Said to help blood circulation and rev up your energy levels, a few morning stretches can be easily accomplished while you’re still in bed.
Like a cat splayed out under a window on a hot summer’s day, fully extend your arms overhead and outstretch your toes toward the foot of your bed whilst lying down. Clasp your fingers together, and flip your palms out, holding this fully stretched position for about 10 seconds and exhaling as you release the pose. For the next stretch, lift your torso upright from a reclined position and, keeping your legs straight, ease your fingertips and head toward your feet, holding the tensed-up position for 10 counts. For this one, focus on lengthening your spine as you inhale and sink deeper into the seated fold as you exhale.
2. Tune into the news
Give your brain a good stretch, too, and expand your knowledge with world news updates, political discussions and the weather report. Instead of waking up to that annoying default jingle you have as your alarm, set it to a local commentary platform or renowned news program like National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” Not only will you be mentally stimulated, but you also stand to be more informed about the political landscape and will be able to engage others in invigorating conversation when you’re waiting in line in the break room for your morning coffee.
3. Make a to-do list
Set yourself up for success by jotting down a list of logistical and personal goals for the day. Many studies suggest that materializing your ideas onto paper (or phone screen) can help bring them to fruition, as a semblance of structure can dampen our anxieties and later provide proof of achievement.
Forgoing the traditional pen-on-paper version, many have taken to compiling their to-do lists on task-managing mobile apps. The top-rated Todoist app, for example, allows you to access pending actions on your work computer, notifies you of any approaching deadlines and highlights your day’s most important activities with color-coded priority levels. As an added tip, remember to keep your goals small and realistic for each day—“write Chapter 5” is much less daunting than “write novel.”
4. Indulge in a daily mindset booster
Juggling overwhelming expectations from work and relationships can be stressful and lead to putting your emotional needs on the back burner. It’s important to carve out time to luxuriate in some self-reflection to recenter yourself, so seek positive affirmations to kickstart your day!
This tip offers endless possibilities: whether you decide to start an entry-a-day bullet journal, internalize daily motivational quotes from an app or reflect on your horoscope, you are propelling yourself toward an unhindered, productive mentality.
We reach for our phones first thing in the morning anyway, so why not download a meditation app to help declutter your mind? Channel your inner Jedi master, and reap the benefits of mindfulness by playing a soothing audio clip of instructions designed to keep your anxieties at bay and to cleanse your mental palate. Traverse deserts, scale a mountain, and most importantly, close off the external world to attain inward focus.
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