The way we start our day makes a huge difference to our productivity, energy and mood throughout the day. Here are 7 rituals that, if you stick to them, will change drastically your days.

1. Wake up early

And early means 7am or even earlier. If you can do 6:00, even better. Sure it won’t be easy if you are used to waking up at 8 or later, but you can approach it with two strategies:

 

Why should we wake up early? To make good use of the day is the obvious answer, but surely you remember days in which you had to get up early for whatever reason and how good it felt to see the sunrise and to hear the birds wake up with you (if it’s winter, I’m with you – not so tempting, but worth doing it anyway).

2. Meditate for 5 or 10 minutes

“Meditation” is a word that could scare many and people usually relate it immediately with spirituality. But meditation and spirituality are not necessarily connected, and a guided meditation will boost your energy (don’t ask me why, it just does). Try it a few days and you’ll see. There are quite a few apps that offer short guided sessions.

3. Add a 2-minute stretching routine

After meditating, you will want to stretch your muscles.

We often feel stiff in the mornings and need to stretch. We usually stretch a bit our neck, our chest, and off we go. Give it a bit longer. Stretching will increase your flexibility and range of motion in your muscles and joints. It will improve your circulation and relieve any tension in your body.

4. Work out

You can go for a walk, a jog, to the gym, or whatever you prefer. Even 20 minutes is good. It’s amazing how much exercising helps in our energy and productivity throughout the day. Amazing. It will increase your mental focus and function. If stretching can relieve any physical tension, then exercising will relieve any mental tension. It also creates kind of a shield against bad mood. The more you can do, the better.

5. Have a cold shower (yeah, cold… sorry)

Honestly, I haven’t been brave enough to try this one yet – it sounds more horrifying that soothing to me – but I still need to mention it since it apparently has many benefits, among others, it increases alertness, refines hair and skin, improves immunity and circulation, and eases stress.

6. Now go a have a good breakfast

Not super abundant because you may feel sluggish during the rest of morning, but rich. Rich in proteins and fiber.

7. Plan your day

Instead of reading the news while having breakfast, focus on everything you need to accomplish during the day and organize your activities so you don’t go crazy with things to do later or miss appointments.

This is a routine that can take you between 60 and 90 minutes. You don’t need to do it everyday, but you will surely want to since you will feel energized and generally better from day 1.

The way you start your day will condition the rest of it. If you feel you need to improve the quality of your sleep first, then you will want to read this article on sleeping less but better.

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