According to the countdown widget in the side bar, we have 12 days left in our current project. It’s been such a simple idea that I am finding it hard to come up with something to talk about every day. So, today I asked Google for inspiration, guidance, something to talk about…
Wow! I discovered way more than I expected! I found so much stuff in my search, that I decided our Five Simple Things project wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t have a comprehensive list of all the other Five Things one might do. So here you go!
I thought it might be fun to compile a list of all of the “other” simple things that we have talked about and/or shared up until now. I find that when I am paying attention and thinking of more ideas, it helps me to stay focused on the project, and not wander off into forgetfulness.
So how about it guys. Here’s a list of everything we have so far, plus a few more that I came up with while working on this post. I’d love to make this into a really really long list. Any body have any other ideas?
- Every morning say “Thank You” three times before your feet hit the floor.
- When you turn your key in the ignition, tell your car how much you appreciate it.
- When showering, visualize shimmering gold water with protective light filling up your aura.
- When washing your hands, imagine that you are “washing my hands of…..” and then think of whatever you would like to let go of.
- As you wash your hands, visualize washing away any bad karma, bad vibes, or negativity.
- Write something uplifting or inspirational on all your bottled water so you can be inspired as you go through your day.
- If you dry brush your skin before a shower, imagine brushing your troubles away.
- If you use a shower oil, visualize the oil as sanctifying the whole cleansing process.
- Bless your morning coffee/tea with vibes of productivity and creativity.
- Look into your morning cup of coffee/tea and say, “Thank the Gods! Now everything is going to be OK.”
- When heating food or beverages in the microwave, imagine that it is being thoroughly and completely infused with love and light.
- Every time you use keys, visualize they are unlocking opportunities to get you closer to your dreams.
- When opening a jar think about opening up to new ideas, experiences, and knowledge.
- When opening a door, think about moving forward with my goals, ideas, and/or life.
- Every time you walk out of a door, imagine that you are walking into a grand adventure.
- Every time you look into a mirror, say three times, “You are magickal.”
- Whenever you look into a mirror, say “You are wonderful, amazing, and I love you.”
- When changing out of your work clothes into your “home” clothes, imagine that you are dismantling any stress or drama that might have followed you home.
- As you change out of your day clothes into your pajamas, imagine that you are taking off the cares and worries of the day and putting them away.
- Before you fall asleep, visualize chords connecting you to everybody you met that day, and send their Energy back to them.
As I was exploring ideas for daily routines, it occurred to me that we have already explored a number of quick and easy life enhancing activities that might make a great addition to a morning routine. So… I compiled a list.
- Prosperity in a Cup – from our Gypsy Magick project
- Here’s a Life Changing Action – from our Random Acts of Kindness project
- 27 Fling Boogie – from our Clearing Our Clutter project
- Five Minute Room Rescue – from our Clearing Our Clutter project
- Hot Spot Fire Drill – from our Clearing Our Clutter project
- Feel The Energy – from our Violet Flame project
- Getting Things Done – from our Violet Flame project
- Just Do It – from our Little Engine That Could project
- Art Therapy – from our Little Engine That Could project
- Abundance Formula Audio Playlist – from our Abundance Formula project
- A Few Simple Tips – from our What You Focus On Grows project
- Let’s Burn Some Bay Leaves – from our What You Focus On Grows project
- How About A Little Hypnotherapy– from our What You Focus On Grows project
- Finding Beauty In Every Freakin’ Moment – from our What You Focus On Grows project
- Morning Coffee Magick – from our Living As If project
- Clean and Clear – from our Living As If project
- Rise and Shine – from our Rise and Shine project
It would be nice to bounce out of bed in the mornings, full of life and happy to start a fresh new day on this beautiful planet! For many of us though, the sound of our dreaded alarm has us burrowing further under the duvet not quite ready to face the world.
Even if you’re not a morning person here are 10 tips to boost your mood and make your day a happier one. These tips are from WebMD, medically reviewed and approved.
- 1. Think positive
When you wake up don’t roll over and think: “Urgh! Another stressful day to get through.” Start thinking positive thoughts. “The sun is shining; I’ll have lunch outside today.”
Take time to be mindful of all of the good things in your life, family, friends, your health. Spend a few minutes thinking of a holiday you are planning or a birthday party you’re going to.
If you start on a positive note your day has a better chance of continuing in the same vein.
- 2. Get close
Make time to start your day with morning sex. It’s going to lift your spirits and set you up for the day ahead.
Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals, but you don’t need science to know that being close and loving with your partner makes you feel good.
If there’s no time for sex, make do with a hug and a kiss.
- 3. Stretch
Pilates, tai chi or yoga are relaxing ways to start your day. They work on the mind and body so as well as promoting physical health they can help you achieve an inner mental balance.
“For those of us who creak our way out of bed, a few yoga poses are a lovely way to unfurl the body and dispel the morning grumps,” says yoga teacher Eva Paoli.
“Yoga lengthens and strengthens tight, weak muscles, eases aching back, neck and shoulders and gets the synovial fluid going, which lubricates your joints. Yoga can also be used as preparation for meditation – do both to help preserve your inner calm through a busy day.”
