are 7 ways to create a mindful morning routine…
Shed some light on the situation: A burst of early morning sunshine is a great way to start the day. It’ll let your body know it’s time to wake up and encourage you to enjoy the weather while it lasts. By leaving your curtains open or swapping your existing pair for something a little lighter you can let more morning light in and learn to wake up more naturally. You can even purchase an alarm clock that simulates this gradual increase in light. You’ll feel calmer and have more energy if you can wake up this way instead of being forced from your bed by a loud and annoying alarm.
Water way to stay fresh: There’s no chance of feeling any kind of zen or have any positive energy if you’re dehydrated. You need to drink plenty of water throughout the day – six to eight glasses, in fact – to stay alert. Drinking any water, or especially warm water, first thing in the morning can help flush the digestive system and rehydrate the body.
Strike a balance: The amount you drink is important but so too is what you eat. This provides your body with the fuel it needs to function and should strike a good balance of all the essential nutrients. The fuel you need depends on what you intend to do. Bodybuilders and sprinters might well need to deploy supplements to top up their diet and help them through the day. Basic protein powders are available in supermarkets while more specialist products such as creatine monohydrate can be bought from outlets such as Fysiqal Nutrition.
Getting a balanced diet guards against fatigue and also ensures that you shouldn’t wake up hungry and grumpy. You should start your day with an energy packed breakfast that propels you to lunch time with a happy spring in your step. It’s also important not to eat anything too heavy just before you go to bed as this will lay heavy and disrupt your sleep patterns. Keep your eyes peeled, I’ll be sharing my favourite breakfast bar recipe soon.
Wake up to something you enjoy: Positive energy comes from your mind as much as your muscles and you need something positive to look forward to when you get up in the mornings. Find a radio station you love or a podcast to enjoy while you prepare your breakfast and get ready for the day. The incentive of listening to this will give you that mental boost to get going in the morning. Alternatively this could be hanging out with your furry friend or reading a magazine. You need to try to make getting up seem more attractive than staying in bed.
Get enough beauty sleep: You also need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Going to bed earlier in the first place can stop the mornings from being such a pain in the proverbial. Try to establish a ‘bed time’ and ensure that any work is put away long before this. Switching off in the evening is a big part of switching on in the morning.
Avoid checking your phone: It’s a toughie but a good point to make. When devising your mindful morning routine, checking your phone before you’ve even stepped foot out of bed can create a feeling of chaotic noise. Whether it’s emails or social platforms, scrolling through endless images and messages is bound to leave you with a cluttered mind. Try avoiding using your phone until you’re showered and dressed and see if you feel a difference.
Meditate: A few moments on complete peace and quiet first thing in the morning can be just what you need to start your day off on a positive note. You can find lots of great mediation apps that will offer you a guided journey into a calm, zen state of mind. I would suggest trying the various apps out to see which one suits you personally, a few great ones to try are Headspace, Calm. Buddhify and Smiling Mind.
‘Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more’ –Mother Teresa