After reading this week’s challenge topic, you may be thinking, “Oh great. Do they want me to wake up an hour earlier just to have a fresh start to my day?” Don’t panic! Having a healthy morning routine means adjusting the rituals to fit with your schedule. Everyone is different which is why it is important to listen to your body and plan your morning routine accordingly.
This week's #bebetter52 challenge: Implement 1 tip into your morning routine. Trying one of the following tips can improve your overall mood and kick start your day.
TIP 1: Stretch in Bed
Before even getting up from underneath the sheets, take a moment to really stretch right when you wake up. Lengthen from the bottom of your toes all the way up through the arms into your fingertips. Scientific research shows that morning stretches improve range of motion, circulation, and flexibility. Taking an extra five minutes in the morning to release any tension built up throughout the night will allow you to have a fresh start. Urmet Seepter from Good Relaxation notes that stretching in the morning lessens back pain while dramatically improving posture and energy levels.
TIP 2: Stick to it
As you rub your eyes and allow the endless tasks of the day to consume your mind, step away to reflect. Grab a pen and three sticky notes. First, write down one kind act you want to do for someone else. Then grab another sticky note and jot down one thing you want to do for yourself. On the last sticky note write one thing you are thankful for. Hang these on your mirror to read when you are getting ready or put them on your desk as a reminder when you are on a conference call or sending an email. Writing down positive words and then visualizing them have the power to change your perspective.
TIP 3: Have a Plan
Before going to bed at night, it is important to prepare for your morning. In order to feel like there is control and stability in your life, make a list of all the things that need to be accomplished the following day. In the morning, you can just review the list to refresh your memory. Some days may seem overwhelming, but just remember your purpose. It is essential to our well-being that the responsibilities we commit to are worthwhile. Steve Jobs said "I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: 'If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" He goes on to explain that if his answer was no, he knew something had to change in order to live a happier life.
TIP 4: Get Up and Out
If you know exercising will make you feel good in the morning, but that alarm clock is holding you back, start by making the sacrifice two days a week. Whether you go to the gym, to a yoga class, or even for a walk around the neighborhood, the point is you are fitting something into your morning routine that will benefit your overall health. Dr. Gil Hedley discusses the importance of moving the body in the beginning of the day to release any stiffness. Walking for just 30 minutes each day can increase cardiovascular fitness, strengthen bones, and boost muscle power and endurance. Living a healthier, happier life is possible by making a few minor adjustments.
TIP 5: Turn Up the Music
Music is a platform that communicates feelings. It can make us laugh, cry, connect, or even change our mood. Scientists have discovered that songs with heavy bass (hard rock and hip-hop) inspire feelings of power and produce a surge of confidence and more complex conceptual thought. In order to have a productive day, it is recommended to listen to these genres while getting ready. This week, choose to listen to music in the morning that makes you happy. In a study conducted at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, dopamine levels were 9% higher when participants listened to the music they enjoyed. Start each day this week with a smile. Click that shuffle button and enjoy the music, even if it’s only for 10 minutes.