Most of us rush around in the morning, compensating for sleeping until the last possible minute or dealing with kids, pets, partners and more.
If you’re not one of those people, congratulations! But I was once upon a time. Now—thanks to trial and error, many messy, late starts, amazing meditation classes with Dr. Michael Beckwith, ten days of cleansing at We Care, shamanic ceremonies and tons of self-help books—I have compiled a shortlist for the best ways to kickstart a happy day:
1. Wake Up & Be Grateful, Then Hydrate
As you open your eyes, say to yourself or out loud how grateful you feel. Sometimes, during more frustrating moments, it can be hard to think of things for which to be grateful. On those days, keep it simple: Be thankful for being alive, healthy, having a job, a dog, a home or any other basic elements in your life. Just listing four or five will get your being in the mode of gratitude, setting the tone for your entire day.
Also, our bodies do serious regenerative work as we sleep. Since we are made of over 75-percent water, it’s no surprise that, when we awake from this work, we are majorly dehydrated. That means our metabolism slows and our brain is forced to operate on less fuel. To jumpstart your metabolism, drink one-liter of warm water with fresh lemon, preferably while saying your gratitude blessings. Sometimes this can even get you in the habit of skipping coffee, which—if consumed too often—can shoot your adrenal system and cause increases in cortisol (that’s the fat producer that you don’t need in excess!).
2. Eat Breakfast
What you eat in the morning will impact how your body processes the rest of your day. Choose hormone optimizers that offer sustained energy. Ideally, you would consume fresh vegetables, a good fat and a protein, something like lentils and avocado. Fitness guru Harley Pasternak teaches that a combination of oatmeal, apples and egg whites makes the perfect frittata to start your day and stay full longer. A smoothie can be a super healthy quick start to the day as well, but just make sure it has protein, fat and veggies. Try an avocado, kale, lemon, apple and beet combo.
3. Stretching Like Dogs & Yogis
Taking ten to fifteen minutes to do basic yoga stretches will awaken your body, stretching and bringing oxygen to the muscles that have been resting. If you can, use a foam roller to release stiffness or tightness and increase blood flow and energy. Our four-legged friends naturally do stretching whenever they rise. Their obvious happiness is proof enough to me that we should do the same, at least just doing a downward dog. This will reinvigorate your body and mind. Also, if you have a cat, dog or other pet, hug it. This will automatically cause love to flow from you and back to you.
4. Consume Positive Content
If watching or reading the news or even scrolling through Instagram is part of your morning habit, please consider choosing to feed yourself something positive beforehand. Your mindset for the day is being set, as well as your energy, productivity and overall mood. Instead, listen to inspiring and motivating music, meditations or podcasts or just read a book. This is also a great moment to sit in front of your vision board, which should be inspiring based on what you’ve chosen to include on it. Regardless of what your choice here is, stick to the positive. Tony Robbins always says to spend at least 30 minutes a day consuming positive information.
Rinsing off your energy from the night before can cleanse your mind as much as your body. If you can handle it, try a cold water rinse too. It will immediately get your blood pumping and make you more naturally alert. This is why so many spas have plunge pools: They are invigorating and proven to increase circulation and heart rate, resulting in all kinds of amazingness.