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LIFESTYLE

Start Your Day Right

“The average, healthy, well-adjusted adult gets up at seven-thirty in the morning feeling just plain terrible.” Jean Kerr.

How do you start your day? Chances are you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock ten times (for many of us it’s our mobile phone!). By the time your senses are fully alive, you find out that you’ve postponed your waking time by one hour.  So what do you do? Rinse your teeth with mouthwash, rush your bath, hurry your personal grooming, and rattle through the door. In the midst of your mad dash, you may realise you’ve forgotten something important at home or that you’ve left the house with your rubber slippers on your feet. The day starts with chaos, leaving you angry, irritable, and depressed. Imagine having to live like this each morning, each day, for most of your life.

Your morning routine can either be a blessing or a bane. The things you do from the early hours when you get up sets the tone for how the rest of the day will be. And since each day is the building block of your life, imagine what kind of structure you’ve been putting up. Starting your day right is one of the most important steps in living a fulfilled and balanced life. You have more energy to pursue your dreams and do your tasks. You can focus on what matters most and increase your productivity. You can surround yourself with strength and positivity, which enables you to combat unforeseen challenges later in the day. These tips can help in developing a morning routine that guarantees a peaceful and productive start to your day.

1. Get Enough Sleep

Nothing will make sense here if you are not getting enough sleep. If you’re living on the fast lane, working very late and sleeping from 12 midnight to about 4 a.m., you’re starting the day already messed up. This is not good for your health. If you’re also sleeping too much (more than 8 hours each day), that’s unhealthy too. Cut down on eating late suppers, watching late night movies, and too much night activity. Give your body the right amount of rest it needs.

2. Awaken Your Senses

Take some time to yourself before you get out of bed. Whilst still lying down, count your blessings and be thankful for all you have. Life may not be perfect now, but you’re alive and it never is really perfect at all times. Be grateful for your spouse, your wonderful kids, the roof over your head, the friends that make you happy, your goals and dreams, and the job that pays your bills. Roll over and feel the soft bed sheets, stretch your body across the bed—like a big letter ‘X’—and then breathe in deeply for about five minutes.

3. Prayer, Devotion and Mediation

Some minutes of prayer and devotion is an empowering start to the day. You are calling on God, and placing your life and your day in His hands, thanking him for bringing you through the night. Meditation is also very helpful. It can quiet the mind, drown out all unnecessary noise, and help you reinforce your core beliefs and values.

4. Discover the Treasures of Journaling

Keep a diary and someday it will keep you.” Anais Nin.

Keep a notebook by your bedside where you can relive good memories, and write down your goals, dreams, thoughts and feelings. You can write down details of dreams you had the night before, or simply record details of your prayers and spiritual journey. Journaling can be so enjoyable. It can help you discover yourself and you can also use it to monitor how far you’ve achieved your set goals. For writers, it can serve as a rich resource when looking for materials for future work.

5. Move That Body

You mind and senses should be fully awake by now, so it’s time to wake up your body. Morning exercises work up the body, releasing the energy you will need to begin the day. It doesn’t have to be rigorous aerobics. You can practice mild body toning exercises like Yoga or Pliates. You can also walk or ride your bicycle around your neighbourhood. Just try doing something that exercises your body every morning.

6. Eat Your Breakfast

It is great to start your day with a glass of warm water mixed with the squeezed juice from one fresh lemon. Lemon juice is full of the antioxidant vitamin C. Besides, nothing beats getting your vitamins fresh rather than from a little pill. The lemon juice also helps cleanse your system and detoxify your liver cells, and the warm fluid mixture will help move your bowels freely every morning.

Some people argue about whether or not to eat breakfast. I say the most important meal of the day is your breakfast. If you eat in the morning you won’t be distracted by hunger pangs later and there’d be fewer chances of you quenching them with sugary snacks. Eat a wholesome, balanced meal for breakfast and put your body in the right mood.

7. Intimate Secrets

Waking up a little earlier to enjoy some intimacy with your partner can be beneficial. Most people swear by the energy boost and positivity it gives them, and the great feeling lasts all day long. Schedule some minutes into your morning hours to spend  time with your spouse. You won’t believe how sunny and bright your whole day would be.

8. Plan, Plan, Plan

If you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. So the cliché goes; but it’s true. There’s nothing that spells purposelessness like lack of a plan for the day. Write down a to-do list (on paper or whichever gadget you use) of the things you need to accomplish. If that doesn’t work for you then organise your daily tasks in a way that works. Make sure to tick them off each step of the way, to see how well you’re doing.

Get ready to move your day, and your life, forward with these tips. Or how do you start your day? Share some steps in your morning routine with us. We’d love to hear your comments.

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Lulu Oyigah trained as a geologist. She is passionate about nature, writing, arts and crafts, and interior design. She writes, and edits, for connectnigeria.com.

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