Top Tips to beat Morning Stress
Some people really struggle in the morning.
Here are some of the things I do to give myself the best chance of having a good day.
Maintain a sleep schedule. Your body has a natural circadian rhythm that adapts to a regular sleep/wake cycle. If you go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time each day, you’ll wake in the morning feeling rested and refreshed. Even on the weekends, try to maintain your schedule.
Skip the snooze button. Try to avoid the temptation to have a few extra minutes rest. Taking those extra minutes actually makes you feel more tired because the extra sleep you get is low quality and waking up from it actually makes you feel more groggy.
Think of 10 things you are grateful for before getting out of bed. Try to find different things each morning. That makes you focus on the very ordinary things that tend to go overlooked e.g. something I would miss if it were gone – running water, electricity, being able to breathe freely. Studies have shown that gratitude can significantly raise feelings of well-being.
Expose yourself to natural light right away. Sunlight has a stimulating effect on the brain because it reminds your body it’s morning. Try to expose yourself to some sunlight as soon as you get up. This will give you an energy boost at the beginning of your day.
If you get up before the sun rises, try investing in a quality lamp that simulates sunlight. This can have a similar effect on your brain.
Take a cold shower. That shocked you! You can begin with the shower at the normal temperature but then for about the last two minutes turn the thermostat right down to cold. Don’t do this however if you have any heart problems. Cold shower therapy is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy that has numerous health benefits such as treating anxiety and depression, improving circulation and toning skin. It also makes you feel wide awake!
Do some simple stretching and breathing exercises, preferably in the fresh air. This need only take a few minutes. I love to do this every morning on my patio – except in the pouring rain! It’s amazing how energised it makes me feel.
Meditate. According to an article written by the the Harvard Medical School mindfulness meditation can help ease psychological stresses like anxiety, depression, and pain.
If you are pressed for time, doing the simple technique below for even five minutes can be beneficial.
Sit comfortably and begin by gently focusing on the breath. As you breathe in, silently repeat the word “calm”. As you breathe out repeat “let go”. Simply continue like this and when thoughts intrude [as they will!] return to the practice.
Eat a healthy breakfast. Choose a breakfast with a combination of healthy carbs and protein, for example have two slices of wholemeal bread with poached eggs. My favourite one is a smoothy make with natural yogurt, avocado, blueberries and a tablespoon of mixed seeds – simply delicious and so filling.
Set your intention for the day. When you set an intention for your day you are putting yourself in the driving seat of your life rather than being driven by external forces.
Some intentions I set are:-
“Just for today I choose to see only the good in everyone, including myself.”
“Just for today I choose to constantly remind myself to stay present.”
“Just for today I choose to feel calm in all situations.”
“Just for today I choose to quickly let go of judgements of myself and others.”
“Just for today I choose to be open to fresh ideas.”
And finally . . . . . just remember the world need you to love yourself exactly as you are today!