Day: July 15, 2014

How to Get Up in the Morning and Have a Brilliant Day

Never hit that snooze button again. Never wake up groggy or lethargic. Instead, feel energized and excited to start your day, your brilliant day!

The secret to having a good day starts the night before.
Don’t underestimate the power of a good night sleep. That’s the time when the brain strengthens important neural connections, puts your memories into long-term storage, and solidifies new knowledge. Consider sleep food for the brain. It is essential. So how to improve sleep? First, turn off all electronics, including your mobile phone. Not only are they distracting, but the light from these electronics reset your melatonin (which controls your circadian rhythm) into thinking it’s not yet time for bed. Do not engage in any strenuous mental exercise an hour before bedtime. Your brain needs to feel relaxed in order to sleep. A glass of warm milk may help. I also love playing relaxing tunes to unwind. My favorite app (FREE!) for this is Deep Calm.

Keep your sleeping time consistent. It is okay to sleep in a little during the weekends, but don’t make it a drastic difference. If you typically sleep 7 hours a night, don’t sleep 10 hours on Saturday and Sunday. Your body will get confused and Monday will be a pain in the neck.

Establish a simple morning routine.
1. Stop your alarm.
2. Slowly get into a sitting position and take several deep breaths.
3. Stretch out your body from neck to toe. Focus on where there is most tension and stretch and relax your muscles.
4. While in your comfortable sitting position, commence your positive thinking. Start with indulgent thoughts – I can’t wait to get up and have my cup of chai latte or make French press coffee. Then, mentally go through your to-do’s with a grateful attitude. Don’t think of them as chores. Think of them as opportunities.
5. Hop off the bed.

When I get ready in the morning (i.e. brushing teeth, getting dressed, etc.), I enjoy blasting upbeat music (i.e. The Voice radio) to get myself energized and excited to begin the day. You can also create a playlist that lasts as long as you want your morning routine to be – 15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc. Perhaps personalize a playlist for each day of the week. Whatever you do, do not check your email or social media feeds. Your day begins with you, not the chaos of the world. Emails and texts can wait until your morning commute (unless you drive) or until you get to your office/school.

If you have 15 minutes to spare, grab a notebook and pen. Then, jot down your vision of what an ideal day would be like. This consists of making sure you are fully aware of your meetings/appointments and errands, but also allows you a chance to visualize that perfect day. It’s a good exercise to get you to recognize a good day when you have one. Moreover, it gets you motivated and completely prepared for the day’s events.

If you have another 15 minutes to spare, turn on some soothing sounds and start meditating. Focus on your deep breaths. Allow distractions to pass by. Don’t purposely ignore them, but don’t indulge in them either. Always bring your attention back to your breathing. Make sure your posture is upright and dignified. Several minutes of meditation in the morning can help you better concentrate throughout the day.

We Say
Don’t start your day with the stress of rushing to places because you pressed the snooze button one time too many. Don’t be late to meetings as habitual lateness is very frowned upon – it shows you’re less committed and less motivated. Instead, start your day on a note of excitement and gratitude. Respecting your brain’s need for sleep and establishing a simple morning routine make all the difference in the world.

For tips on how to stay focused throughout your day, read How to Declutter Your Mind.