Every morning, we wake up with a whole new day in front of us. It’s exciting, but more often than not we’re tired, groggy, and hitting that snooze button. If that sounds like you, it’s ok! Waking up stressed and groggy is actually something our brain naturally does: it’s called the negativity bias, and it can be super difficult to control. But waking up early and sticking to a morning routine can help you overcome it, in addition to setting your whole day on track.
Waking up early has tons of benefits for both your brain and your body: it enhances your productivity for the day, helps your mental health, kicks your body into go-mode earlier (which can lead to losing weight and having more energy), and can even prevent certain diseases.
Here are 5 tips for better mornings:
Drink some water.
Drinking water first thing in the morning is one of the healthiest things you can do: it instantly raises your metabolism, gets your system working, keeps you hydrated, and flushes out toxins from the day before. If you can’t drink a whole glass of water, it’s ok! A few sips is better than nothing.
I also take a minute in the morning to fill up a gallon-sized water bottle for the day. If you have a full glass of water next to you during the day, it makes it a lot easier to stay hydrated.
Make breakfast work for you.
I’m one of those people who eats right when they wake up, usually before I even shower or get dressed or anything. But not many people are like that. In fact, only about 30% of the US population eats breakfast every day, and over 31 million people (about 10% of the US population) don’t eat breakfast at all!
Yes, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day: it gives you a boost of energy and gets your system working. But if you’re not hungry in the morning, don’t force yourself to eat. If you’re a little hungry, grab a granola bar. And if you’re really hungry, sit down and eat breakfast.
Get up and move.
It doesn’t have to be a full workout, but try to go for a 15 minute walk, do some light yoga, or just stretch to wake yourself up for the day.
Make a brain dump list.
I usually find it best to write my to-do list the night before, but writing in the morning is helpful too. Write down everything you need to do for the day and everything that’s on your mind, either in a planner, journal, or on a scrap of paper. Just take a minute to get everything out of your head and onto the paper!
Take a moment to be grateful.
Taking a moment before you fall asleep at night and a moment right when you wake up to say thank you is something that we should all be doing. Feeling grateful will put you in a good mind set for the day, and it’ll help you to start thinking more positively (a good step towards overcoming negativity bias!).
But my top tip for a productive morning? Coffee. Here’s my favorite dirty chai recipe that really kicks my brain into overdrive. Enjoy!
- 1 cup nondairy milk
- 1 chai tea bag (I like Tazo Chai Vanilla Caramel)
- 1 cup freshly-brewed strong coffee
- Sugar to taste
- Add the milk to a small saucepan, set over medium-low heat, and let warm until the milk is steaming and small bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan.
- Once steaming, remove the pan from the heat. Add the tea bag, cover, and let sit 15-20 minutes.
- Pour the milk into your favorite mug, top with freshly brewed coffee, and enjoy!