Not a morning person? Many of us find the first few hours of the day difficult, but there’s no getting away from it – you gotta get up.
The first moments of the day are actually full of possibility and are a great moment to set some healthy habits that will allow you to start your day right and step out of the door feeling your best self. Here are some top tips for healthy habits to start your day of right.
1. Drink a pint of warm water
Yup, a pint is a lot, but it’s the best way to hydrate, flush out toxins and get your digestive system ready for breakfast. If you can, try drinking a pint of tepid or even slightly warm water. According to Ayurvedic principles, warm foods help to heat up the body and improve the flow of chi energy. Ideally, drink the pint of water as soon as you wake up and wait at least 20 minutes before drinking or eating anything else.
2. Reach for the tongue scraper
You may have been trained to brush your teeth after breakfast, but it’s actually better to brush your teeth as soon as you wake up. That way, you get rid of all of the plaque and bacteria that have built up over night and you also coat your teeth in toothpaste to make them less susceptible to the sugar you consume with your breakfast. As well as brushing your teeth, invest in a tongue scraper to get rid of all of the mucus build up from the past 24 hours and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean.
3. Do an oil pulling
Want to take your oral hygiene routine one step further? After brushing and tongue scraping, do an oil pulling. It’s a simple habit that involves taking a small teaspoon full of coconut oil, and swilling it around your mouth for around 20 minutes. The oil picks up all of the bacteria remaining in your mouth, and is even said to help improve cavities and decay in the teeth. Doing an oil pulling involves 20 minutes of not being able to talk, so it’s a good idea to do this at the same time as being in the shower.
4. Repeat a positive thought about the day in your head
Whilst you’re showering and oil pulling, try using your mental energy to look at the day ahead and to pick out one positive thought to set you up for it. For example, if you have lots of important meetings, you might choose to think ‘I am calm, collected and able to balance all of my commitments.’ If you are going to spend a day at your desk, you might think ‘I am focused and committed to my work and I know how to work effectively to get everything done’. Once you have your phrase, try repeating it in your head over and over again. It may feel silly, but studies have shown that repeating a statement in this way actually helps your brain to start hearing the message and acting accordingly.
Get your body moving early with a simple stretch, a dance to your favourite cheesy song of the moment or even a quick jog. Even 5 minutes of dancing in your kitchen will begin to help your blood to circulate and start to increase your energy levels. If you feel that don’t have time to add any exercise to your morning, try walking part of the way to work instead.
6. Don’t reach for the phone
Give yourself at least half an hour at the start of the day without any distraction from your phone or another device. Allow your mind to wake up slowly, start processing and move gradually between sleep and wakefulness. Only look at your phone once you are feeling ready and calm and able to give it your full attention. Reading stressful messages or demanding emails first thing in the morning will cause your cortisol levels to raise and your body’s natural fight or flight reaction to kick in, meaning that you don’t have time to wake the body gently and allow your body systems to settle and prepare for the day ahead.
So there it is – a golden morning routine to put you on the right track at the right time. Always listen to your own intuition. If something doesn’t feel right to you or isn’t working for your body, then listen to those signals and adjust accordingly. Whatever routine you settle on, looking after yourself at the beginning of the day is the perfect way to embrace your inner darling.