Lockdown living: Eight healthy morning habits

Do you have a habit of waking up late every morning and rushing to work?

Think of the last time you woke up with a bad mood and rushed out of your door without eating breakfast. After getting up on the wrong side of the bed, its quite common to be irritable throughout the day. But the good news is it doesn't have to be that way, if you set some healthy morning habits. Practicing  healthy morning habits can influence how you act, think and feel throughout the day.

Brace yourself for a more happy and productive days ahead by cultivating some of these simple morning rituals.

1. Wake up at the same time everyday- One healthy morning habit to cultivate is to wake up at the same time every single day. All you have to do to adapt to this habit is to select a wake up time which you can observe every day including weekends. Waking up at the same time every day not only  helps you to sleep better at night but it is also associated with a whole lot of benefits. As you start sleeping better, you will not suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia. waking up at the same time every single day is shown to improve alertness, better functioning of your immune system, improved productivity and reduced caffeine dependence.

2. Make your bed- For most of us it may seem unnecessary or  a waste of time. But the truth is just a simple task of making your bed leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment. The more you take charge and complete small tasks, you will be better at focusing and accomplishing the bigger ones.

3. Avoid using electronic devices- One good habit to cultivate is to stop using electronic devices before going to be bed and before getting out of bed. Check your emails and social media account atleast 20 minutes after you rise. Have you ever wondered what happens when you check your phone immediately after you wake up?  Well it is likely that your stress levels and anxiety  increase significantly as soon as you wake up. If you want to avoid starting your day less stressed, then you must practice activities that will calm your mind and body.

4. Practice meditation- One of the best ways to keep your mind and body calm is to practice meditation. There are plenty of benefits associated with mindfulness meditation. Some of these are- It reduces stress levels, lowers the risk of heart diseases, increases immunity, and improves overall mental and physical health. The best time to practice meditation is right before having breakfast. Keep in mind that it can be quite a daunting experience for beginners, but as you start cultivating this  habit it will help you to stay positive and healthy. All you have to do is sit in a comfortable position, with eyes closed  and focus on your breathing. Every time you notice your mind is wandering, you may slowly guide it back to focus on your breathing.  After reading this, you may tell yourself that, ‘I’ll meditate every day”, but often times we tend to forget to do so. The best way to cultivate this habit is to set a reminder for every single morning as soon as you wake up and also writing a note that says ‘meditate’ , will remind you to practice mindfulness meditation.

5. Eat a healthy breakfast- The next thing to do after meditation is to make and eat a healthy breakfast. Many studies have shown that eating a healthy breakfast is associated with lower levels of LDL cholesterol, reduces the risk of getting diabetes, heart diseases and also helps in weight loss.

Well you might be wondering, after all what comprises of a healthy breakfast? A list of healthy foods to eat before starting your day- Eggs, Yogurt, Oatmeal, Berries (strawberry, blueberry, and cranberry), Green tea, Nuts, Fruits and Cheese.

Healthy breakfast ideas- Avocado toast with eggs, Yogurt and berry smoothie, Peanut butter and banana smoothie, Oatmeal with fresh fruits, Strawberry granola yogurt parfait, Mango peanut butter chia pudding.

6. Hydrate your body- The first thing to do in the morning, as soon as you wake up is to drink atleast 4 - 6 glasses of water. Drinking warm lemon water is even better as it rehydrates you from a full night of sleeping without fluids, its extremely good for your metabolism and activates your brain. Along with lemon, you may also add a small piece of ginger and some honey.

7. Go for a morning walk or run- While focusing on healthy lifestyle, one essential habit to incorporate into your life is to go for a morning walk or run. There are several benefits associated with morning walk. Some of which are-

• Aids in better sleep- Making a habit of walking on a regular basis improves the quality of your sleep by triggering blood circulation which helps in relaxing and exercising your mind and muscles.

• Prevents arthritis- Walking in the morning is a great exercise as it provides relief from stiffness and arthritis pain. Morning walks also gives more energy. It improves bone density and strengthens joints.

• Promotes cognition- Morning walks accelerates the activities in your brain and further helps in organizing the whole day in a productive manner.

• Good for the heart- Walking in the morning is shown to have terrific cardiovascular benefits. Walking in the morning lowers the risk of heart attacks.

8. Make a list of tasks-  Spend a few minutes to write down a list of things that you want to do throughout the day. Then prioritize 4 to 5 tasks that you want to accomplish. Writing down all the tasks that you will have to do helps to clear mental clutter and most importantly you feel accomplish after finishing a task and crossing it off from the list.

Following some of these simple healthy morning rituals will surely make a huge difference in the way you lead your life. So what are you waiting for?  Start with some of these morning habits for a healthy living.

-Akhila Kakarala
Pic Courtsey: pixabay.com