February 21, 2011

Balanced Beginnings: a Guide to Starting a Stress-Free Day.



Morning is always the most important part of the day. Who can argue with that?
 
Getting your day started right from the minute you wake up will guarantee 
(at least to the largest extent of your control) that...
  • you will have plenty of time for all your tasks and “me” breaks 
  • (remember about our 10-minute exercise breaks?),
  • stress won’t even dare get close to you,
  • you will have plenty of energy during the day and in general,
  • your day will be balanced and pleasant.
Let’s dive into the secrets of starting your day the right way.

 Prepare for an amazing morning

The most important part is to go to bed at reasonable time. How many hours of sleep do you need to feel well-rested? Each person is different and while some feel great after only 6 hours of sleep others will require 8-9 full hours of zzzzzz. I personally know that my body needs 8 hours of sleep and unless I get that much I feel tired and low on energy the next day.


 Start Your Day with Proper Breakfast

It is often said that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I can also add that Breakfast is the easiest-to-skip meal of the day.
We often miss out on breakfast because we do not have time to fix it, we are not hungry or we are trying to shed a few pounds. Unfortunately this eating habit makes you eat more during lunch and later that day, it also makes you crave high-energy (read: high in fat and refined carbs) foods. 
It makes you moody and irritated.
In the morning our bodies are getting out of the night fast (just think about it, night is the longest period for starving our body!) By the afternoon glycogen supplies (molecules that work as primary energy sources for the body) start to deplete. By lunch you start feeling fatigued, you lose your focus and the ability to think fast and make decisions. Usually in this state you reach for a cup of coffee with a high-carb treat which makes your blood sugar levels shoot out of the roof only making you even more fatigued in an hour or so. 


 Exercise

Exercise is an important routine that will help your body wake up and will energize you for the entire day. Morning runs or gym workouts might not be for everybody in the morning but thankfully there are other ways to exercise.
  • Start your day with a 10-15 minute gentle stretch.
  • Try a Yoga warm-up – Sun Salutation.
  • Go for a 15-20 minute walk if you have time.
  • Dance to your favorite song.
  • Do any other exercise that you like.
The most important thing about exercise is to do at least something. Choose one particular exercise or routine that you will do no matter what. If you woke up late or not feeling good do just 5 minutes of simple exercises. Examples:
  • Jumping jacks,
  • Crunches,
  • Pushups,
  • Squats,
  • Lunges,
  • Active stretches (do not start by lying down on the floor or you will slip back into the Dreamland immediately.)
You can set up a timer and try to get maximum amount of exercises into just 5 minutes. Modify exercises to suit your fitness level and goals.


 Create your morning routine

Routines might seem boring but they can be a great way to start your day when your brain is not completely running at full speed yet. Try to make your routine productive and creative and do not include things like watching TV or checking email in this routine. Your routine should eliminate all distractions and help your mind focus on work or important tasks of the day.
Make a habit to do at least one thing regularly every morning. It will be a sign to your body and brain to wake u and start the day. I start every morning with a big glass of water with juice of half a lemon. This drink energizes me better than coffee and gives me a good boost of vitamin C.

 Morning Don’ts

There are things that can make your day great and balanced and there are things that will steal your time and leave you in mid-morning frustration. Here is the list of things that you SHOULD NOT DO first thing in the morning if you want to start a great day:
  • Watch TV
  • Check your email
  • Read newspapers, watch news or use any other way of emerging yourself into the ocean of world problems
  • Surf the web
  • Worry about the problems of the previous day from the minute you open your eyes
  • Be a perfectionist (it’s okay if your bed is not perfectly made)
  • Start your day with an argument.
 Images via we heart it.

 Wake up your creativity

In the morning your brain is fresh and is ready to produce amazing ideas a
nd solve the most difficult tasks.
Try to set 20-30 minutes aside to write in your journal in the morning or start a personal blog. 
You can
  • reflect on your life,
  • write down thoughts that popped up in your head when you woke up,
  • analyze situations that seemed stressful,
  • do a few creativity exercises that broaden your outlook and help you find solutions to different problems.
Journaling has a lot of health benefits, one of them being stress relief. Other proven benefits of journaling include improved cognitive function, stronger immune system, decreased symptoms of asthma, arthritis and other chronic conditions as well as more positive attitude towards life (positivity is one of the cornerstones of life balance.)

 Devote time to your spiritual needs

Nourishing our body in the morning is important but taking care of our inner peace and feeding our spirituality is even more vital.
Start your day with a prayer: be thankful for what you have in life, 
ask for wisdom and advice with your daily tasks.
If you are a Christian as I am read a few verses from the Bible and set aside 
some time to talk to God.
If you are not a Christian then at least spend this time meditating.


This post was written by Anastasiya. Follow her on Twitter or StumbleUpon and keep your life balanced

Happy Monday to All. Love Lisa.

10 comments:

  1. Great post! I dont have time to wake up properly before work but I will keep these in mind for my weekends! Great inspiration and thanks for all your comments on my blog!

    xoxo Monroe

    Fashion Steele NYC

    ReplyDelete
  2. great tips! I do breakfast every morning, can't live without it. But it's the exercise I'm lacking. Thanks for the motivational post!

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  3. Oh My! I'm guilty of all the wrong things. Yes I do have some bad habits in my morning routine....reading the paper, watching tv and eating bagels every single morn. You've shared great tips here and gave me a kick start to better habits.


    Thanks for dropping by my blog! Come back soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, just came across your blog...nice post! I always start my day with my emails. I'm going to rethink that one, but I agree on the journaling. I started 7 years ago, and never stopped! Now I'm blogging and love it! Have a great day :)

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  5. What a great post! I think I do nearly all the dont's! Lots of things to work on there!

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  6. Loved this post. I need at least 7 hours of sleep, but sometimes menopause has other ideas. grrrr!

    Loved reading your tips.

    Hugs,
    Kat

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  7. What a fantastic post! I really needed to read this today as I'm super tired. I'm all over the jumping jacks and lunges!
    Following you from the Tuesday Hop. If you get a few seconds come by and see me!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Lisa,
    Nice to meet you. I'm stopping by from FMBT and am your newest follower. Great post.
    Have a great week,
    Stacy
    www.sjunkie.com

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a wonderful post.
    I love mornings, I don't work until the evening so they are my 'me' time, filled with cups of tea and reading things I had forgotten were so wonderful!

    ReplyDelete

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