Rise and shine! 5 pointers to help perk up your mornings

23 Apr 2014 by Sarah Leembruggen.

We’ve all read about how the most successful people rise at 4am, spend 30 minutes planning their day, do a highly energetic workout, eat a perfectly balanced breakfast while connecting with their family, effortlessly pen the next chapter of a future bestseller and then set off for another triumphant day in their highly rewarding jobs.

Awe-inspiring these people may well be but their lifestyles are not exactly easy to emulate. When it comes down to it, most of us just want to hit the snooze button and grab a few more minutes in bed!

Let’s face it—you’re not about to reinvent yourself and become top dog of the early hours but why not try to make a few small tweaks to your morning routine? Take your pick from this handful of suggestions, add your own ideas to the mix, keep switching things around until you find what works best for you and who knows—you may end up sculpting your muscles and getting that novel written before daybreak!

1. Wake up and try 15 minutes of meditation

Sitting and clearing your mind is really difficult—even the effort to repress a thought is a thought. It takes a while to get the hang of it, but once you do, you will reap the benefits: better stress management, being more mindful, and improving your ability to think clearly and make better decisions. Accept that it may take a while to notice the changes so dedicate yourself to this for a few weeks before making any judgments.

2. Drink water—in vast amounts

The benefits of staying hydrated and the dangers of being dehydrated are well known, but what’s surprising is the benefit of drinking a lot of water first thing in the morning. A German study showed that drinking at least a litre of water first thing in the morning boosts your metabolism, reduces fatigue and fuels your muscles for the day. This is one of those tweaks in your morning routine that takes very little effort to try, so give it a shot for a week or two and see how it affects you.

3. Listen to music

Make a playlist of energising tunes and put your headphones on as soon as your alarm goes off. Your favourite tracks will help you spring (or stumble) out of bed and may even inspire you to throw on your trainers and go for a quick run.

4. Go for a walk

As soon as you’ve gulped down a couple of large glasses of water, why not go for a walk? Make sure the pace of your walk is brisk. It’ll give you a natural energy boost and improved mental clarity for the rest of your day.

5. Read

Take 10 minutes to delve into one of the many books you’ve been planning to read for weeks/months. Whether it’s the latest bestseller on business and leadership or something inspirational and motivational, working through the stockpile will make you feel good about yourself and set you up for a more productive day.

Getting things done early, however small, makes you feel better for the rest of the day. There aren’t as many people around at the crack of dawn, which means quiet, peaceful time for you to do what you need to do. You’ll have the energy required and even if you need a small boost in the form of a swift latte, go for it! The caffeine coupled with the sense of achievement you’ll feel from fine-tuning your morning will carry you right through the day.

Tell us how you ensure you get off to a good start each day.

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