Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.” That’s good advice for grumpy morning risers. Starting the day off in the right frame of mind gives people a fighting chance at having a day worth living. To reach this desirable goal, try making a few changes in habit mixed with a slight attitude adjustment. Insert some magic into the morning’s routine by including one or two of these nine secrets every day.
- Clean the Body in a Pristine Environment.
Before heading to bed, make sure that the bathroom is cleaned and ready for the morning rituals. Cleansing should be relaxing. Some people even swap out their fixtures to include modern bathroom vanities, because the more straightforward lines are more relaxing. Even when the morning is rushed, speeding through self-care should be avoided. Pay attention to any aches and pain and release tension. Linger in the shower or bath at least a few days a week. Treat this time as the precious alone time that it is. Magically, the day ahead will suddenly look better. When done right, extra energy appears.
- Do Simple Movements and Exercises While Getting Out of Bed.
Children luxuriously stretch when they wake up. Stretching motions work out the kinks and keep the body flexible. Most adults forget to stretch. Instead, they either jump out of bed to immediately tackle daily activities or scrunch inwards to avoid the reality of another day. Once the alarm goes off, take a moment for a long lingering stretch. Then, twist and jiggle once out of bed. Simple motions like these only take a minute but deliver real benefits. Stretched muscles get better blood flow, which reduces tension due to cramps or aches and pains.
- Make the Bed.
Some people make their bed as soon as they wake up. Others schedule it shortly before the workday begins. Making the bed delivers a sense of completion. The morning has ended, and it is time for the next part of the day. Tuck the corners in and arrange the pillows. Make it a welcoming oasis for the end of the day. Sometimes, it is tempting to leave the bed unmade. That is never a good idea. An unmade bed is a mess left waiting. Resolve small problems whenever possible. An unmade bed is a problem that can be easily avoided.
- Avoid Email and Social Media Until Ready to Work.
Do not get sucked into the computer by checking social media or email accounts first thing in the morning. This habit immediately ruins any chance of focusing on what YOU need. Mornings are a sacred time. Even people with children should carve out a tiny bit of alone time shortly after waking up. The computer grabs attention with its many distractions and doesn’t readily give it up. Make sure all tasks are complete before pulling out the smartphone to reconnect with the world.
- Enter Dreams Into a Journal.
Keep a journal by the side of the bed to record dream recollections. These often vivid memories fade rapidly but can teach us what our minds want us to understand. Some people journal every morning, even when they don’t recall their dreams. Mornings lend themselves to reflection, and journaling provides a safe place to record personal thoughts and feelings. Instead of keeping emotions pent up inside, short dream entries or reflections help us remain sane. Try writing those journal entries instead of placing them into a file on the computer. The written word allows people to linger as they write.
- Take a Moment to be Grateful.
Negative thoughts early in the morning don’t signal the advent of a good day. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, focus on what has gone right lately. Spend a few moments being grateful for health, friends, children, job security, etc. It’s true that no one has a perfect life, but no one has a life that is totally imperfect, either. Be grateful the sun is shining. Or, be thankful that the rains have come. Gratefulness must be practiced to become part of who we are. One minute spent in gratitude each morning has positive repercussions throughout the entire day.
- Make a To-Do List for the Day.
The morning to-do list should never be more than three items long. Break large tasks into small ones that can be quickly accomplished. Need to pick up a box of tissues? Write it down and plan a convenient time to work it into the schedule. Keeping the list short means that success in completing the list is attainable. Everyone needs to succeed at least once in a while. Lists help get life’s little details out of the way, so small things don’t morph into big problems.
- Exercise: Even if It’s Only for a Short Time.
Bodies respond well to exercise. Once the heart rate goes up, blood flow increases and an electric start of the active day is at hand. Go for a short walk or run before showering or schedule a ten minutes yoga session in the living room. Many people choose to move exercise to the first break of the workday. That’s fine as long as some activity in the morning hours is a priority. Exercise promotes both physical and mental health. It shouldn’t be skipped.
- Eat a Light Breakfast.
Train yourself to be hungry in the morning and reap the benefits of a more alert mind once the workday begins. Humans don’t do well when they are hungry. Even if coffee or tea is a regular morning habit, include water or juice to replenish your body. A well-hydrated and fed body will do more to make a day a positive one than almost anything else that can be imagined. Prepare for breakfast the night before to make it simpler.
Morning people already know that it’s the best time of the day. Late risers are missing out. However, once they learn that a positive morning ritual impacts their entire day, they realize that it’s time to switch to an earlier rising time. Start with just one to improve the morning routine and reap the benefits. Add other habits as required.