- 4. Exercise
You may have to force yourself to go for a run or hit the gym but exercise is one of the most effective morning mood boosters.
When you exercise your body releases endorphins, feel-good chemicals, in your brain
The NHS says exercise can help people recover from depression and prevent people becoming depressed in the first place.
Also regular exercise can make you feel happier about how you look and make you feel better about your body.
- 5. Go outside
When you wake up, why not make a hot drink and sit in your garden, weather permitting!
There’s some evidence that being outside and listening to nature can boost your mood.
The charity, Mind, believes that activities outdoors like gardening and cycling, or even a walk around the park, are good for our mental health.
- 6. Eat a good breakfast
Eat your way to a happy day! Try starting your morning with a nutritious mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins that will last you until lunch.
“We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, it is also proven, not only that people who eat breakfast have a lower incidence of obesity, but they may also be happier,” says British Dietetic Association spokesperson, Jennifer Low.
She says: “Breakfast tends to contain carbohydrates which can increase serotonin, the ‘happy chemical’, in the brain.”
“A good, healthy, low glycaemic breakfast might be a bowl of high fibre cereal and milk, or eggs and two slices of toast, or fruit and low fat yoghurt, for example.”
- 7. Listen to music
Why not switch on the radio or listen to your music player. Music has the power to improve our moods. You know what it’s like when you hear a favourite song, it can transform your mood or take you back to a good memory.
Research by neuroscientist, Dr Jack Lewis, suggests that songs with a high-pitched tone, a fast pace and a predictable melody make us the most happy.
His study suggests hits by Prince, Bob Marley and The Beach Boys are good mood boosters.
8. Use some essential oils
Smell is a very powerful sense. It can also have an effect on our mood.
When you get up in the morning try burning an essential oil that will help you feel more positive.
“Essential oils are the pure scents of nature, from flowers, fruits, woods, bark and leaves. As soon as these pure scents are inhaled the brain actively responds, changing moods and feelings and bringing a sense of well-being and pleasure,” says Jennie Harding from Tisserand Aromatherapy.
“Citrus oils like lemon and orange, with their zesty and mouth-watering aromas, have an instantly uplifting effect, or fresh herbal oils like rosemary and peppermint, help to clear the mind and aid/help concentration.”
Aromatherapy may not be suitable for everyone, including pregnant women or people with a heart condition. Seek medical advice if you are concerned.
- 9. Be prepared and keep calm
Mornings can be a stressful time, especially when children are thrown into the mix, chivvying them to get dressed, brush their teeth and remember their homework.
Make sure that they have their uniforms laid out, bags packed, shoes by the door, the night before so there can be a calm start to everyone’s day.
Keep the happy mood going by making sure you give them a kiss and a hug before school, if they’ll let you!
- 10. Smile
Make yourself smile in the morning. Even if you fake it there is some suggestion that forcing yourself to smile will actually make you feel better.
Psychologist Paul Ekman conducted a study of students to see if they would feel happier by making themselves smile.
The students’ brain activity was measured while they followed instructions to smile. Whether the students’ smiles were real or fake the activity in their brains was virtually the same. They felt happy.
Also smiling is contagious. If your family see you smiling in the morning they are more likely to smile and feel happier themselves.
Do you ever wake up and you remember all the stuff you have to do, and you just want to hide under the covers and not come out? That feeling is all too known for many of us but thankfully you don’t have to ever feel this way.
Did you know that our thoughts create our emotions? Since we have total control over our thoughts (I know it might not feel like it sometimes), you also have the power to start your day on a super positive note each and every day. Here are some ways to help you get in the right mindset and enjoy every day as it comes.
- 1. Try to remember your dreams
Whether you want to analyze them later or just use them as an entertaining and fun video that plays in your head, dreams are a great way to feel more positive for the day. I recommend making sure you get enough sleep but also keeping a dream journal next to your bed so that you can write the dream down as soon as you wake up. Over time, remembering them will become easier and you will be able to make more sense of them as they relate to your own life.
- 2. Consider what makes you happy
Thoughts create emotions. Happy thoughts create happy emotions. It’s super simple but it’s so true – think about the things you love to do that make you happy. Just visualizing doing something that makes you happy is bound to make you actually feel happier in return.
- 3. Give gratitude
Gratitude is one of the most important practices I always recommend my clients. It’s easy to get caught in the cycle of negative thinking and eventually forgetting how good you actually have it. When you spend some time in the morning to list out 5 things you are grateful for, it shifts your whole mindset and your day becomes so much brighter.
- 4. Relax your body
Without physical relaxation, we breed stress and anxiety in our body. Make sure your daily routine includes self-care that allows you to relax your body. Whether it’s a massage, yoga, or a nice bath – relaxing your body is important ingredient to feeling positive every day.
- 5. Focus on breathing
Throughout the day, the more stress and to-do’s get put on our plates, the more anxiety heighten. We may not even realize that our breathing changes and becomes more shallow as we get stressed out. A really quick and simple tip is take a moment and notice your breathing. Is it shallow? Take some deeper breaths and let them out very slowly. Do this a couple of times and enjoy an increased feel of relaxation within minutes.
