People often talk about being a morning person or being a night owl. I can easily relate to being a night owl but I also used to say I was a morning person; is it possible to be both? I thought so. However, it was pointed out to me by one of my nearest and dearest, who's had the pleasure of being around in the morning, that I am not as I claim, a morning person. Feeling a little affronted by this revelation I probed my friend to why she felt this was the case. "You can't talk to you in the morning", was her response. I couldn't deny this, I simply didn't have the time for such frills as conversation on my morning routine! It was then that I decided to make some changes to make my mornings a more positive experience, for me and my nearest and dearest!
Wake up 10- 15 minutes earlier than you need to
It would be great to get more sleep but I've come to realise that getting up just 10 minutes earlier means I can start the day at a nice pace. Too often I began my day in a frenzied mess when one unplanned addition to my morning schedule meant that I was running late or scrambling really hard not to be. It really wasn't doing me much benefit to have those few extra minutes with my head on the pillow when it was bringing me stress only a little while later.
Start your day as you mean to continue- in a relaxed fashion! Now I try to get that little extra time by heading to bed earlier instead.
Prepare the Night Before
Before you go to bed prepare us much as you can for the next day. Despite hearing this nugget of advice several times this was something I only started to do last year. Take the time to pick your clothes out the night before, pack your bag and have your lunch waiting in the fridge for you. Decision making of any kind is best avoided first thing in the morning. It's really is so much quicker to do these things the night before.
I stick to the same routine every morning so there's as little stress as possible, this includes days I don't have to get up for work.......... Keeping to the same daily schedule means my body now knows when to wake up each morning, it also keeps things simple and eases me nicely into the day.
Do your Morning Stretches
After all those hours of lying down it's a great idea to get your muscles warmed up for the day ahead with some gentle stretches.
Awaken your body with an upward arm stretch. Stretch your arms above your head with your fingers interlocked and your palms facing upwards. Hold for 15 seconds. You should feel this stretch in both your arms and ribcage. Repeat this stretch with a sideways lean to the right and left to stretch your obliques.
Stretch the muscles in your neck and shoulders to relieve tension that may have occurred during the night. To stretch the muscles on the right side of your neck, tilt your left ear over towards your left shoulder and hold for 15 seconds. Repeat on the right side to stretch out your left side. Relax for a moment, then roll your shoulders back, and then forward. Then lift them up to your ears, tensing the muscles, and then allow them to drop and relax completely. Repeat from the beginning three times.
Now for your quads....from a standing position bring the ankle of your left foot with your left hand up towards your butt, until you feel a gentle stretch throughout the left thigh. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the right leg. Feel free to do this near a wall if you would like to use it to keep your balance.
Lower back pain is such a common complaint so it is a good idea to give this area a gentle stretch too. For this one you'll need to lie on the floor- preferably on a yoga mat if you have one handy. Bring one knee slowly to your chest and hug it with your arms, keeping your other leg straight. Hold for 15 seconds and then change sides. Repeat three times.
We recommend for all our patients another great set of exercises- straighten up exercises. Click here to check them out. You can do them along with or as an alternative to the ones described above.
Set an Intention for the Day
Each morning before I leave my home I spend a few seconds thinking of what I wish for my day. Sometimes I have a specific goal in mind- a task I intend on completing. Even if it is just a simple task it's a great way to get the ball rolling on your accomplishments for the day. More often though my intention is to have a positive outlook; I focus for a few moments in the morning on what will be positive in my day. It surprised me how this one little change really helps me to notice the positive things that do occur throughout my day. Our thoughts really do shape our reality so it's really worth making this positive acknowledgement a daily habit.
With these tips under your belt you should be ready to meet the world for another successful day!