Struggle to get motivated before 12pm? It's time to ditch the morning blues with these tips to feel fabulous first thing.
Eat a mood-boosting breakfast
Do you find yourself craving your morning dose of caffeine before your finger has even left the snooze button? Take a break from the coffee and wake yourself up the healthier way with an energising, mood-boosting breakfast. Oats are the perfect pick-me-up breakfast ingredient as they are a low GI food, meaning that they will release a slow, steady stream of energy to fuel your busy morning. They are also rich in B vitamins, which are beneficial for energy levels and which can also help to boost your mood. Fruit is also a good natural source of energy and essential nutrients.
Try something new
Breakfast, shower, grab your keys, head out the door... Ever feel like you're experiencing morning déjà vu? Our morning routines can easily become repetitive, with many of us getting up at the same time, eating the same foods and taking the same route to work time and time again. To revamp your mornings and ward off boredom, try to break away from your routine and start your day a little differently. Get up at a different time, do things in a different order or try a different breakfast, workout, method of transport or radio station. Play around with your routine and break out of your morning rut.
Our morning routines are often a lot more functional than those of our evenings; often used simply as a time to get clean, get fuelled and get to work. However, your mornings provide a valuable opportunity for a bit of 'me time'. Start your day right and make your morning the best part of your day by using it to do something you enjoy. Get up early and watch your favourite TV show, make an indulgent breakfast in bed, or swap your shower for a luxurious bubble bath. By spending your early hours doing something you love, you can rise and shine feeling great about your day.
Take your time
Many of our mornings are spent rushing around trying to get everything done in a limited amount of time. However, not only are things more likely to go wrong when you rush (burning the toast, losing your keys and dropping toothpaste down your top are all common morning scenarios) but running around in a panic and getting into the office a minute before you are due to start work is a stressful way to start each day. To start your morning as you mean to go on - feeling calm, confident and collected - try setting your alarm clock a bit earlier and getting your outfit and lunch ready the night before, rather than leaving things until the last minute.
Make a morning soundtrack
Music is not only great for our physical wellbeing (with research suggesting it can improve your immune system and cardiovascular health), but studies have also suggested that listening to music can lower stress levels and improve mental health. To get your day off to a health and mood-boosting start, put together a playlist of morning songs to listen to as you get ready for work or for your morning journey. Whether you need to de-stress, lift your mood or get energised, listening to your favourite songs is bound to get your morning off to a great start.
Move your body
We understand some of us just aren't morning people and that a workout might be the last thing on your mind as you snuggle back down under the covers, but squeezing in even 10 minutes of exercise first thing is a great way to start your day. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins and anandamide, and it will also leave you energised for the day ahead. While the word 'workout' may fill you with dread, getting active doesn't need to be hard work. Find something that you find fun, such as dancing to your favourite music or cycling to work, and make your workout an enjoyable part of your morning routine.
If you tend to start your mornings feeling anxious or stressed about the day ahead, then it is time to change your mindset and start your day on a positive note. Worrying about your day isn't going to improve it or change its outcome, so instead ditch the worries and try to spend the first five minutes of your day thinking positive thoughts and reflecting on all the things you have to look forward to or be grateful for, or practising some calming meditation or deep breathing techniques. Alternatively, try reading some inspirational quotes to start your day feeling positive and confident.