People have a lot of bad habits when it comes to morning routines. Here’s how to fix them.
How you start your morning affects your whole day.
The first few minutes of your morning are the most important of your day and can set the tone for positivity and productivity. Ideally, you have an app or clock that taps into your natural circadian rhythm and wakes you during your “best time” within a certain window. Getting jarred out of a deep REM slumber to the sound of a blaring alarm clock sets you up for a negative day brimming with fatigue and crankiness.
But getting the right alarm clock is only part of the battle.
Here are six ways to start your morning better while kicking bad habits that destroy good sleep hygiene.
1. Give yourself at least a 15-minute window of no screen time.
Besides turning off an alarm that might be on your phone, resist the urge to check your email or social media. It sets you up for a day of being enslaved to technology, and your morning time should be reserved just for you. This might mean disabling notifications on your home screen so you’re not tempted by that Facebook notification or mounting emails.
2. Swap out the coffee for lemon water.
Lukewarm water with a fresh lemon squeezed into it has numerous benefits — but you need to drink it first thing in the morning. It starts your metabolism to burn the most fat while sustaining muscle, cleanses your mouth and throat, and gives you a boost of energy. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, drinking or eating afterward. This might be a toughie for caffeine addicts, but you can manage 30 minutes and it’s a great way to ease off the coffee fix.
3. Sit up correctly
There are endless “bad ways” to get out of bed, but only one best way if your body allows for it: Roll over onto your right side, then push yourself up into a sitting position before standing with a straight back (no hunching). It’s the gentlest way to get up, takes the pressure off your heart and back, and is a great, easy ritual to start your morning right.
4. Set and affirm your goals for the day.
While stretching in bed or prepping your lemon water, set some feasible goals for the day, but limit them to three. This might include packing your lunch instead of eating out to save money, committing to that noon yoga class, or scheduling the doctor’s appointment you’ve been putting off.
A little bit of stretching will change your whole day.
It seems so obvious, and yet so many people ignore it. You can do this in bed, such as a simple stretched out legs and arms overhead movement. You can indulge in a supine twist on the padded floor, or you can practice whatever feels right for as little or as long as you like. Your body’s just been booted down for hours — you can’t expect it to be warmed up, energized and raring to go right away.
Don’t skip over this one just because it sounds boring or like you don’t have time for it. Meditation is only as strict, long, short, boring or annoying as you make it. A “successful” meditation in an entire lifetime might be only a few seconds. However, sitting in a comfortable position and focusing on clearing your mind — even if it’s for less than a minute — can help your mental clarity, spiritual well-being and set the stage for the day.
You probably already know which morning habits aren’t serving you, so why keep doing them? Instead, focus on what really makes your mornings better and prioritize them.
This article originally appeared at Inc.. Copyright 2014. Follow Inc. on Twitter.
Sponsored Links: Royalista – “Helping People is our Way of Life”