Let’s be real. You might be feeling some serious pandemic fatigue. As we reach the one year mark of “two weeks to flatten the curve,” getting jazzed about the day ahead isn’t always easy.
It’s ok, and you’re definitely not alone. The road has been long, my friends.
But also remember: new, healthier habits can feel pretty darn good.
So here are a few ideas for infusing positivity into your morning.
1. Wake-Up with Plenty of Time
Working from home or not, it can be tempting to hit snooze more than once.
Picture your typical morning. Do you rush through your routine, scrambling to start work on time? Are you frazzled and out of breath by the time you sit at your desk?
No wonder we dread rolling out of bed to start the day. Feeling rushed is stressful.
As you replay each of your daily morning to-dos, list out each task on a piece of paper. Then note how long each item actually takes (be realistic). Add the time up, and that will tell you how long you need for your morning routine.
Working backwards from your work start time, you’ll then know when you need to wake up.
Make a plan to stick to this wake-up time every day, even if that means you need to go to bed earlier.
Tip: If you’re still struggling with the snooze button, add something you enjoy as part of your morning routine. Have your favorite coffee ready to brew. If working out is your thing, add it to the list—just remember to leave enough time for it.
The first few mornings with your new alarm time will be hard, but just say no to hitting that snooze button. Give yourself the gift of more time to breathe.
Then enjoy your morning, and the feeling of being to work on-time (or early!) in a calm state of mind. Now you can focus on conquering whatever the day throws at you.
2. Eat Breakfast
What’s another great secret to bypassing the snooze button? Having a delicious, balanced breakfast to look forward to.
They say, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” There may be some debate around that, but I for one need my breakfast.
And it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just keep it balanced. Ideally try to include some lean protein, fiber-rich carbs, fruits and/or veggies, and even a little better-for-you fat.
Here are some easy breakfast ideas to get you started.
- Plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit and low-sugar granola. Bonus points for yogurt’s immune-system boosting properties.
- Oatmeal topped with blueberries, a splash of milk, a drizzle of honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Whole grain toast topped with scrambled eggs, avocado, and cherry tomato slices. Sometimes I add a layer of hummus or a few dashes of everything seasoning.
Ok, now I’m hungry.
3. Get in a Workout
Before I had our daughter, I was a lot better about working out first thing in the morning. And you know what? I really miss it.
Early exercise has many benefits. First, if you already work out daily, it feels amazing to get it out of the way. It’s not even 8 AM, and you’ve already checked off one of your daily to-dos.
Working out also has the power to boost your mood and energy levels. How’s that for starting the day off on a positive note?
If you are pressed for time, have little ones at home (hopefully still asleep), or just don’t want to join a gym, there are many ways to work-out at home in the morning.
So, I guess you could say it’s time to take my own advice and reinstate my morning workouts.
4. Reset Your Work Area
I know not everyone is like this, but I have a hard time feeling relaxed if my workspace is messy. Not having essentials close at hand can be distracting too.
Whether you’re working from a home office, a corporate office, or even your kitchen table, do a quick reset of the area before you start working.
Clear clutter, wipe your desk down, and open those blinds. Fill your water bottle and make sure you’re stocked with any other necessities, such as Chapstick, tissues, and hand cream.
When your physical environment is in order, it can be a powerful visual cue that now is the time to focus on the day ahead—and not worry about yesterday’s coffee mug taking up prime real estate on your desk.
5. Play Some Music
Use those smart devices to your advantage and stream some of your favorite tunes during your morning routine.
You can even just search on Spotify for “Good Morning Playlists”, like this one I came across recently.
If you have kids, Disney music works well for this purpose, or this kid friendly pop playlist, also on Spotify.
It’s hard to have a bad morning when your toddler is belting out her own interpretation of “Let it Go!”
When it’s time to work, I opt for more ambient background music, preferably without any lyrics. The Deep Focus 2.0 playlist on Spotify tends to be my constant companion as I go about my daily tasks.
On the other hand, I know people that focus best with dubstep or heavy metal, so what you listen to while working is really a personal preference. Just please keep your headphones low enough so your coworkers can’t hear it.
Positive habits can have positive impacts.
What are your tricks for starting the day off right?