It can be hard to get the day going and doubly hard when it’s the start of the week. You wake up in a comfy bed and face a day of stress and pressure. The kids are yelling at each other already and the coffee maker is busted. You hit snooze a few times, hoping things will magically go away. They don’t. Rinse and repeat.
That might sound a bit like your morning.
We crawl out of our beds in a funk and in a fog, half-dazed before our days even begin. Mornings are stressful and they’re only made worse when we wake up feeling low with no energy to tackle the things we need to get done.
Believe it or not, there are a few simple habits that can help you jump start your morning and boost your energy. By making a just a couple of tweaks, you can amp up your mornings — and your success levels — and get ahead of your day before it even begins.
Jump-start your morning with these 8 easy hacks.
The 8 Best Habits That Can Transform Your Morning
1. Drink water.
One of the best things you can do for yourself when you wake up is drink 500 mL of water.
Many people don’t know it, but when we wake up we’re actually dehydrated. Even though it’s only been 7–8 hours (or less), our bodies use up a lot of energy when we’re sleeping and it leaves us needing water as soon as we wake up.
By drinking 500 mL of water (16 oz) you’re actually helping your body to recoup from your nightly snooze. Drinking a large, cold glass of water helps your brain to stay hydrated and healthy and can improve mood fluctuations and fatigue. It’s also great for flushing out toxins and helping your kidneys get rid of all those nasty bits and bobs that build up over time.
The second best part of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning, though, is how it helps to boost your metabolism. Studies show that by drinking water in the mornings, you can help increase your metabolism by 24%.
Yes. Second best. What’s the first best thing about drinking water?
You don’t need to wake up any earlier to add this life-changing habit to your schedule.
2. Try a little exercise.
Getting your body moving in the morning will get your blood pumping and put you in a better mood. It doesn’t require you to wake up at 5 a.m. either.
When we exercise, we get a blast of endorphins — the natural “feel good” chemicals in our brain. These little angels of mental health give us a boost of confidence and allow us to take on challenges and become more resilient to stress.
Instead of logging on to email first thing in the a.m. try going for a run instead. If running isn’t your thing, don’t despair! Anything that gets you moving will do so try walking the dog or getting into a yoga practice.
3. Get up and get down.
Waking up to music you love is a great way to get your energy levels rising with the sun and it’s also a way to encourage yourself out of bed if you’re someone who hates seeing the sun rise.
Nothing perks us up when you’re blue quite like good music. If you’re someone that has a hard time waking up, try setting yourself an alarm with a bop that makes you bounce. When your feet want to move your blood gets pumping. When that happens, it’s all downhill from there.
Music can not only make us happier, it can make us more creative too. You might be thinking, who needs to be creative in the morning?
4. Be a little creative.
Doing something creative in the morning is another great way to get your brain stimulated and ready for whatever tasks or challenges you have to face.
Waking up early and working on side projects, or even just taking a little time to journal or draw, is a perfect way to give our mental health a little boost before we settle into the day.
Getting creative lets us escape, and sometimes that’s just what our brains need before they slip on that reality straight jacket.
Block off some time each morning to spend some time creating things you love. That could be poetry, art, knitting. It can be anything! Give yourself some time to shine and revel in some pre-work escapism by getting adding some creativity to your morning grind.
5. Make the bed.
Do you leave your home in a rush most mornings? Don’t worry. Most of us do.
When we leave our house in a frantic whirlwind of chaos, we start our day with unneeded stress that hangs over us like a cartoon raincloud. Those little negative thoughts from our a.m. struggle become the negative emotions of the day, and that can impact everything from our own work to the work of those around us.
Simple tasks like making the bed, or taking a few minutes to organize a space in our homes, can help us to feel more calm before we leave the house in the morning. When we feel organized in one aspect of our lives, the others follow, and when we make it a regular practice we begin to feel like we have it together overall.
Start your day by making your bed. Not only will you feel more relaxed on your morning commute, but you’ll come home to a fresh home and that will make you feel good too. Get up a few minutes early and put in the time to feel better. Your morning will thank you.
6. Eat a good breakfast.
Breakfast is a really critical meal, as it not only helps to improve our mood but also helps to feed our brains first thing in the morning.
Your body has some concrete nutritional needs in the a.m. and you shouldn’t ignore them. Give yourself protein rich-foods like bacon and eggs before you go to work if you really want to give yourself the steam to tackle the day.
If you’re not a breakfast fan, or prefer a veggie-based lifestyle, then try a power shake that you can sip on the Monday-morning commute. Pack in walnuts and flax seeds for protein and brain-boosting Omega-3’s. Kale, avocados and bananas can offer great potassium, while blueberries are perfect for an antioxidant kick.
Places like Pinterest are a great places to get all kinds of ideas on the perfect grab-and-go breakfasts, so drop the donut.
7. Try a random act of kindness.
Sometimes, all the running and meditation in the world just aren’t enough to pull us out of that morning slump.
Doing random acts of kindness (like buying the coffee of the person in line behind you) not only lifts your heart — it lifts your brain chemistry.
Warm, fuzzy feelings can go a long way to making you feel confident and energized, and those feelings can carry on long throughout your day.
8. Take some time to meditate.
Meditation sounds like a sham, but many of successful people swear by it — Oprah and Deepak Chopra included.
You don’t have to start off with a guru’s practice. All it takes is a few minutes of meditation a day to see some rapid improvements.
Begin your morning meditation practice with just 3–5 minutes per day. If you don’t know what you’re doing, check out apps like Headspace or Calm, which can give you a boost and teach you how to just be.
Meditation lets us flex our brain muscles and has been proven to increase productivity, mental health, happiness and has even been known to increase resilience to pain and anxiety.
Getting started with meditation can be hard, especially if you’re go-go-go, but if you can learn to wrangle your inner bronco you’ll see some major benefits to your morning and your life.
Putting it all together…
You don’t have to be a morning person (with a complicated routine) if you’re looking to transform your a.m. shuffle. Just one week of incorporating new habits into your current patterns can completely transform your mornings and help you tackle the day.
Take a few minutes to focus, and meditate on the things you face ahead. Eat a good breakfast and center in on brain-fueling nutrients like proteins and antioxidants. Make your bed and take some time to get creative when you wake up by writing, drawing or journaling. And, above all else, make sure you’re drinking water as soon as you wake up to refuel your brain and boost your metabolism.
These healthy, productive habits don’t take long to incorporate (or do) but they equal big results. What have you got to lose? Your morning will thank you.
Disclaimer: Before we even get started, let me just share one thing with you - this article isn’t about packing as much into your weekend as possible and working yourself to the bone. Nope. Quite the contrary, the information you’re about to encounter is all about making the most out of your weekend and getting some “you time” that actually works for you.