Autumn and winter can be a lot more challenging when it comes to leaping out of bed full of verve and energy ready to create your magical day ahead. So we’ve pulled together our six favourite morning tricks to help you breeze every day.
We’re so fortunate to live in New Zealand, which is one of the luckiest countries in the world, despite a chilly winter frost trying to make you feel otherwise. And the great news is, we get to create our happiness every single day and there are so many little things we can easily implement to make it happen.
So we pulled together our easiest morning tips ‘n’ tricks to create your happiest life!
1. Get them ZZZZs!
Sleep really is one of life’s great elixirs! If you’re studying, at work, or at home with kids, the scientifically recommended 7-8 hours of sleep gives you so many health benefits, not least getting rid of those bags under the eyes. Getting a good night’s sleep can help you manage your appetite, aids your immune system with release of cytokines, increases your memory retention, and lowers your risk of disease.
To optimise your sleep, avoid caffeine before bed, and of course too much alcohol. Caffeine increases your heart rate, and can over-stimulate your brain causing confusion, may cause heartburn, and reduce adenosine, the chemical in your brain that induces sleep. Not an ideal start to a good night of rest. Too much alcohol can block your restorative REM sleep and even upset your circadian rhythms making you wake up much earlier than normal not rested at all.
2. No more snooze button!
It’s a “Yes!” to sleeping but a big “No!” to snoozing. By tapping that snooze button, each time your alarm goes off you inflict a “cardiovascular assault” on your nervous system, according to Professor Matthew Walker from the University of California’s Centre for Human Sleep Science. What a terrible way to start your day!
The easiest way to remove snooze temptation is to turn your phone into flight mode and leave it charging in the kitchen, then invest in an alarm clock – an actual alarm clock. Go analogue if you can because the digital ones have that ever-tempting snooze button. The great news is they come travel-sized and are inexpensive. And by not having your phone by your bed, you won’t be tempted to start the day with email, Facebook or Instagram, or the news, and instead you can enjoy your own company, or the company of the people around you.
3. Feel the ground under your feet
It might be autumn coming into winter and this one may not appeal but it’s a goodie. After you have chugged down a large glass of water to rehydrate after your sleep, start your day by walking outside in bare feet and standing like Wonder Woman for two whole minutes. According to Amy Cuddy from Harvard University, by standing in a power pose like Wonder Woman or Superman, you decrease the stress hormone cortisol by 25% and increase testosterone by 20%. Testosterone is the hormone that helps your abstract thinking, reduces fear, makes you more optimistic and able to take intelligent risks. Plus going barefoot on grass or soil helps your body absorb electrons from the earth, which balance your bioelectrical internal body, keeps your cortisol rhythm levels balanced, and can even aid a great night’s sleep!
4. Write a “To Done” list
“To Do” lists can feel intimidating, overwhelming and sometimes totally unachievable at the beginning of the day, so instead, create your day’s intentions by writing an empowering “To Done” list. Write 3-5 items on a list as if you are writing them in the evening ahead as if they are all done. So instead of “Go to the supermarket”, write: “I bought groceries today and had a lovely exchange with the check out operator”. And instead if “Do the washing”, change it to: “I brought in my washing from the washing line and it smelt soooo fresh and clean!”. This will not only remind you to actually create the magic you said you had, but it will make tasks feel more rewarding when you do them.
A “To Done” list invites in the Law Of Attraction or Power of Intention into your life and is very powerful – from getting the perfect car park to a stranger buying you a coffee for no apparent reason. You can even put in a few unknowns, like “I had an amazing conversation with a colleague/my mother/my partner today and it made me understand and respect them even more”. Just you wait and see what happens!
5. Be grateful
It’s so easy to start a cold, raining morning feeling like having a good old whinge to anyone who will listen. But remember, you hold the power to your success! So instead, turn your frown upside down by reversing all the negatives into wonderful and life-affirming positives. Rather than saying: “Gah, I don’t want to get out of bed”, try: “Wow, I am so lucky to have a cosy bed to sleep in and that I can look forward to getting back into again tonight”. And instead of thinking: “The last thing I want to do today is go into work,” change it to: “Wow, I am so lucky to have a job where people appreciate what I do, and that enables to me to do the things in life I want to do”.
There are scientifically proven health benefits to practicing daily gratitude. It clears the mind of toxic emotions such as resentment, anger, frustration and envy, and increases happiness and has a powerful role in reducing depression. It also enhances empathy, self-esteem, mental agility and improves sleep. We live in New Zealand, no matter how glum you feel, you’ll always find at least one thing to be grateful for.
6. Power up with a nourishing breakfast
And of course one of the best ways to start the day is to begin by eating a nourishing brekkie. There are so many health benefits to starting your day with a delicious and nutritious breakfast, but let’s start with the enjoyment factor. Whether you’re dancing to the radio, putting on your clothes or makeup while enjoying a smoothie, or sitting down with family or flatmates chatting about the day ahead eating porridge or overnight oats having positive vibes with breakfast aids digestion and elevates mood. A positive morning conversation raises excitement, brightens eyes, and can make you laugh. This increases your energy, elevates mood, relieves stress and makes you feel good and valued.
As for the nutritional benefits of powering up with nourishing food, there is so much scientific evidence that this is one of the best and easiest ways to improve life. By starting the day with nutrients, vitamins and minerals, with carbohydrates, good fats, fibre and protein, you will improve mental and physical performance, kickstart metabolism, control weight balance, lower cholesterol levels and increase endurance. You’ll improve problem-solving skills and hand-eye coordination and even concentrate better. Sounds like a win to us!
Here’s three fab recipes to choose from for your scrummylicious start to the day!
1. Get excited about the weekend and indulging in our Almond French Toast.
2. Make mornings awesome with our Apple and Cinnamon Porridge.
3. Max out walnut season with our Banana Walnut Smoothie.
Whatever you do this May, take time to see the autumn leaves fall and know you’ve GOT THIS!