I used to wake up each morning with no time to get ready. I'd be totally rushed and scrambling to get out of the door. The rest of the day, I'd be agitated, feeling like I was never in control. Sadly I know far too many people exactly like this — and it's time to break the cycle.
I did it by creating a kick-ass morning routine and focusing on five key, healthy habits. For anyone looking to crank up their energy, productivity and happiness each day, this outline is a simple solution. Here are five steps I follow each morning:
1. Hydrate as soon as you wake up.
Your body becomes incredibly dehydrated while you’re sleeping. When you’re dehydrated your metabolism slows down and your brain has less fuel to operate.
To jump-start your metabolism, the absolute first thing you should do every morning is to drink one litter of room temperature lemon water. Don’t go right to coffee, don’t eat and don’t dive into yesterday's leftovers. Just head right to the water.
2. Create a 15-minute stretch routine.
If you don't have a foam roller I recommend buying one. It will become your best friend. You can take it with you to the gym, have it beside your bed and it will even watch Netflix with you as you roll away your muscle tightness.
How does this help to have more energy? When we sleep, our muscles are inactive for long periods of time, blood flow decreases and less oxygen is in the muscle tissue. Stretching helps to increase flexibility and wake up your muscles.
I like to do dynamic stretches (like high knees or jumping jacks) and some yoga poses to get my muscles engaged and activated. After that, I’ll spend a few minutes foam rolling any tight muscles.
3. Eat a hormone-optimizing breakfast.
What you eat in the morning will set the tone for your day. You want to choose foods that will optimize your hormones for sustained energy and fat burning. I find I could eat a large pizza in the evening with little effect on how I look — as long as my breakfast and day is rock solid.
Here is the breakfast formula to set you up for success: Protein plus fat plus veggies. (Think eggs with spinach and avocado.)
Notice there aren't carbs in this equation. If you do decide to have some, stick to ones that low on the glycemic index and high in fiber, so you don’t spike your insulin levels.
4. Feed your mind with positivity.
While it’s key to get your body ready for the day, setting a positive mindset will also affect your energy and productivity.
Spend some time each morning feeding your mind with something positive, inspiring and motivating like reading a book, listening to an audio book or a podcast, while going for a short walk. Or, perform an exercise in mindfulness, such as meditation or envisioning out your future.
5. Take a cold shower.
To be perfectly honest, there are going to be some days when you do everything listed above and still feel tired. This is unavoidable.
Yet there is one way to combat that feeling: Take a cold shower! Cold showers actually have a ton of benefits that hot showers don’t. They increase your alertness and energy by increasing your heart rate and getting more blood pumping through your veins getting you primed for the day.
Practice these five habits to optimize your alertness throughout the day. You’ll be amazed at how different you feel after following these tips for a couple of weeks!