1. Eat a mood-boosting breakfast
Do you find yourself craving your morning dose of caffeine before your finger has even left the snooze button? Take a break from the coffee and wake yourself up the healthier way with an energising, mood-boosting breakfast. Oats are the perfect pick-me-up breakfast ingredient as they are a low-GI food, meaning they will release a slow, steady stream of energy to fuel your busy morning. They are also rich in B vitamins, which are beneficial for energy levels and can also boost your mood. Fruit is also a good natural source of energy and essential nutrients.
2. Try something new
Breakfast, shower, grab your keys, head out the door ... Ever feel like you're experiencing morning deja vu? To revamp your mornings and ward off boredom, try to break away from your routine and start your day differently.
Get up at a different time, do things in a different order or try a different breakfast, workout, method of transport or radio station. Play around with your routine and break out of your morning rut.
3. Treat yourself
Our morning routines are usually a lot more functional than our evenings; often used simply as a time to get clean, get fuelled and get to work. However, your mornings provide a valuable opportunity for a bit of "me time". Start your day right and make your morning the best part of your day by using it to do something you enjoy. Get up early and watch your favourite TV show, make an indulgent breakfast in bed, or have a bubble bath.
4. Take your time
Many of our mornings are spent rushing around trying to get everything done in a limited amount of time. However, not only are things more likely to go wrong when you rush, but running around in a panic and getting into the office a minute before you are due to start work is a stressful way to start each day. To start your morning as you mean to go on, try setting your alarm clock earlier and getting your outfit and lunch ready the night before.
5. Make a morning soundtrack
Music is not only great for our physical wellbeing (with research suggesting it can improve your immune system and cardiovascular health), but studies have also suggested that listening to music can lower stress levels and improve mental health. To get your day off to a health and mood-boosting start, put together a playlist of morning songs to listen to as you get ready for work or for your morning journey. Whether you need to de-stress, lift your mood or get energised, music is bound to get your morning off to a great start.
6. Move your body
Some of us just aren't morning people and a workout might be the last thing on your mind as you snuggle back down under the covers, but squeezing in even 10 minutes of exercise first thing is a great way to start your day. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, such as endorphins and anandamide, and it will also leave you energised for the day ahead. The word "workout" might fill you with dread, but getting active doesn't need to be hard work. Find something fun, such as dancing to music or cycling to work.
7. Think positively
If you tend to start your mornings feeling anxious or stressed about the day ahead, then it is time to change your mindset. Ditch the worries and try to spend the first five minutes of your day thinking positive thoughts and reflecting on things you have to look forward to, or practising some meditation or breathing techniques.
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