- 6. Don’t attach to your thoughts
Each day we create stories around the circumstances and events that surround us. Researchers say that we have about 60,000 thoughts per day! How exhausting is that? The less you attach to your thoughts and let them pass through without believing them and letting them affect you, the more likely you are to feel at peace and relaxed throughout the day.
- 7. Stay off social media
If you’re one of the people that checks their social media or email as soon as you wake up – stop that now! I didn’t realize how much it affects you until you stop doing it for a while. Each morning spent away from social media is so much more relaxed, peaceful, and joyful. We aren’t screamed at by a constant influx of information and messages and our mind has the capacity to just be.
- 8. Prepare a delicious breakfast
Instead of wasting your morning checking your Facebook feed, get yourself to the kitchen and prepare a beautiful delicious (and nutritious) breakfast! Protein pancakes anyone? Sunny side eggs? Perfection. Now, isn’t that so much better?
- 9. Establish a meditation practice
Making meditation a non-negotiable in your routine can be a real life-changer! Not only will you feel more peaceful and centered, you will feel more in tune with your body and your surroundings. Don’t worry if you aren’t a seasoned meditator yet. Meditation isn’t just sitting cross-legged humming “Ommmm” – you can do so much more, including dance meditation, mindfulness techniques, hypnosis, and more.
- 10. Try self-hypnosis recordings
Speaking of hypnosis, this is one of the easier and best ways to get yourself into meditation. There are tons of recordings available for purchase online (99 cents per track on Amazon!) and each one is created specifically to help with a certain problem. Want to feel more positive? There’s a lot of those to choose from.
- 11. Don’t check your phone until much later
Just as you shouldn’t check your social media right when you wake up, try to refrain from checking your phone until a little bit later too. You’ll really notice how much technology can have a negative effect on our mind and energy levels. Don’t get sucked in too early!
- 12. Go for a morning run
Ahhh… endorphins! What better way to start the day than with these feel-good hormones? Go for a nice run in the morning, before the weather gets too hot, and you’ll be glad you did.
- 13. Do an energizing yoga sequence
Another way to get some endorphins flowing in the morning is an energizing yoga sequence. Hop out of bed, roll out your mat and get bendy!
- 14. Play with your pets
I had a friend who always played with her dog in the morning. They would get breakfast, stretch out and play before heading off to work. It helped her connect with her pet, feel happier, and start the day off on a joyful note. I mean, it’s nearly impossible to be angry or sad after playing with your beloved pet.
- 15. Read an inspiring book or article
A nice part of your morning routine could be reading blogs you subscribe to. Reading something inspiring and motivating in the morning is bound to get you revved up and ready to tackle the day.
- 16. Listen to a great inspiring podcast
Similarly as with an inspiring book – listen to a great podcast to get your mind buzzing with motivation to get yourself to the next step in your day.
- 17. Set your alarm to an uplifting tune
Consider changing your ring tone for the alarm. Don’t use the crazy buzzing noise. Instead, put something nice and melodic that begins soft and gets increasingly louder as time goes. It won’t jerk you awake and you are more likely to enjoy waking up to a lovely sound than you are to something intense, like a regular alarm noise.
- 18. Create a routine that includes morning self-care
Whatever that might be for you – meditation, yoga, reading, a walk… whatever it is, make sure you make it a part of your routine and something that is non-negotiable. After all having a great day is non-negotiable! The more you do this, the easier it will become.
- 19. Look at something beautiful
A great way to shift your mood and become more peaceful and uplifted automatically is to look at something beautiful. Maybe it’s a flower, maybe it’s your husband or wife, maybe it’s a painting that’s hanging in your room… whatever it is, take a minute or two just to appreciate its beauty. You’ll be amazed how quickly this tactic works to bring your mood way up!
- 20. Wake up to clean room
The messier your room is, the messier your mind will feel. I always tell my clients that in order to get your mind organized, you have to get your space organized first. Clean up your room and you’ll notice how much the energy in the room becomes more peaceful and welcoming.
- 21. Ask yourself “How can I make this day amazing?”
It’s a simple question but it’s so powerful. By simply asking yourself “How can I make today amazing?” you make yourself realize that you are in control of how your day goes and how you feel about it. Then, do the things to make it amazing!
- 22. Smile regardless of how you might feel at first
Even if you feel like you want to stay in bed for the entire day and mope around, don’t. Smile to yourself. Better yet, look at yourself in the mirror and smile at yourself. My dad does this every single morning for a minute or two and he swears it changes his whole mood and outlook for the entire day. It’s worth a try!
From: Life Hack
Get out the door faster and worry-free with these easy morning tweaks.
1. Give yourself an extra 15 minutes
Don’t hit snooze so much that you end up rushing out the door. Set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than usual, and use the time to mentally prepare for the day. Plan your outfit, goals, and breakfast, or take a moment to stretch or read the news. Still tempted to keep snoozing? Here are almost effortless ways to become a morning person.
2. Stick to a routine
The fewer decisions you have to make, the less stressed you’ll be. Most actions—what you eat, your bathroom ritual—can stay the same every day. Everything else should be planned ahead of time. Lay out your outfit the night before, and load everything you’ll need into your work bag. These tips will make waking up in the morning a lot easier.
