Most people tend to try and spend their morning doing some exercise or eating a healthy breakfast in order to get their day off to the best start – but did you know your mood can be affected from the very second you wake up?
Waking up badly – for example, with a start or feeling tired – can negatively affect your day, no matter how healthy your breakfast is. Make sure you start your days in the best way possible with these easy tips to waking up well.
While old-fashioned alarms might be effective, startling yourself awake activates the body’s fight-or-flight mode and can make you feel stressed or anxious before you’ve even opened your eyes. Alarms have undergone a major upgrade in recent years as more research reveals the benefits of waking up slowly and calmly. Change your alarm to play soft and invigorating music instead of a classic alarm tone, or treat yourself to a light therapy alarm clock that replicates the light of the rising sun and taps into your body’s natural rhythms, waking you up in the way nature intended.
Waking up, jumping out of bed and rushing around to get ready will also set a stressful mood for the day. Set your alarm early enough that you can take your time as you wake. Lay still for a while and practise relaxing breathing exercises or try to remember your dreams. Thinking about and planning your day in your head can also align your thoughts and energy, leaving you feeling calm, in control and ready to take on the world.
Food and drink can play a huge part in how we feel when we wake. If you’ve been sleeping or waking badly, try to take a break from alcohol or heavy meals late at night as these can both affect the quality of your rest. Plan to have water by the bedside to hydrate first thing or purchase a coffee maker that will have your morning coffee ready to wake you up with delicious aromas. Preparing your breakfast in advance can also help you make healthier choices than you might if you need to grab something quickly before work.
Lots of people exercise first thing but you don’t always have to hit the gym every morning. Taking time to stretch in bed will wake up both your mind and body in a slow and calm way, as well as shaking off any stiffness from the night’s sleep. Loosening up your muscles is especially important if you spend the majority of your day sat at a desk. By stretching in the morning, it will improve your flexibility and keep your muscles relaxed for longer, helping to improve your posture.
It can be tempting to roll over and check our phones first thing every morning, whether that’s to catch up on current events or check in with our friends on social media. However, doing so can lead to sensory overload as our brains are bombarded with anxiety-triggering news and jealousy-inducing social media posts, all before we’ve even had the chance to properly wake up. Try to resist the temptation to look at your phone until you’ve aligned your own thoughts and energy first – that way your brain will be more prepared to tackle the onslaught.
Following these simple tips can not only vastly improve your day ahead but also your overall mental health and wellbeing. So go ahead and wake up well – you deserve it.