Mornings are key – they decide how the rest of our day will roll out. A good start often means high spirits, productive thoughts, and energy to keep you going through the day. Before getting lost in the deluge of notifications and emails, doorbells and errands, taking a minute (or 20, if you can afford it) for reflection, preparation, or just self-care is a great way to start your day. Here are a few tips:
Hydrate for a bright start
Before you reach for the coffee machine, take a leaf from Arianna Huffington and reach for a glass of water. Not only is it a great way to be refreshed even before you wake up, a glass of water works wonders on metabolism and hydration.
Get a quick workout out of the way
Everyone knows that starting your day with a workout is a great thing. But not everyone is a morning person, and dressing up for a run at 6 am is not everyone’s cup of tea. A seven-minute indoor core workout or a quick yoga session is the next best thing. This is the morning mantra for many successful leaders - from Clique Brands CEO Katherine Power to ClassPass Founder Payal Kadakia.
Centre your mind with deep breathing
Starting your morning with a few minutes of meditation can work wonders for your mental health. There is a reason why everyone from Rupert Murdoch to Oprah Winfrey has adopted the mindful lifestyle. But if you don’t have enough time in the mornings for a full-fledged meditation routine, a few minutes of breathing exercises can help centre your mind and prepare you for the day ahead.
Talk to yourself
This is not quite as outrageous as it sounds. Steve Jobs used to ask himself an honest question every morning – it was meant to be self-reflection. Author and motivational speaker Brian Tracy starts his days with positive reinforcements like “I love my job”. Making yourself hear the things you need to hear to get through the day can be an uplifting way to start your day.
Prone to stress and anxiety? Have had a few rough days and have nothing redeeming to say about life in general? You are probably wrong. Take a minute to appreciate the good things that happen in your life without you even noticing. A good meal, some good friends, companionship, even great weather! It is easy to forget about the little things that make our life better in the chaos of everyday life. Start your day by being grateful and see how it changes your mood for the better. All you have to do is to close your eyes and think about whatever it is that you are grateful for. Executive Coaching institute The Smart Tribe calls this the “Gratitude Practice,” and strongly advocates it as a leadership tool.
What makes one person’s morning happy and productive may not have the same effect on others. The question to ask here is whether your morning routine is designed to make you content first thing in the morning. If the answer is yes, you are good to go!