3. Keep your blinds half-open
When the natural light from the sunrise creeps into your room, it signals your brain to slow its melatonin production and boost your adrenaline, both of which tell your body to wake up. To sync your biological clock to the sun, hit the hay seven hours before sunrise so you get the recommended amount of sleep. Soon you might not even need your alarm clock. Did you know all of these surprising health advantages of being a morning person?
4. Don’t share the bathroom
No matter how close you and your partner are, each of you should get ready in a different bathroom. Instead of fighting for the sink or mirror, you can get ready calmly at your own pace.
5. Set the alarm on your coffee maker
The smell of coffee can lure you out of bed, so buy some high-quality coffee and use twice as many scoops as you typically would to make the scent as strong as possible. Studies have shown that coffee can boost alertness, protect against Parkinson’s disease, and ward off memory loss.
6. Keep baskets by the door
To prevent a last-minute search while you’re trying to run out the door, keep baskets for each family member by the exit. Fill the containers with everything you’ll need for the day—your purse, wallet and keys, and your kids’ backpacks, homework and hats. Check out these daily morning habits of highly organized people.
Even before you open your eyes, stretch your body to increase blood flow and send oxygen to your tissues. Start with your fingers, hands, wrists, and arm, and then move on to your toes, feet, ankles, and legs. By the time you finish with your neck and back, you’ll be ready to jump out of bed. These are energizing morning stretches you can even do in your bed.
8. Make time for a workout
A 30-minute workout will flood you with mood-boosting endorphins that will last most of the day. Plus, scheduling your exercise for first thing in the morning will make you more likely to stick with your workout program, studies have shown, probably because your schedule won’t have the chance to clog up with excuses. Try hopping on the treadmill, doing yoga, or turning on a workout video you enjoy. Don’t miss these morning habits of naturally thin people.
9. Pick out an emergency outfit
For the mornings you hit snooze too many times or get sidetracked when you’re getting ready, an already-picked-out outfit will get you dressed effortlessly. Store an outfit, complete with socks and jewelry, on a hanger so you can throw it on and dash out the door.
10. Drink a glass of water
Every night, your body goes through a fast while you’re asleep, leaving you dehydrated when you wake up. Drink eight ounces of water as soon as you’re up to hydrate.
11. Read a motivational quote
Start your day on a positive note by reading a motivational quote to guide your thoughts away from negativity. Alternatively, a positive mantra can be meditative, or a poem could help you get focused.
12. Listen to music
At night, your creative juices flow. Taking five to ten minutes in the morning to think or listen to music can help you shape those imaginative thoughts into realistic plans.
13. Brush your tongue
A minty fresh mouth is sure to make you feel clean and ready to start the day. But with more than 300 types of bacteria accumulating in your mouth every night, a speedy tooth-brushing job isn’t going to eliminate your morning breath fully. Take an extra minute to brush your tongue to enjoy a fresher feeling.
14. Have a sprinkle of sugar
Healthy 60- to 80-year-olds who drank sweetened lemonade before breakfast had better memory recall that day and into the next than those who started their morning with unsweetened lemonade, a University of Virginia study found. Don’t go reaching for the doughnut just yet, though—a teaspoon or less will do the trick. Sip a cup of orange juice, or swap the artificial sweetener in your coffee for real sugar.
15. Make a to-do list for your kids
Keeping a checklist of what your kids need to do before heading out the door can help make mornings less chaotic. Write the list either on a whiteboard, or make printouts from the computer. Have your children mark off when they make their beds, brush their teeth, and gather their schoolwork and lunch. If they don’t follow through by five minutes before they need to leave, set a punishment like no TV or computer time after school.
16. Take a quicker shower
The average shower lasts about 12 minutes—a big chunk of time when you’re trying to rush in and out. If you don’t like showering at night, use two-in-one products like conditioning shampoo. To save even more time, don’t scrub your whole body. Use soap for your underarms and groins, and just let the rest get rinsed off. Here are some good reasons you can shower less often.
17. Dry your hair efficiently
Let your hair towel- and air-dry as much as possible before using heat. Use a 100 percent cotton bath sheet to blot your hair, then do your makeup or start getting dressed before touching it again. Once you’re ready to blow-dry, use a tool with at least 1,600 watts for a high-energy heat blast that will dry your hair faster.
18. Go through your calendar
While you’re sipping your coffee in the morning, glance over everything you’ve scheduled for the day. Make sure you write down everything, from plumber visits to bill due dates. You’ll be able to schedule your day effectively without worrying about surprises or forgetting important events.
19. Give a kiss goodbye
Before you head out the door, kiss everyone you love in your house (including your cat or dog). Physically connecting with your loved ones will frame your day with positivity and a reminder of what’s important to you, along with reducing stress.
20. Set a chair in your shower
Sit in a plastic chair for a couple minutes in the shower, letting the water beat down on your back like a massage. You’ll feel both energized and relaxed. When you’re done, stick the chair out of the way and scrub up.
21. Take an aspirin
An aspirin a day could be good for your heart. One study of 220,000 doctors found that those who took an aspirin daily during a five-year course reduced their risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Check with your doctor before starting any medications.
22. Cuddle with your children
If you have young children, lie next to them and gently hug them when it’s time to wake up. For older kids, sit next to them and softly smooth their hair as you get them up. The morning could be the rare time you can enjoy the sweetness of tender moments like these.
