Morning Rituals That Will change Your Life
Mornings are not easy. We wake up and, immediately, the grind begins. We have somewhere to be, whether it’s school or work. We have things to do — sleep until the last possible minute, make ourselves presentable, try to swallow coffee — and not enough time to do them.
If you don’t nail down the perfect routine, the way you start your day is all but guaranteed to be chaotic and unfulfilling. This is bad, not least because it impacts the rest of our day. Here are some morning rituals that will change your life.
9. CHECK WITH YOUR FAMILY
Nothing warms the heart like connecting with your loved ones. So, really, what better way to start your day than to check in with Mum or to spend a few extra minutes with the kids. Not only will this bring you closer to the people you care about most, but it will reaffirm the support networks we all need in life. In general, men with strong family ties tend to live longer, have a higher satisfaction with their lives and engage in healthier lifestyle choices on the whole. Plus, you’ll be able to take pride in the fact that you’re being a good husband, son, father, etc., which will give you a little confidence boost as you set about your day.
8. GET ORGANISED
So many stresses in life are due to being unorganised. Letting things slide inevitably gives them more power to wreak havoc on our lives as they insist more and more aggressively to be dealt with. As things pile up, your ability to deal with them will be compromised. Giving yourself a little extra time in the morning to tidy up your apartment, pay your bills, plan your holiday and make your appointments will get those things off your plate and off your mind while you’re dealing with the stress of working. And when you get home from a long day, you’ll be free to unwind in peace in a clean environment with no worries.
7. BE IN THE KNOW
Find 10 to 20 minutes every morning to read the news. Knowing what’s going on in the world will help you become a natural conversationalist in the office instead of a weary head-nodder who’s slumped over his coffee while someone else leads all the chatter. Plus, the more you read, the more you’ll know, which will help you stand out from the people who only pretend to be informed by regurgitating what they saw on Newsnight the night before. Also, the practice of reading exercises your brain and promotes general comprehension. Handy if it was a late one the night before.
6. PROPER BREAKFAST
You’ve heard it since you were forced to repeat it as a little kid: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, it didn’t get any less true as you turned into a adult. If anything, the more daily responsibilities start piling up, the more you can benefit from a healthy, balanced breakfast. Studies have shown for decades that breakfast helps kick-start your body’s metabolism, reducing hunger throughout the day; helps lower cholesterol; improves concentration; and tastes freaking delicious. So why do most people skip this all-important meal? Laziness. Which, if you’re like us, is not how you want to be described.
5. MORNING SEX
Let’s face it, this is a great way to start the day. And, besides making you feel closer to your loved one, you’ll technically be squeezing in a mini-workout (or a full-blown one, depending on how much vigour you can muster up first thing), releasing a mega dose of endorphins that will help cure the morning blues and help keep you looking young and healthy. Recent studies have also shown that morning sex can reduce the risk of cancer and heart attacks by a mind-blowing 50%. Even if you’re in between partners at the moment, there’s no reason not to take matters into, ahem, your own hands and jump-start your morning.
Sure, you can snag an extra 10 minutes or so in the comfort of your bed if you take a shower the night before, but besides waking up with the worst, most unmanageable hair imaginable, you’ll also be missing out on perks like improved circulation, loosening up of any phlegm that may have built up in your lungs overnight (that’s when it happens most, fyi!) and the pure wakefulness a morning shower provides. If you’re feeling particularly brave, try taking a cold shower, which amplifies these benefits.
3. GET UP EARLY
Doing a lot of the things on this list will not be possible if you’re literally jumping out of bed at the last possible second, giving yourself just enough time to throw on some clothes and head to work. This is a surefire recipe for taking on stress before you’ve even sat down at your desk. By getting up early, you can avoid commute-related stress, enjoy your breakfast, make plans for your day and even get a few minutes to relax instead of frantically trying to get your stuff together so as not to get bellowed at by your boss for being late.
No, you don’t have to do an hour-long hot yoga class every morning (though it couldn’t hurt). Instead, we’re simply advocating a handful of simple stretches to help snap your body out of its slumber. The benefits of a few early-morning stretches include improved blood flow to your muscles and your brain, which will help keep you from feeling groggy at your desk or incapable of concentrating on your work. Stretching regularly will also help you avoid pulling a muscle or quell an existing back pain by softening the muscles around your spine. On top of that, it’ll improve your circulation, which is good for all your vital organs. Ten minutes is all you need.
You’ve heard it said a million times: Drink more water. If you’re wondering why this is such an enduring piece of advice, let us remind you. Drinking water first thing, on an empty stomach, helps purify your colon, which will make it easier to digest your meals throughout the day and will increase your body’s abilities to absorb nutrients. Also, water will help you produce new blood cells, which will literally make you feel like a new person. Still not sold? Early-morning water consumption also boosts your metabolism, making it easier to lose weight. Not to mention, water helps you maintain a youthful appearance, can remedy or prevent dozens of conditions like the flu, kidney stones, heart disease, colon cancer, headaches and dehydration — and it flushes nasty toxins out of your body. Pop a bottle of water in the fridge the night before and get it nice and icy cold ready to wake you up the next day.