3 Tips for Becoming a Morning Person

Hello Lovely,

There is no amount of coffee that can make me a morning person! I'm one of those people that has 5 alarms set for every work day. My first alarm is a reminder to turn on the heater, The second alarm is a reminder to get up to make breakfast and lunch. The third alarm is in case I ignored the second. The fourth is if I was smart enough to meal prep letting me know I need to leave home in an hour and the last one simply says to leave home. I hate snooze so I almost never snooze. My morning routine works for me but it still doesn't make me excited to get up at 4:30 every morning.

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These tips may not necessarily make you a morning person but it just may make your mornings a little smoother and quit hitting the snooze button for good.

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Set a bedtime…

If you’ve ever had one of those weeks where your bedtime is completely erratic each night (8 pm one night, midnight the next), you know how hard it can be to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed each morning. And there’s a reason behind that: In fact, did you know that having a consistent bedtime every night of the week can lead to better quality of sleep and therefore higher rates of productivity the next day? So it turns out our parents were right all along for forcing us to go stick to one bedtime. If you want to become a morning person, my first piece of advice is to set a bedtime and stick with it. Some nights will be later than others of course, but aiming to be in bed at the same time each weeknight is a good starting place.

Plan out your breakfast the night before…

We’ve all had those mornings where we’re applying mascara as we’re running out the door, shoes in hand and coffee nearly spilling all over the place… Only to arrive at your office desk to realise that you didn’t have a bite of breakfast to help fuel your big day. Since getting out the door on time to go to work can be a mad dash, our editors recommend planning ahead much as possible. I usually don't eat breakfast until 9 am because it keeps me feeling fuller longer. Pinterest can be great inspiration for planning your meals. Once you have an idea of what you would like to eat for breakfast, you can buy this items during your next grocery trip so you'll always have the ingredients on hand.

Make your bed

I know what you're thinking. I don't literally mean make your bed because I can honestly say this is one chore I never do. Make your bed is symbolic. We watched this video during our training week at work and it truly is inspirational. Whatever your task is, whether it's working out, running your side business or literally making your bed, completing a task before you've even left the house for work or school will increase your sense of accomplishment and make you more productive throughout the day. You have to watch this video!

Do you have any tips for becoming a morning person?

And, what tips do you have for setting a morning routine and sticking with it?

Let us know in the comments below. 

 

3 Quick Ways to Start the Day Off Right

Hello Lovely,

How you choose to start the day will set the tone for the rest of your day, so make those choices wisely.

Start your morning off right, and the rest of the day will fall into place — at least, that’s the idea! No matter what your job is, especially if you put in long hours at an office, a good morning will at least put you in a good mood for tackling the day ahead. So, what is the best way to start the day? Maybe you’re not a morning person. Neither am I, trust me (I’ve got three different alarms just because I like to hit the snooze button before getting out of bed.) Don’t worry, it’s a New Year, so it’s the perfect time to pick up good new habits.

3 Quick Ways to Start the Day Off Right

1.     Plan Ahead

I’m not saying that you should plan the whole day the minute you get up. That’s a sure-fire way to stress yourself out! I mean to plan the night before. Maybe you remember hearing your parents say to pack your bag for school the night before. Well there’s a reason your parents nagged you about this. Preparing your clothes for work the night before frees up time in the morning, leaving you with one less task to worry about. On the mornings when I know my clothes are already picked out and ironed, I can lay in bed a little longer, or feel less guilty about making breakfast and lunch because I now have the time for it.

Bottom line: Do as much as you can the night before so your morning can be stress free.

2.     Do the hardest thing first

Mark Twain put it best: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” Perhaps an early morning workout can be your metaphorical frog. Once you’ve gotten the hardest task out of the way, any other task will be a breeze. Plus the boost of confidence of tackling something hard and successfully completing it early on in the day will give you the needed motivation to get through the rest of your day.

3.     Never skip breakfast

So many adults get so busy with their daily schedules that they forget to eat breakfast, or simply don’t make time for it. This is bad! And don’t think a cup of coffee or tea is sufficient for breakfast. (Did you know the optimal time to drink tea or coffee is supposedly after 9am?) I know for many reasons some of you have protein shakes for breakfast. Whether your breakfast is liquid or solid, it’s important to get your nutrients in and get your metabolism going. High in fibre foods will keep you full longer, so aim for a combination of good carbs, fibre and protein.

How do you like to start your day? What’s something you can try to make yourself a morning person? Share your views in the comment section below.

 

10 Morning Mood Boosters That Guarantee a Better Day

Hello Lovely,

I don't need much to get me in a good mood today because today I shall be reunited with my beau, whom I haven't seen since New Years! Long distance relationships can be tough, but we're definitely making it work. One of my favourite things to do with him when we're together, is simply rolling over in bed and saying good morning! That makes mornings so much better!

Start your a.m. off right with these easy tricks.

