Chicago Home and Lifestyles – Morning Habits that will make your day better

We have talked often about how to get a better night’s sleep, but haven’t really delved into how we get up. The things you do first thing in the morning can have a big impact on the rest of your day. So, follow these tips to start your morning with a bang!

Do not, no matter how tempting, hit the snooze button. You don’t realize it, but you set yourself up to be stressed and late. You’re groggy and less productive because hitting the snooze repeatedly wakes you from a deep sleep. If you can’t resist it, place your alarm across the room so that you must get up. Use a regular alarm, not your phone!

The next thing is something many of us do as soon as we wake up: check our phones. My advice? Don’t! It can awaken your anxiety and inner critic. You see how much you have to do that day and think how can I possibly get all this done? Try to plan your day the night before so when you rise you can take a few minutes to meditate or journal. Even put your clothes out for the next morning. That’s a recipe for a calm morning.

So, I’m sure you wake up to a pot of coffee ready for you. Wait! It’s been at least 6, hopefully 8 hours since you had a drink of water. Your body is dehydrated. Drink an 8–12-ounce glass of water upon rising and suffer fewer headaches, have less fatigue, and your skin will love you. Don’t worry, you can still have that coffee. Coffee has beneficial antioxidants and can stabilize your mood. But too much can make you jittery and give you headaches and even withdrawal symptoms. Stick with 2-3 cups and be consistent. As far as energy drinks go, NO! They have so many chemicals and can be addicting.

Always eat something healthy in the morning. It doesn’t have to be a full-blown meal but should contain some protein like eggs or cottage cheese, fruit, and some complex carbs like healthy cereal. If you need to eat on the run, have some nuts with some cream cheese rollups. Spread some softened cream cheese on slices of ham and roll up around a whole wheat pretzel rod. Drink some V-8 or tomato juice. Stay away from sweets like donuts and pastries that will have you crashing mid-morning.

Finally, early risers are happier and more productive than those who go to bed late. They tend to be more proactive and are better able to anticipate and minimize problems. You can make a habit of rising earlier. Take it slow, go to bed ½ hour earlier and get up ½ hour earlier. Each week, increase the time until you get to where you want to be!

Check out Hal Elrod has written a wonderful book about how you can make the most of your morning.

Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago