Everybody feels like a zombie some mornings. Whether it’s because we’ve not had enough sleep, eaten a sugar-laden breakfast on the go, or rushed out the door before we’ve had a proper chance to switch on, there are lots of reasons why we can end up sleepwalking through our days.
But mornings don’t have to be this way – with these simple mindful routines, you can start your day feeling energized and ready to face the world.
It’s all too tempting to hit the snooze button in the morning, but those extra 10 minutes or so may be doing our bodies more harm than good.
Scientists have found that disrupting deep sleep with an alarm clock may be damaging short-term memory and cognitive abilities. Instead it’s far better to wake up naturally. Stick to a regular bedtime and sleep with the curtains partially open to gradually prime your internal body clock with natural light.
Don’t feel pressured to jump out of bed as soon as your eyes open. Instead, use this peaceful opportunity to ‘check-in’.
Ask yourself a few questions. How is your body feeling? Is your mind calm or racing? Are you feeling relaxed or anxious? Take the time to connect with your emotions, even if it’s only for a couple of minutes – it’ll bring a sense of focus to your day (and it’s a very good excuse to lie in bed just a little bit longer without the risk of dozing back to sleep).
As soon as you’re up, head for the water. When you wake up from a long sleep your body is naturally dehydrated, so it’s super important to get some H2O before anything else.
Drinking a large glass of warm lemon water is our favourite option – simply squeeze the juice of half a lemon into filtered lukewarm water. For an extra boost, add a grating of fresh ginger or a pinch of cayenne. Incorporate this into your morning routine, and you’ll soon notice a difference to your energy levels.
There is an old zen saying that goes: You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour. While it’s easy to think you don’t have time to meditate, spending just five minutes every morning can leave you feeling focused and energized. Whether you use a guided meditation or simply sit in silence, make sure you focus on a mantra and listen to your breath.
We all know how important breakfast is, but eating the right kind matters as well. All too often breakfasts are brimming with sugar, grains and fat – a combination that will spike your blood sugar, leaving you hungry and tired within a few hours.
Instead start your day the healthy way, with plenty of protein-rich foods, good fats and a liberal helping of fruit and vegetables whenever you can.
Green juice is just as energizing as a cup of coffee, but without any of the caffeine. Combine nature’s most energizing ingredients such as chlorophyll-rich leafy greens, invigorating turmeric and cleansing ginger for the the ultimate pick-me-up. Don’t have a juicer? No worries. A blender and strainer will do the trick. Just make sure to prep your veggies the night before for hassle-free mornings.
Yoga is as much about boosting your energy levels as it is about relaxation. The key to morning yoga is practising poses that get the spine moving, expand the heart and lungs and invigorate the internal organs.
If you can’t get to a morning yoga class, don’t worry – there are plenty of great guided videos to follow at home. Just make sure you are mindful of your breathing and move gently, ensuring your day begins with ease and joy.