From: Reader’s Digest
“As a cook, your station, and its condition, its state of readiness, is an extension of your nervous system. The universe is in order when your station is set. Mise-en-place (a French phrase meaning “putting in place”) is the religion of all good line cooks.”
~Chef and best-selling author Anthony Bourdain
As a therapist for many an anxious nervous system, I love productivity hacks. As a die-hard morning fan, I’m drawn to tips, tricks and tools focusing on the wee-hours of each day.
If you found yourself damning the dawn reference above, the following four steps just may convert you to a morning-ish person:
1. Set Your Intentions
“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”
It’s one thing to want to feel more calm and prepared for the day ahead, and another to actually execute your plan.
I suggest starting the night before, thereby ensuring adequate rest. For adults between the ages of 18 and 64+, that translates to 7 to 9 hours nightly. Sleep is the cornerstone of mental wellness, but it’s rarely a priority. To reinforce this step, ask yourself about the last time you functioned bright-eyed and bushy-tailed after burning the midnight oil? (college kids will kindly exempt themselves).
Now close your eyes and envision the last time you were calm and in control. Channel that situation and remember that you’re capable of slowing down and getting the job done. Mindset is key to starting.
2. Think Proactive vs Reactive
According to social psychologist Dr. Ron Friedman, if you spend the first 10 minutes of each day checking and answering email, you’re priming your mind for a reactive state. Rather than go on the defensive each morning, take that time back and reframe it to “me time.” When you see yourself as having an internal locus of control, you’re less likely to reinforce anxious patterns of thinking.
If you’re at a loss for how to undo your reactive ways, consider these easy options first thing in the morning:
- Drink a glass of water (hydration is vital to mood and health)
- Read a self-help, business, or leisure book.
- Meditate for five minutes.
- Think healthy thoughts.
3. Plan, Plan and Plan
“Chefs like Anthony Bourdain have long appreciated that when it comes to exceptional cooking, the single most important ingredient of any dish is planning. It’s the ‘Meez’ that forces Bourdain to think ahead, that saves him from having to distractedly search for items midway through, and that allows him to channel his full attention to the dish before him.” ~Ron Friedman
Start each morning with a mini-planning session. Because our minds and body are fresh, take advantage of your “clean slate.” Resist the urge to replay yesterday’s soundtrack, or get sucked into worrying about tomorrow. Stay in the here-and-now, and think steps, not lofty goals.
4. Own Your 120-Minutes
“It turns out that most people are productive in the first two hours of the morning. Not immediately after waking, but if you get up at 7 you’ll be most productive from around from 8-10:30. One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like social media).” ~Dan Ariely, behavioral economist at Duke University.
Choose two things you can accomplish today, above all else. Just deux. Let’s be honest — those items you want to get through but never seem to are probably not so urgent. After all, we make time for what’s important. Many productive people write their upcoming tasks the night before to establish tomorrow’s To-do list.
Before you roll up your productivity sleeves, remove all necessary distractions. Turn off the notifications on your mobile device, close the open tabs on your computer, and let others in your home or office know that you’re not to be disturbed for the next couple of hours.
When it comes to beginning your day, take it from a master chef. Set up the essential ingredients for the task ahead. You no longer have to be distracted about every single item which requires your attention. Focus on what’s right in front of you and start with a single bite.
From: Psychology Today
I bet I can predict what your morning looks like: You wake up to a generic alarm clock sound, roll out of bed, get dressed, grab a mediocre breakfast, and leave the house still rubbing your eyes and yawning.
How’d I know? Because we all do it—it’s the only way we know how. (And if you’re not one of us traditionalists, I salute you!)
However, there are so many better ways to start your day than by following the usual patterns. Yes, you can journal, exercise, read, or meditate—but you can also get a little crazy and try any of these 16 other unique strategies to having better morning. While you can’t possibly incorporate all 16 (or can you?), you can start with one or two.
1. The Two-Minute Exercise
A lot of people suggest that you meditate every morning to increase your energy, confidence, and sense of stability—but let’s be real: No one has time to really meditate and fully free their mind. Instead, Muse writer Lily Herman suggests trying these two super-quick breathing exercises when you wake up.
2. The Seven-Minute Routine
For the people in a hurry, take seven minutes to think, breathe, doodle, and make a plan. Even this small amount of time can create a positive mindset for the rest of your day.
3. The 15-Minute Routine
We can almost guarantee that John Gannon’s morning routine will change the way you brainstorm.
What does he do? He gives thanks, writes to get his creative juices flowing, and jots down 10 new ideas every day. The results: After 30 days of doing this and sharing his input with others, he came up with an exciting new product for his startup that lead to great success and got offered a job. And it only took 15 minutes out of his day!
4. Take a Shower
Only like to get clean at night? You might want to rethink that. As Muse writer Jennifer Winter says , “Jumping in the shower has a way of shocking your system and getting your circulation going. If you absolutely can’t get yourself into the shower, then at a minimum do a thorough scrubbing of your face in the sink and finish off with a splash of cold water. You’ll look and feel more awake than you would if you’d simply rolled out of bed.”
