I have a shameful morning habit I'd like to confess. The first thing I do when I get out of bed each morning is (gulp) . . . check my phone for new work emails.
What about you? What's the first thing you do when you open your eyes each new day? Hit the snooze button? Check on the kids? Head for the coffee maker? Check your email?
Each morning brings a fresh start and a world of endless possibility. Do you embrace this new beginning with open arms? Or do you dread the day ahead, drag yourself out of bed and just pick up where you left off the night before?
My resolution for this fall is to begin each day on the right foot and approach it as an opportunity to start anew. If you'd like to join me in this effort, here are 3 quick and easy morning rituals to get both the body and mind ready for a good day.
1. Stop Hitting the Snooze Button. Do you feel like you just can't drag yourself out of bed unless you get an extra 10 minutes of shut-eye? Snoozing for those additional few minutes will do nothing more than make it harder for you to get out of bed and will actually leave you feeling more tired throughout the day. You get your best sleep in the early morning during the REM cycle. If you hit the snooze button once, twice or more each morning, your sleep cycle and body rhythm become fragmented, which can actually cause more harm than it does good.
And if your body jumps out of bed quickly, so will your mind. Set a mentally positive tone for the day – embrace it rather than avoid it.
The trick is to get enough sleep (7 to 8 hours per night is ideal) and free yourself of the snoozing habit gradually (decrease the number of times you hit snooze every couple of days until you're no longer snoozing at all). The first several days will be tough, but your body will eventually adjust (and thrive) and you won't feel the need to snooze any longer.
2. Take One Minute to Appreciate One Blessing in Your Life. Now that you're up and out of bed, hold your horses. Don't let your mind or body wander too far. Before you do or think about anything else, take one minute to reflect on one thing you're grateful for in your life.
Why is it that we only give thanks for all the wonderful things in our lives on holy days and on Thanksgiving? Give yourself a peaceful, silent moment each morning to feel gratitude for one blessing in your life (and try to think of something different each time). This will help you start each day on a positive note, and you might even find yourself feeling happier and more balanced throughout it.
And it's only one minute of your day – don't rush it or cheat yourself out of any of this time.
3. Drink a Glass of Water. Now you're ready to move into a higher gear. But before you head to the gym, the shower, the kitchen, the coffee maker or wherever you're off to next, fill up a large glass of water and guzzle it down.
Chances are, even if you don't feel it, you're dehydrated. You haven't replenished your body with a single drop of liquid for at least 7-8 hours. Your body is most likely craving water.
Drinking a glass of water each morning will help you hydrate (this is obvious) and get a jump start on your water consumption for the day. It will wake up and energize your system. And who knows, it might even help you kick the caffeine habit – after a glass of water, you might not crave that cup of coffee as much.
And of course, if you are able to take the extra step, starting each day with a cup of warm water with lemon can be even more beneficial to your body (as explained by Ashley Pitman in this popular MBG article).
Hopefully, after incorporating these three easy rituals into our morning routines, we'll find we're able to approach each day with a fresher, brighter, happier and more balanced demeanor, and that we're more open and receptive to the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.
Will I still be checking my work emails each morning? Most likely (I have a crazy job). But maybe not first thing. And probably with a calmer and more upbeat attitude.