Let’s face it: most college students are not on a perfect sleep schedule. We tend to just accept the consequences of our late nights and go about our busy days. Many remedy the exhaustion with one too many cups of coffee and maybe a twenty-minute nap to get through the rest of classes. Even if we get a significant amount of sleep, waking up abruptly to rush out the door to class is not the best way to begin the day.
How we start the day in the morning determines how the rest of our day is going to unfold. A healthy morning routine is essential when trying to achieve a productive day. These tips will help you wake up on the right side of the bed and have a more mindful morning.
1. Don’t snooze your alarm.
It is so easy to reach over and tap the snooze button to get those much desired extra few minutes of sleep. However, studies show that instead of making you feel well-rested, hitting the snooze button tricks your body and brain into thinking it is going back into a deep sleep, only to be abruptly woken up a few minutes later. This experience leaves you groggy and in a confused state. Pick the time you want to wake up and stick to it!
2. Hydrate before you caffeinate.
During the night, we are not drinking any water and consequently, we wake up dehydrated. Everyone knows that the golden rule in almost every aspect of life is “Stay Hydrated.” It really applies to everything.
Right when you wake up, drink a glass of water to rehydrate and get your body energized for the day. Drinking water on an empty stomach as soon as you wake up aids in digestion and increases metabolism. If you are feeling extra fancy, a morning cocktail I like to drink includes lemon, apple cider vinegar, and cayenne pepper. This makes drinking water a little less boring experience and really kickstarts your day.
Also, remember to hydrate before you caffeinate because coffee and other caffeinated products are dehydrators. This means it will further dehydrate your body before your body gets a chance to rejuvenate. So put down the mug for a minute and grab a glass of water!
3. Eat a healthy breakfast.
I am sure you have heard many times that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” but this statement is not one to ignore. Food is fuel for your body and you should start the day on full, not empty. Not only should you eat breakfast, but you should fuel your body with something nutritious.
Wake up with enough time to make something easy and healthy in the morning. There are so many things to make without even leaving your dorm room. My go-to breakfast is a three-minute meal; I microwave oats and add in some almond milk, chocolate protein powder, almond butter, and cacao nibs. It has the perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to give your brain and body the proper power for the day. It will also keep you full and focused while you sit in class or do work.
4. Let the sunlight in.
The sun is the world’s alarm clock and you can’t click snooze on this one. Waking up in a dark room makes you want to stay under the covers, but waking up in a bright room makes you feel more awake and ready for the day. Keep your blinds a crack open so as the sun rises, your body wakes up naturally. This allows you to slowly come out of a deep sleep, so when your alarm clock goes off it will not be as startling. As you go about your mindful morning, open up the blinds and let the sunlight in because it will surely brighten your day.
5. Center your mind.
Taking the time to do a quick morning stretch, write down your goals for the day, or do a one-minute meditation and breathing exercise will help center your mind. By taking a few minutes to center yourself, you can set your intentions and lead a more productive day. For people who are musically motivated, play music in the morning that will boost your mood and get your day started on the right beat!
These tips can help you start off the day on the right foot and they may even help you become a morning person. Ever since I developed a healthy morning routine, I genuinely am excited to wake up and have my morning me-time. So give yourself time in the morning to enjoy the sunlight, coffee, and calm before the busy day. Better mornings will result in better days, and we should make the best of each one.
COVER PHOTO: The Blissful Mind