5. Buy a Festive Coffee Mug
You’d be surprised how much your cup of coffee can brighten your morning—and I’m not talking about the caffeine part. Spruce up your routine with something that’ll make you smile, laugh, or even entertain you while you sip. For some ideas, look at this shopping guide and this one .
6. Use an Alarm Clock That Actually Works
Yes, it is possible to find an alarm that doesn’t make you want to hit snooze a bagillion times. Just remember—once you’re out of bed, everything can only get easier. So try these better solutions on for size—waking up will be a piece of cake. (Just kidding, waking up will never compare to cake.)
7. Blast Some Great Tunes
There’s no better way to stimulate your mind in the morning—without exhausting it back to sleep—than by listening to music. And we’ve got the perfect playlist for just about every mood you’ll face.
8. Stay in Bed Longer
“For many, the hardest part about waking up and getting out of bed is the “getting out of bed” part. So, don’t! Winston Churchill spent the first three or four hours of each day working from bed, reading stacks of mail, and dictating responses to his secretaries,” writes Muse contributor Alexandra Franzen . While it’s unlikely you have the luxury of three to four hours (unless you’re waking up right after you go to sleep), treat yourself to 10 or so minutes.
9. Create Something
Muse’s Senior Editor of Branded Content Erin Greenawald has three suggestions for starting your day right : Have any networking meetings first thing in the morning, listen to podcasts while you get up and ready, and finally, instead of reaching for your phone, reach for paper and a pencil, or ingredients for breakfast: “It doesn’t have to take long, and it doesn’t have to be big—or even good, for that matter—but you’ll be starting your day by engaging a part of your brain that many of us don’t get to work with often.”
10. Create a Step-by-Step Schedule
If you plan out, step-by-step , how long each AM task takes you to complete, you’ll more accurately see how much time you truly need to get ready in the morning. You might also realize what things can be done later in the day, or even the night before. And once you set a realistic timeframe for showering, getting dressed, or eating breakfast, stick to it. Muse Career Coach Adrian J. Hopkins believes that “if you take a moment to plan ahead, you’ll find that one stitch, in time, really does save nine.”
11. Do the Dishes
According to a article by LearnVest , “Rolling up your sleeves to hand wash a sink full of dirty dishes from last night’s dinner may be the last thing you want to do first thing in the morning, but a recent study found that mindfully cleaning dishes—in other words, staying in the moment while scrubbing away—reduced anxiety and made study subjects feel more inspired.” And bonus, you won’t have to worry about them later when you’re exhausted from work!
12. Check the News (Fast!)
The first thing I do each morning is open my email on my phone to read theSkimm, an entertaining roundup of breaking headlines. It’s just what I need to start to stimulate my mind and think about my day without thinking too hard. For even more quick-fix news outlets, check out this list .
13. Exercise for 10 Minutes
Muse writer Kat Moon says that this science-backed exercise tip will increase your mental processing speed—and it doesn’t require any heavy lifting or five-mile sprints. For example, you can take a walk around the block, watch a yoga tape, or even do a few rounds of push-ups. (True story: the Muse team can attest to this strategy.)
14. Set Your Clocks Five Minutes Ahead
It seems silly, but even just tricking your brain into thinking you’re late will help you wake up faster. Plus, you’ll always be guaranteed to be on time.
Muse Managing Editor Jenni Maier loves using this technique to get moving in the morning : “Just seeing the (incorrect) time on your microwave, in the car, and anywhere else you can manually change it will make you start operating five minutes ahead. I can’t explain it, I can just tell you that every morning I leave my house at 8:10 AM, look down at my phone, see it’s really only 8:05, and think about the fact that my stupid stove clock tricked me again.”
15. Play Some Soothing Ambiance
Fun fact: Ambient noise is proven to increase creativity and productivity—so consider turning on the sounds of a coffee shop or a cozy rainy day to set your mood. To create your own background noise, try apps such as Noizio or A Soft Murmur .
16. Keep Your Blinds Open
Sunlight is the best way to naturally wake your body up—so don’t hide from it. Muse writer Lily Herman suggests that this will make the night-to-morning transition a lot easier: “It’s hard to go from pitch-black darkness to bright light (especially if you hop on your phone or computer first thing in the morning), so make it easier on yourself by keeping your blinds somewhat open. I can personally attest to the fact that not drawing my curtains means it’s a little less jarring to wake up to my alarm each morning.”
From: The Muse
How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day.
You can start your day by hitting the snooze button, dragging yourself out of bed at the last minute, rushing to get ready, and then running out the door with a doughnut in one hand and your briefcase in the other. Or, you can start your day with good morning habits. I recommend the latter.
Below you’ll find nine morning habits to start the day right.
1. Wake Up Early.
Early risers reap many benefits. Some of these benefits include the following:
- Being able to go through your morning routine in a calm and leisurely manner instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off being rushed.
- Having time for introspection and getting yourself in the right frame of mind.
- The quiet morning hours are a great time to get things done.
- You can get an early start on your goals, such as getting daily exercise or tackling a 30-day challenge.Waking up early will also allow you to practice the eight habits explained below, which will help you to start your day in high spirits, ready to tackle anything that life throws at you throughout the day.
