For many of us, the morning is far from our favourite time of day. We often dread the sound of our alarm clocks and wish that we could stay in bed for just a little bit longer. It also seems that no matter how early we wake up, there never seems to be enough time in the morning.
It’s no wonder then that mornings have a bad rep. Mornings have become associated with tiredness, rushing, and feeling overwhelmed as we think about all of the things we have to do that day.
It goes without saying that what we do in the morning is crucial in setting the tone for the day ahead. Yet so many of the things that have become part of our morning rituals actually make the day ahead more challenging.
This includes going immediately into work mode by checking our emails and text messages before we’ve even gotten out of bed; heightening our stress levels by watching or reading fear-based news; and drinking coffee, which gives us a jolt of energy but may simultaneously accelerate our heart rate and increase anxiety levels.
Instead of relying on these habitual morning practices, why not try to consciously ease into your day. So before jumping into work mode and reading emails, perhaps take a short walk outside. Studies have shown that consistent exposure to natural light can dramatically influence our productivity, performance and general health.
Rather than relying on coffee or tea for a morning boost, try drinking lemon water, which (in addition to other health benefits) has been touted for its capacity to stimulate the digestive tract.
And rather than reading the news first thing in the morning, perhaps save it for later in the day and read something inspirational or listen to some relaxing music instead.
Integrating these simple practices into your daily routine can dramatically reduce your stress levels and put you in a much better space to enjoy the day ahead.