Have you ever noticed that what happens during the morning hours often sets the tone for the rest of the day? When things go smoothly, you tend to feel more relaxed and ready to face whatever the day may bring. However, when things get bumpy before you've even managed to get dressed, you're more likely to remain grumpy until bedtime. While some hassles can't be avoided, you can make mood-enhancing decisions during the a.m. hours that will set the stage for the next 16 or so. There are at least 10 "pick-me-ups" that will have your mood rising like the morning sun. Try one (or all!) of them for a happier and healthier you. 

1. Pick one "spoil-me" task to do.

This one's a no-brainer. When you wake up, give yourself 30 seconds to think of at least one nice thing you can do for yourself that day…and then do it. It may be as simple as fixing your favourite meal, wearing your favourite dress or visiting a local farmers market. Do something nice for yourself!

2. Eat a well-balanced meal.

Start your morning with a nutritious mix of complex carbohydrates and proteins that will last you until lunch, such as oatmeal or toast with peanut butter (include a sprinkle of cinnamon, which one study linked to improved mood and alertness, for an extra boost). Other research found that a moderate amount of caffeine (200 mg, or the amount in about two cups of coffee) elevated mood and mental sharpness, so enjoy some joe or black tea with your breakfast. Looks like I have that second cup of coffee after all!

3. Get some fresh air.

Head out for some "green exercise"-physical activity performed in an outdoor setting-even if you only have a few minutes to spare. Sometimes at work, I'll walk around to the teachers to deliver messages or collect registers just for a chance to get outside. A change of scenery does wonders for my mood! Researchers found that people experienced an enhanced mood and higher self-esteem after just five minutes of various types of green exercise, including walking and gardening. The study also found that exercising near water amplified the effects, so if you live near a lake, river or waterfall, even better. 

4. Listen to the sounds of nature.

Capture the benefits of the great outdoors, even if you can't get outside, by listening to recorded nature sounds. In a recent study, participants recovered from a stressful situation more quickly when they listened to a recorded combination of running water and bird sounds. I used to have one of those spa CDs, that I listened to on repeat for several months, before I lent it out and never got it back. It was so soothing, so I know this works. Open your window in the morning so you can hear Mother Nature's music as you get ready, or invest in an alarm clock that eases you awake with nature sounds. 

5. Focus on feeling good.

Right after waking up, Robyn McKay, PhD, a psychologist based in Tempe, Arizona, and founder of the Smart Girl-Modern Goddess coaching program, recommends taking five deep breaths and making the decision to feel good for the day. "Imagine that, even when you encounter frustrations and surprises, you will remember to breathe and respond mindfully-rather than react mindlessly-to your circumstances," she says. Dr. McKay also suggests that, throughout the day, you "take five deep, intentional breaths and remind yourself of your decision to feel good." 

6. Drink hot chocolate.

We all know that cocoa is good (it's right there underneath coffee for favourite morning beverage for me), but a recent study found that sipping a drink containing cocoa flavonols improved participants' moods and levels of alertness-even as they worked on a series of challenging maths problems. So go ahead and savour some hot cocoa made with low fat or skim milk and dark chocolate (or Bailey's, I'm not judging). The protein and carbs in the milk will help keep your blood sugar levels stable until lunch, which will help you hold on to your mood momentum. 

7. Take a moment to assess yourself.

Don't jump out of bed right when you open your eyes in the morning. Instead, take five minutes to pay attention to your body and notice if you feel any stiffness, then do some light stretching while breathing deeply, suggests Lynn Louise Wonders, LPC, RPT-S, RYT, a psychotherapist and yoga teacher in Marietta, Georgia. She notes, "Before racing off to the hundred things on the day's to-do list, it can be tremendously beneficial to claim these five minutes to tune in to your body and your breath. You'll find that you are more 'present' and better equipped to deal with the busyness of the day ahead." 

8. Envision the negative.

You've probably heard that gratitude is a mood elevator, but here's a surprising twist to that tactic: Think about a positive event from your life-how you got your dream job or met your ideal partner, for instance-and then imagine what your life would be like if the event hadn't happened. Though it seems like this would have the opposite effect, it actually improved the mood of one study's participants more so than simply thinking of the positive event itself. Sometimes I think about how my life would be had I not met someone or had I not started blogging, just to remind myself of why I do it in the first place.

9. Breathe in some mint.

Researchers found that sniffing peppermint enhanced mood and attention while also fighting fatigue. Try keeping a bottle of peppermint essential oil or bag of peppermint tea on your nightstand so you can inhale the positive scents right as you wake up. Another happiness helper is chewing gum, which elevated the moods, alertness and attention spans of another study's participants. Pop a piece of peppermint gum after breakfast for a double-duty perk-up. I also found that any leafy green with an herbal scent, like rosemary or thyme could perk me up if I don't have any mint.

10. Smile.

There's one thing you can do just about anywhere: Smile. "Remember," says Dr. McKay, "smiling is a simple way to change your mood-and the mood of those around you, too." So spread your good-mood wealth by baring those pearly whites as often as possible in the morning as well as throughout the day.