2. Smile and Think Something Positive.
As soon as you wake up, smile. Scientists have discovered that smiling does all of the following for you:
- When you smile your body releases the feel-good neurotransmitters dopamine and endorphins. This means that by smiling first thing when you wake up you’ll be starting your day in a better mood.
- In addition, when you smile your mood is further lifted by the release of serotonin.
- Smiling strengthens the immune system, so by smiling first thing in the morning and remembering to do it throughout the day you’ll be warding off disease, specially during flu season.
- If you have trouble getting yourself to smile in the morning, force yourself: even a forced smile has benefits.
In addition, say something like the following to yourself when you wake up (say it out loud or just say it silently in your head):
“Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” – Dalai Lama
“This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)
Lastly, ask yourself these two questions:
- What am I grateful for today?
- What am I looking forward to today?
3. Make Your Bed.
Get up and make your bed. Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project”, indicates that a simple way to be happier is to make your bed every morning. By taking this small step to create outer order, you create inner calm. It’s something small and doable which gets your day started off right.
In addition, Naval Adm. William McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, said the following about making your bed in his commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin:
- “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
- By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.
- If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
- And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made—that you made—and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
4. Brush Your Teeth and Scrape Your Tongue.
Most people were taught to brush their teeth after having breakfast. However, it’s healthier to brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. Plaque—which is a film of bacteria–builds in your mouth while you sleep. You should remove this plaque buildup by brushing as soon as you wake up.
Also, brushing coats the teeth with a protective layer of fluoride to guard against the sugars and acids introduced in the mouth at breakfast.
In addition to brushing your teeth, you should also scrape your tongue. Here are five reasons why:
- Fresh Breath – Most bad breath comes from the bacteria at the back of the tongue.
- Better Tasting Food – By scraping your tongue you remove mucus which can block your taste buds.
- Boost Immunity – Scraping your tongue prevents toxins from being reabsorbed into your body.
- Healthier Teeth – The process of scraping your tongue promotes general tooth and gum health.
- Then, after you’ve eaten your breakfast, rinse with a fluoride mouthwash.
5. Drink Warm Water With Lemon.
After brushing your teeth drink a tall glass of lukewarm water with half a lemon–or one whole lemon–squeezed in it. This is an easy health tip which will do all of the following for you:
- Lemon water cleanses and stimulates the liver and kidneys.
- Lemons have lots of Vitamin C, which helps to protect you from catching a cold.
- Drinking lemon water alkalizes the body — when the body does not have sufficient alkalizing substances and is overly acidic, it takes these substances from the bones or vital tissues.
- The antioxidant properties of lemons help combat free radical damage, which keeps your skin looking young and healthy.
- I use a straw to drink my water with lemon in the morning in order to protect the enamel on my teeth from the acid in the lemon.
6. Do a Stretching Routine.
Performing a morning stretching routine will help you to loosen your muscles after sleeping, while increasing blood flow to your muscles. Taking ten minutes to do a few yoga poses will allow you to connect your mind, body, and breath in preparation for the day that’s ahead.
Start your day with stillness by meditating in the morning. Meditating does everything from improving your focus to reducing stress, improving emotional stability, and preventing common health ailments. You can start simply by focusing on your breath for three minutes each morning, and build from there.
Do the following:
- Sit in a comfortable position.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Inhale for 4 counts, retain for 4 counts, and exhale for 8.
- Every time you feel your mind wandering, bring it back to your breath.
- Do this for three minutes.
8. Eat a Healthy Breakfast.
You’ve already heard this a thousand times, but I’m going to say it again: breakfast in the most important meal of the day. A healthy breakfast consists of lean protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. You’ll gain all of the following benefits from eating a healthy breakfast:
- You’ll be less hungry throughout the day.
- You’ll have better focus and concentration.
- Skipping breakfast is tied to being overweight.
- You’ll have more energy.
9. Create Something.
Before you start taking in information–reading emails, listening to the news, attending meetings, and so on–create something. This can be anything: write a blog post; draw something; create an info-graphic; record a video; write a chapter of your novel; and so on.
Start you day in creativity-mode.
Your morning habits can make or break your day. The nine habits explained above are guaranteed to get your day started off right. Live your best life by creating good morning habits.
From: Dare To Live Fully
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle
Have you ever noticed when your morning starts in a frenzy—snoozing your alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing yourself out the door—the rest of your day seems to reflect that mood of chaos as well? The tone of your morning will determine the tone of your day, so it’s time to start planning accordingly.
When you form healthy habitual behaviors for the morning, you set your day up for success. Whether you are aware of them or not, you operate under habits (both good and bad) all the time—they are an integral part of your daily existence. Part of developing a healthy habit, is to become intentional with it. Most habits are formed because they are easy or along the path of least resistance. If you want to cultivate positive habits, then you may need to put some intentional effort into forming them until they become second nature.
This is particularly true with morning habits. What you cultivate in the morning influences how you feel, act, and think during the rest of your day. Here are 10 simple habits that you can add into your morning routine now, to ensure you are feeling, acting, and thinking at your highest potential for the rest of your day—and days—ahead.
1. Stay Unplugged from Tech
If the first thing you do when you wake up is check your smartphone for messages or work email, you are doing yourself a disservice. You are immediately cultivating a reactive mindset, instead of a proactive one, which will cause you to start your day in a defensive state, rather than a place of inner peace and control.
