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Originally published on nyxiesnook.com. Republished here with permission. Get your blog featured!
I was never much into mornings and if I didn’t have a tiny lion to feed at 6 am I still wouldn’t be. I’m a night owl through and through. I could still sit up to 2 am given the choice because the night is dark and comforting, while the morning signals that there is a whole day of busyness ahead. And sometimes I just can’t deal with busy days.
That being said in recent months I’ve found myself having to get up earlier to feed our cat or to go to therapy in the city. It’s life and usually, the day starts earlier than my body and mind might want it to.
There are several things I’ve been doing to combat my moody, negative, nocturnal attitude to the sunrise; here are my top 5 morning mood boosters:
I love stretching. I love stretching in bed, when I get up, in the shower, and while doing yoga. I can’t believe I went so long denying myself of a wonder, arms-over-the-head stretch!
Now that I’m beginning to heal my body from years of abuse at the hands of on-off recovery, I’m finding my joints and bones are aching far more than they surely should for a 26-year-old. My right hip pops when I walk, my ankles are stiff, my wrists ache, my shoulders are a war zone of stress, and my lower back has just gone to the dogs. I’m officially 26 going on 86.
2. Drink water
Drink water for no other reason than hydration. You’ve been asleep for 6-8 hours (if not longer, you lucky devil) so your body is crying out for water at this point.
3. Eat breakfast
I avoided breakfast like the plague for years. I didn’t need it. All I needed was coffee and a cigarette, and maybe a bit of water. Now that I have no choice but to follow my meal plan in order to reach weight restoration I have become fully converted.
Eating breakfast in the morning has many, many benefits. Because we’ve been fasting for a set amount of time during the night, our blood sugar takes a hit, and with lower blood sugar comes higher levels of cortisol in order to balance it out. If you don’t eat, you don’t raise your blood pressure to an adequate and sustainable level, so you’re more likely to be stressed. You can also imagine that this will have a knock-on effect on your concentration and productivity levels.
With breakfast, you will be able to take on the morning with lower stress, levelled blood sugars, heightened concentration, and ready to be productive AF.
4. Allow yourself to take 5 minutes to focus on your breathing
Take 5 minutes to yourself to be with your breathing. I know you might be running late or you might have shit to do, but it’s just five minutes. No, don’t do it in the car! Take time for yourself to just breathe while showering, while stretching, while standing in the kitchen with your cup of coffee in your hands.
I know it sounds silly. Surely I’m doing breathing right?! Yeah, you are, but breathing and being with your breathing are 2 very different things.
Yoga with Adriene taught me a fantastic little move that I practice several times a day when I feel myself getting irritated or twisted up in my own thoughts:
- Place the tongue just behind the front 2 teeth
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold for 7 seconds
- Exhale for 8 seconds
5. Journal gratitude and affirmations
You don’t have to do this one but I highly recommend it. I started a bullet journal in January and with it, I added a daily gratitude/affirmation section for each day of the month. In it I write things like ‘I AM ENOUGH’ or ‘I AM DESERVING’, and I give thanks for things like my family, my warm home, Ryan, my cat, and, sometimes, it’s just something simple like Netflix and coffee.
Doing this on a daily basis can help boost our mood and allows us to see that although things might be shit, we do have things we appreciate in life. Doing affirmations about yourself is like starting the day off with your own personal mantra.
The Two Minute Mornings Journal is an amazing little tool if you don’t know where to start in creating your own.
This list does not include everything I do to help boost my mood, but it’s a select few that I keep going back to on a daily basis.
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