We don’t always automatically get up on the right side of the bed. There are days when a poor night’s sleep, aches and pains, or the lingering memory of a bad dream make us less than bright eyed and bushy tailed first thing in the morning. On those days when we’re groggy and grumbly – and even on the days when we’re feeling pretty good – there are simple things you can do to improve your mood, boost your health and set a positive tone for the rest of the day.
- Pray or meditate – or both! Both prayer and meditation are relaxing, mindful ways to center yourself, think about your intentions for the day, and express gratitude. Check out our article on the basics of meditation if you’ve never given it a try and wonder what it’s all about.
- Write in a gratitude journal. Before your feet even touch the ground, jot down at least one thing you’re grateful for. Studies have shown that focusing on the positive things in your life – even during times of grief and loss – and expressing gratitude for the blessings in your life can help lower stress and boost immunity.1
- Have a plan. This is particularly important for retired folks who may have lots of free time to fill throughout the course of the day. Having a game plan allows you to fill that time in a way that’s meaningful or important to you, and gives you a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day. You don’t have to have huge grand plans or fill up every second of every day – just make sure you have a sense of purpose.
- Fuel up. Your mom probably told you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and she was right! Eating a healthy breakfast gives you the food energy you need to get you through a busy morning, and can help you stay at a healthy weight. Visit Eat Right Ontario for some healthy and delicious breakfast ideas.
- Read a motivational quote. Reading something positive and life affirming can help you frame your day in a positive way, even if you have challenges you know you need to meet.
- Stretch. A good morning stretch can help reduce or prevent back pain, improve flexibility, posture, and circulation; and give your energy levels a boost.2 If you can do them safely, check out these three morning stretches recommended by Dr. Oz.
- Brush your tongue. Make sure to brush your tongue when you brush your teeth. It helps remove plaque and bacteria that have been setting up residence in your mouth overnight, helping to give you fresher breath and improving your oral health.3
- Drink a glass of water. We are made up of 55 – 78% water, so replenishing the fluid in your body is an important part of overall health.4 After sleeping for 8 hours you may be a little dehydrated, so grab a glass and enjoy!
- Connect with a loved one. Our days can get busy, so before the chaos starts reach out to someone you love and say hello. Write a love note, pick up the phone and call a friend, or have a face-to-face chat with your spouse.
- Skip the screen for at least 15 minutes. It’s tempting to grab your smartphone when you wake up, but giving yourself a first-thing-in-the-morning social media ban allows you to connect with the real world around you in a mindful way. Watch the sunrise, smell your coffee, read the paper, talk to your loved ones, and enjoy those precious in-real-real-life moments.
Good mornings often start with a restful night. For more information on how to have a good night’s sleep check out these suggestions for how to sleep like a baby when you’re all grown up, and these tips for how to get a good night’s sleep naturally.
414095A CAN/US (09/16)