Instead, try remaining detached from technology for the first hour of your day so you can begin your day with present-moment awareness and a positive focus.
Drinking a glass of water in the morning after going hours without a sip is a good way to hydrate your body. The Ayurvedic technique of adding lemon to a warm glass of water helps remove toxins from your digestive tract that may have built up overnight, provides a good source of vitamin C, freshens your breath, supports weight loss, and stimulates metabolism and digestion. Bottoms up first thing in the a.m. for a healthy—and refreshing—start to your day.
3. Practice Optimism and Gratitude
Before you even get out of bed, give yourself a few minutes to smile and practice gratitude. When you smile, it signals your brain to release the feel-good neurotransmitters (dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin), which lift your mood, relax your body, and lower your heart rate. Who wouldn’t want to start their day on this positive note?
As you smile, start to reflect upon what you’re grateful for. Studies have shown practicing gratitude reduces stress hormones and improves mood, among other benefits. So, adding a simple daily gratitude practice is a great way to kick-start your morning.
Begin by taking one minute in bed before you rise to reflect on one person and one opportunity you are grateful for in your life.
4. Make Your Bed
Tim Ferriss, author and podcast host (The Tim Ferriss Show) has interviewed more than a hundred highly successful people with diverse backgrounds and skillsets, and in a variety of industries. He always asks, “What’s your morning routine?” Along the way, he has collected five habits that he has incorporated into his morning routine, and one of them is making his bed.
It may seem like a waste of time, unimportant, or unnecessary (you’re just going to use it again at night), but making your bed is a simple action you can take in the morning that makes you start your day feeling accomplished—and what better tone to set than a sense of pride and accomplishment? Taking charge and completing simple tasks will give you the foundation to take on more and more throughout the day.
Incorporating some type of mindfulness practice like meditation into your daily morning routine can help ground you and train your mind and emotions, which then influences how you react to challenges throughout your day.
During your meditation is also a great time to set your intention for the day. When you get clear on how you want your day to go or what you want to feel or accomplish, you can make clear decisions that create the life you truly want to live.
Note sure where to get started? Here is a simple meditation you can do in the morning:
- Get into a comfortable seated position and set a timer for five minutes.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- Inhale through your nose for four counts, retain for four counts, and exhale through your nose for eight counts.
- Every time you notice your mind wandering, gently guide it back to focus on your breath.
- When the timer goes off, release your counting, but stay seated with your eyes closed for a moment.
- Set an intention for your day and visualize yourself meeting this intention.
- Open your eyes, draw your arms up to the sky for a stretch, and then move on with your day, carrying the calm energy and intention with you.
Whether it’s a simple yoga routine, a brisk walk with your pet, a quick set of sit-ups and push-ups, or hitting the gym to work off last night’s meal, starting off your day with movement energizes the body and the mind. Determine what kind of exercise is right for you and schedule it. It doesn’t have to be complicated, long, or intense, but having some sort of physical activity in the morning will get your blood flowing and help quiet any mental chatter. You can even switch up what kind of exercise you do every day to keep your routine interesting.
7. Put Yourself Together
Putting time and effort into your appearance helps build self-confidence. When you feel “put together,” it is one less thing to worry about throughout your day.
So, shower, wash your face, brush your teeth, floss, comb your hair, apply lotion/oil, dress to impress, and apply any other hygiene/grooming habits that make you feel good about yourself. This may involve picking out your clothes the night before (especially if you are short on time in the morning) or ironing your clothes—whatever makes you feel like you are taking care of your health, looking presentable, and feeling confident.
8. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
You’ve most likely heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you make time to eat a healthy breakfast (lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains), you’ll have more energy throughout the day and a stronger ability to focus and concentrate.
9. Have a “To-Do” List Ready to Conquer
Take a few minutes to write down a “to-do” list for the day ahead. Then prioritize it so your day’s list has only 3 to 5 items on it—ranked in order of priority to make sure you tackle the most pressing things first.
Writing down your “to-do’s” instead of keeping them floating around in your mind helps clear mental chatter. You also give yourself a sense of purpose each day when you know what you need to get done. And there is something satisfying about crossing off tasks on your list—it really cultivates a sense of accomplishment.
10. Get Enough Restful Sleep
This last one isn’t a habit for your morning exactly … however, before you can hope to implement new, healthy morning habits, you should have the foundation of a well-rested body and mind. The way you feel while you’re awake is dependent in part on your sleep habits. If you’ve been feeling groggy, irritable, or exhausted, you may not be getting enough quality sleep.
During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In fact, sleep plays such a vital role in your physical well-being, mental clarity, and quality of life that ongoing sleep deficiency (the amount varies by individual, but typically this means less than 6 to 8 hours of restful sleep each night) can have adverse effects on your health—and how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others.
If you are finding you are not getting enough quality sleep, check out this before-bed routine to wind down or our online product 7 Days to Restful Sleep to improve your sleep habits. There are also apps and gadgets out there that can track your sleep habits, like Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock.
When you start your day after a night of restful sleep, you will wake feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the day, starting with your new morning habits.
From: The Chopra Center
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