1. Do.More. With Your Mornings
Mornings shouldn’t be a filler time between waking up and working. They’re your chance to start the day doing more of what you want to do. Head to the gym, watch the sunrise, explore the world on your doorstep, read a chapter of that book, listen to a podcast that inspires, motivates or transports you somewhere else, go for a run around your local park, work on your passion project. Whatever it is, don’t fall into the habit of seeing mornings as wasted time. They’re yours to make the most of.
2. Get Up The First Time
Waking up to the screeching sound of an alarm is rough, but waking up to 12 alarms, set two minutes apart, is another level of nightmarish. So instead of repeatedly hitting the snooze button and giving yourself a pretty groggy start to your day, try setting just one and kickstarting your day the moment it goes off. Not only will you get out of bed feeling more alert, energetic and ready for what lies ahead, but you’ll also stop your mind from wandering about what you have going on that day. Sunrise alarms or radio alarm clocks can be a great introduction for those craving a gentler wake-up experience.
3. Clear Your Mind
Silence is a rarity these days. From doom-scrolling through TikTok to the barrage of information we have to compute throughout the day, our minds very rarely get to enjoy a reset, so try and make time each morning to clear your mind. In fact, just ten-minutes of meditation can increase blood flow to those parts of the brain that are associated with both attention-span and decision-making. Adding this kind of mindfulness to your daily start will go a long way toward reducing your stress, improving your overall cognitive performance and have you actually looking forward to your mornings. Apps such as Calm can be a good starting point.
4. Treat Yourself
Have something to look forward to. A flat-white from that place that does it just right to rev you up in the morning. A turmeric shot. Those pancakes made with mashed banana, gluten-free oats and cinnamon. That playlist that gets you moving as you set about on your other morning tasks. Place another cross on your calendar as you count down the days to your next getaway. Yoga. Mornings are your chance to create the kind of routine that gets you excited for the day ahead. It’s about treating yourself, big or small.
5. Make Your Bed Right Away
Making your bed first thing in the morning is about more than aesthetics. It’s about achieving a sense of accomplishment the moment you wake up; a feeling sticks with you for the rest of the day. It might feel insignificant compared to the rest of your task list, but completing a task before you’ve even left your room is a powerful motivator that will have you ready to take on whatever challenges the day holds in store.
6. Explore The Outside World
Get outside and reconnect with nature. Almost as soon as you wake up, step outside, fill your lungs with fresh air and expose yourself to that morning sunlight; a move that will trigger your body to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that tells the body to sleep, helping you to be more alert from the outset. Enjoy your coffee from your garden, walk to that local coffee shop you’ve been meaning to try, walk down to the river with a book, take a stroll around your neighbourhood before the rest of the world wakes up or even go for a gentle jog. Whatever it is, getting outside is a great way to boost your mood and enhance your energy levels.
7. Have Your Bag Packed
Get a jump on tomorrow by getting yourself ready the night before, and do it in a way that allows you to be spontaneous. Pack a bag with some spare clothes in case you want to take an after work adventure, throw in your gym gear, have your lunch ready and waiting, anything that will help you be a little more prepared for tomorrow. Not only will this give you more time in the morning to claim as your own, but it will also remove some of the anxiety that comes with getting ready in a rush, worrying whether you have everything.
8. Change Up Your Commute
Your commute might be designed around efficiency, but that doesn’t mean they should be boring. Life should be an adventure, including your commute. So change it up a little. Swap the tube ride for a cycle ride a few times a week. Get off a couple of stops early and walk the rest of the way. Look for micro-adventures along your route to work, from climbing centres or swimming spots. Even using the time to plan your next adventure will add an element of escapism to your daily commute.