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If you’re not a morning person, rolling out of bed each day is likely a battle of wills. Your alarm is determined to wake you up, and you’re determined to keep hitting that snooze button. Your daily routine might serve no other purpose than to get you out the door and on your way to wherever you have to be. Efficient, maybe, but not exactly enjoyable.
The good news is that you — whether you’re a morning person or not — can change the way you approach your mornings. I want you to be the architect of your health and happiness, so I’m sharing things you can do to enjoy happier mornings that leave you feeling energized, fulfilled and motivated for the day ahead.
Before you can do any of the other things on this list, you have to get out of bed. Those who have a strong sense of purpose are the happiest to peel back the sheets and start the day. Your life purpose is the reason you get out of bed each day. It’s a reason to begin your day with joy.
Do you remember the last time you woke up excited to jump out of bed and get started? You probably had something special planned. Maybe you were heading off to a week-long vacation with your family. Maybe you were starting your new dream job. Maybe you were meeting an old friend for lunch. You had something to look forward to.
Anyone can start the day with a sense of purpose and excitement. All you have to do is give each morning purpose. And on those days when you don’t have something big planned (because let’s face it, how often is that the case?), you need only a small goal to achieve that happiness. As long as it’s something important to you, you’ll start your day with more happiness and confidence than ever before.
One of the best ways to achieve a healthier and happier life is through movement. Exercising and moving with purpose relieves stress, increases positivity and combats depression. Starting your day with purposeful movement is a great way to instantly boost your mood. Feeling rushed? Even five minutes will get the job done! If you don’t have a gym membership or get bored with the same exercise routine, you’re in luck. Below are several options that will make your mornings happier.
You’ve heard it a million times. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. If mornings leave you in dire need of a pick-me-up, you can increase your energy and happiness with healthy, feel-good foods that are proven to boost your mood.
Oatmeal, flaxseeds, eggs, sardines, broccoli, spinach, yogurt, cottage cheese, fresh fruit, whole-grain toast, and fresh fruit juices will leave you feeling satisfied and cheerful.
If your mornings are typically rushed, crawl out of bed earlier to ensure time to prepare and enjoy something healthy and delicious. A good breakfast fuels you for the day ahead and nourishes your body and soul.
Connection and social support are very important to your mental health and give you that needed boost. Make the effort to spend time with your tribe. These are the people you love – and are loved by – the most. Starting your day with a friend does wonders for your mood.
Make plans to meet for breakfast, take a walk or sweat your way through a group class at the gym. Even a morning phone call can do the trick. You’ll feel happier and more confident for the rest of the day.
Sleep and your mental health are deeply connected. The less sleep you get, the more likely you are to feel depressed, anxious, irritable or downright cranky.
Getting a good eight hours of sleep nightly will result in more alertness, optimism, and energy. Simply put: well-rested people are happy people.
Try going to bed an hour earlier than usual. You might feel restless at first, but your body will catch on and realize it’s time to settle in for the night. You’ll likely wake up feeling purposeful, productive and ready to tackle the day!
Make the commitment to change the way you approach your mornings. When your alarm clock is sounding off, it can be tempting to curl up under the covers for just a little bit longer (hello, snooze button!). But instead, choose happiness!
I encourage you to find that special purpose that will get you out of bed each day. Then, take some time to move with purpose. Throw in an energizing breakfast, some social bonding with those you love and a good night’s sleep to prepare you for the next morning, and you’ll become more of a morning person than you ever thought possible.
The light in me honors the light in you. Namaste.
You can find this and other health articles by Dr. Partha Nandi, M.D., F.A.C.P. on his website, Ask Dr. Nandi.
A survivor of rheumatic heart disease, Dr. Partha Nandi M.D., F.A.C.P. grew up to become one of America’s leading patient advocates. His devotion towards educating and empowering others to “Be Your Own Health Hero” stemmed from the empathy and care he received from his father and his first Health Hero, Dr. Chandrasekhar, during his 10 day stay in the hospital and yearlong recovery.
After graduating at the top of his class and obtaining a medical degree at Wayne State University, Dr. Partha Nandi completed his gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and has been a practicing physician for over 20 years. Throughout his career, Dr. Nandi authored several publications and spoke at TedX, college commencements, charity events, and international conferences, advocating ways to improve the quality and access to health care. He has also collaborated with The World Health Organization and partnered with the Ministries of Health in Jamaica and India.
Dr. Partha Nandi currently practices gastroenterology full-time in Detroit, Michigan, where he holds the title of Chief Health Editor for WXYZ ABC Detroit. He is also the creator and host of a medical lifestyle television show, Ask Dr. Nandi, and a speaker at conferences and premier medical meetings to share his mission and empower everyone “To Be Your Own Health Hero.”