If you’re anything like me, you’re busy, tired, and probably a little stressed. Maybe you have a few kids whose lives and schedules you need to manage. Maybe your job demands long hours (and more time thinking about it once you’re in bed). Maybe you get home at the end of a long day and collapse, only to wake up early to start the whole routine over the next day. This pretty much sums up most people I know.
With so little time, how are we supposed to stay on top of our health? There are countless fitness tracking devices out there that try to keep us moving throughout the day. But if you can barely take a shower without your second cup of coffee, no new technology on your wrist is going to make you feel good. Because shouldn’t that be the point? We have lots of responsibilities that pull us in a hundred different directions, but none of it should matter if we don’t at least feel good while doing them, right?
If your time is scarce in the morning, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure you’re beginning your day on the right foot. You don’t need to give up your cup of Joe, but consider adding a few of these tips to help wake you up, get you energized and focused for the juggling you’ll undoubtedly do for the next 12 hours.
1. Go to bed early
Yes, this one technically involves the night before, but it is important. If you want to feel good when you wake up, then you need to try to get enough sleep. That means plenty of REM and restorative sleep to give you a fighting chance the next day. Don’t avoid finishing tasks that need to be done in order to get to bed earlier (this will just result in you lying in bed thinking about all the things you should have gotten done), but certainly, don’t waste time watching mindless television or scrolling through Facebook. Those are precious minutes that you could be using for shut-eye.
2. Don’t check email right when you wake up
I know, this one seems pretty crazy. It will be a hard one to add to your morning routine, but it is worth a shot. Aside from the fact that checking your phone right before bed and then again as soon as you open your eyes means that technology is consuming your waking life, there are plenty of other good reasons to hold off on responding to all of your emails. This article has some great insight. For example, by checking your email first thing, you’re not completing your to-do list, but probably tending to what other people want you to do. Also, instead of taking action on the things you wish to accomplish with your day, you’re beginning your morning by reacting to your inbox. Take back control of your morning (and your day), and hold off before turning on that phone.
3. Drink Water
Lots of it. Just think: Your body hasn’t consumed any liquid in several hours. By hydrating as soon as you wake up, you’ll not only nourish all of your organs, but you’ll actually feel more awake and alert. Dehydration can cause you to feel sluggish. Even better, consider squeezing some lemon into your water, as it will increase the health benefits. Something as simple as lemon water can help digestion, reduce inflammation and boost brain power. Plus, if you drink water first, you will feel more full and you won’t fill up as much on breakfast.
4. Do 10 minutes of yoga
Even if you’ve never practiced yoga before or have no intention of ever going to a class, you might consider doing just a couple of simple poses before starting your day. These particular stretches help you get flexible and wake your body up. You would be amazed at how much better you feel after just a few minutes. Really. Try it.
5. Eat an energizing breakfast
Think about the word breakfast: break fast. You’re literally breaking your fast from the night. Don’t do that with a big sugary meal (waffles, pancakes, muffins, etc.). You want to nourish your body after all of those hours of being asleep. Eat something that will give you tons of energy and will help you avoid falling into a slump at 11 a.m. Eat fresh fruits, veggies, protein and whole grains. You will feel pretty amazing.