Guest blog by Helen Kypreos – THE MIND AND BODY PROJECT
Your morning mood can really lay the foundations for the rest of your day, so check out these top tips to avoid being accused of getting out of the wrong side of bed. See how making simple changes to your morning routine can transform your day.
It can be such a struggle to get out of bed, especially over the dreary and dark winter months but now that spring is in sight, there’s no excuse not to shake up your routine. Ideally, after a good 7-8 hours sleep, try and incorporate at least a couple of these into your schedule.
Set your intentions
First thing’s first. Set your intentions in advance and make this non-negotiable. It’s no use lying in bed once your alarm has gone off and deciding what you want to do. Your mind is powerful and I can guarantee it’ll make you question yourself so stay strong and stick to your plan.
Now, do whatever it is you need to do to get up. Whether you’re habitually falling back to sleep or trawling through Facebook and Instagram, how much time do you currently spend between your alarm going off and getting up? And then, how many times do you run over all the things you could have achieved in that time? Well, now you’re going to use that time more wisely. With this in mind, I’d strongly recommend a pre-lunch social media ban.
You’ll associate your current alarm with those bad habits and negative thought patterns so start by changing your alarm. Put your phone on the other side of the room if you need to, but I’d prefer you to have nailed down your intentions so well that you can just get out of bed. Remember, it’s non-negotiable. This is another reason why I really recommend getting 7-8 hours sleep – then there really is no excuse not to get up.
Just like animals, we humans really do benefit from a good stretch after spending so long in one place. This is especially important if you leave your bed to go and sit at a desk all day. A gentle stretch will get the oxygen flowing around the body and to your brain to kick start your energy levels. There are plenty of sequences online if you need some inspiration but a favourite for me is the lovely Lottie Murphy’s ‘Morning Wake Up and Go Pilates’ routine which can be found on youtube.
It may seem like a challenge to fit meditation into an already hectic schedule but trust me that it will be an investment into the day ahead. As I said previously, your morning mind-set can really dictate your day, so time spent on quietening your mind before you start to rush around is really valuable. Many people turn to meditation to address a specific complaint, for me it was anxiety, but the benefits to general wellbeing are undeniable.
I practice Transcendental Meditation and will share details of how this works for me at a later date on my blog but I have included meditation as a tip here because I really believe that regular meditation practice can equip you better for your whole day. Meditation can improve sleep, concentration, patience, energy levels and so much more. Your experience will be unique to you though and there are so many techniques out there, so find one that most appeals to you.
Part of the reason I created The Mind and Body Project was to bring mental wellness to the forefront of the wellness industry – I want people to talk more about how great exercise makes them feel.
If you’ve ever done a pre-work workout before, I don’t need to sell this one to you. How good is that feeling of getting to your desk, already having done so much and feeling so full of energy? And even better, isn’t it great leaving work without battling all those excuses and having your evening to yourself? Here is your reminder and some encouragement to put this back into your routine. Don’t make this about your latest diet or ambitions to lose weight otherwise it won’t last – this is to make you feel good for the rest of the day. Even a short walk before work, if that’s all you can schedule, can really lift your mood. Go outside and get those endorphins going for your day ahead.
Well, we all know that breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day nutritionally but I really think it’s so much more than that. Use your morning meal as one of your tools to get your day off to a good start. Have something that feels indulgent but is still healthy – there are so many options! In fact, LiEBES buckinola is my go-to morning treat. So many breakfast cereals are packed full of sugar which can wreak havoc with your energy levels later in the day or they can be bland and tasteless so LiEBES has been a godsend for me. I tend to have eggs and avocado over lunch so whilst these are great for breakfast too, I’d rather incorporate as much goodness as I can into a delicious smoothie bowl.
Use this time to be mindful and take some time out for yourself – what better way than with food.
Rise and shine!