Healthy Mind

7 Ways To Be A Morning Person

1. Wake up one hour before everyone else

We know what you’re thinking – getting up a whole hour before you need to is hardly appealing when you dislike mornings as it is, but hear us out. “Use this time of quiet solitude to start your day with some self-care,” advises life coach Nicky Clinch (nickyclinch.com). “Once your family wakes up, we all know our attention goes to them, helping them get ready either for school or for work. So, take 60 minutes to start with you first, put on some nice music, roll your yoga mat out and give your body a great stretch. Maybe do a yoga video if you prefer to follow a class or just go with how your body wants to move. Then sit and meditate for 10 to 20 minutes. Use this time to connect with how you are, how you’re feeling and what you may need to take care of you today. This will make you feel more present, grounded and ready to tackle the day ahead of you. One of the biggest stresses we all face is finding enough time for us, so keep this morning quiet time sacred for you and enjoy every moment. Of course, if you’ve had a broken night’s sleep (which we all know happens), then permit yourself to sleep in more that morning. But the rest of the time, protect this hour because your wellbeing is important!”

2. Get your breakfast started the night before

Ever feel like you have a million and one things to do in the mornings, let alone make and eat a nutritious breakfast? If so, this one is for you. “The best way to make mornings less stressful and more nourishing are to get organised so that you can eat well,” says Nicky. “It’s important to make sure you have a healthy nourishing meal that’ll make you feel great. Whatever we can do to save minutes will directly give us more morning peace and reduce rush and panic! Before you go to bed, make sure you’ve prepped breakfast. Make a bircher muesli to leave soaking in the fridge ready to go when you wake up, or chop some fruit and pop it in the freezer for a quick smoothie. You could also make some simple vanilla chia puddings or prepare yourself a delicious fruit salad. All these options are great meals for everyone to enjoy! Saving time and making sure you’re eating well is a fast way to take the stress out of those busy mornings.”

3. Make time for a little pampering

We’re not suggesting you go overboard and do an entire home spa routine, but every little helps! “Even if you’re just spending five to 10 minutes on this, it will make a big difference,” suggests Nicky. “Giving yourself a quick body scrub, for example, will not only make your skin feel amazing but also wake up all the energy channels through your body, getting your blood flowing and helping you feel more alive, focused and positive. Follow this up with moisturising your body. Although these things may sound too luxurious, they make a big impact and set you up for the day. Take the time to treat your body well and you’ll feel more loved, positive and vibrant. So don’t skip this one out – it’s important and so are you!”

4. Get some H2O

Drinking water may seem like an obvious one but its benefits are endless! “Having a glass of water is one of the easiest ways to start your day right,” recommends nutritional wellbeing expert Jay Bolton. “When drinking cold water, our bodies have to use energy to bring that water back to body temperature. We also slow down the activity of our enzymes which work best at body temp. Ingesting water first thing will steadily wake our organs up and let the body know that the day is about to begin. Through the night our bodies are in maintenance mode, which means slowing down and almost pausing many of its day-to-day functions. When we wake up and have a heavy breakfast first thing, our organs are not as prepped for digestion, which can leave us feeling a little groggy. A good way to get into this habit is to keep a glass jug or one-litre glass bottle of water beside the bed.”

5. Consider what time you have dinner

“Most of us are used to making our evening meal the biggest meal of the day,” says Jay. “Depending on what time we get home, we can often find ourselves eating a big portion of food late into the night. The human body is diurnal, meaning we are predominantly daytime creatures. As we approach evening, the brain sends messages to our digestive system letting it know it needs to slow down activities so having a heavy meal late at night can affect this process. Once we’ve fallen asleep, much of what we have consumed will sit within our digestive tract, leading to a sluggish start in the mornings. The best way to combat this is to keep evening meals light. If you feel hungry late in the day, have some soup or snack on some fruits as these won’t take long to digest. This, in turn, allows your body and organs to rest properly and allows for optimal repair conditions, meaning you’ll have a smoother and perkier start in the mornings. Although this won’t take effect overnight, with regular exercise, a balanced diet and lighter evening meals, your days will start with more of a spark.”

6. Make a checklist

We all know the satisfying feeling of ticking something off a to-do list, so doing this in the morning is a surefire way to make you productive and raring to go. “It feels much better to cross routine tasks off in the morning as opposed to scrambling around trying to remember what to do before you leave for the school run or work,” advises life coach and nutritionist Geeta Sidhu-Robb (noshdetox.com). “There is nothing worse than sitting at the traffic lights and wondering if you did everything you needed to. This will only cause you stress and harm your day. If you’re a fan of the fridge magnet, keep a list of things to do stuck to the fridge so it’s easy to glance at every morning. You don’t need to physically tick things off but instead, make a mental note. This will allow you to leave the house with a clear mind, enabling you to focus on what needs to be done for the rest of the day.”

7. Quit hitting the snooze button!

“The amount of sleep we get never quite feels adequate and the temptation to snooze the alarm for that extra 10, 20 or even 30 minutes is often irresistible,” says Geeta. “However, there is evidence to suggest that this practice will only hamper your morning and leave you feeling more lethargic than those who wake up at the first call. Your body has several mechanisms to prepare itself to get up and get moving, including adjusting your body temperature to make you more alert and less sleep-deprived. However, it needs time to make this adjustment. When the alarm goes off a second time, your body and brain are taken by surprise and you can often be left feeling disorientated, groggy and fuzzy-headed. This is called sleep inertia and can slow the productivity of a morning down by increasing brain fog and confusion. The best way to avoid the snooze temptation is to put your alarm on a loud setting at the other end of the room to force yourself to physically get up and turn it off.”

Health & Wellbeing