Not everyone enjoys early starts, but there are some steps you can follow to help you become a morning person.
‘Daily routines help us to stay focused, maintain productivity and feel fulfilled by activating the reward system in our brains when we complete tasks,’ says Alister Gray, executive leadership coach, mindset expert and founder of Mindful Talent . ‘Routines bring a level of certainty and security amidst a time when uncertainty can often feel overwhelming.’
It’s natural to feel a lack of motivation with a change in daily structure, and we may find ourselves sleeping in more than we used to. However, during these moments of uncertainty, maintaining a routine is key, and Alister adds that waking up early allows us the time to prepare ourselves for the day ahead.
But does the thought of an early start send fear through your veins? And routine seems impossible? Three experts share their tips to find motivation first thing and turn yourself into a morning person… Westend61/Getty
What you eat can help you to stick to a routine. Nutritionist Jenna Hope recommends eggs, as the yolks contain choline, which is pivotal for supporting memory, mood, and cognition. As well as eggs, enjoy oily fish and nuts.
‘Omega-3 in oily fish is associated with improved concentration and better cognitive performance. Nuts (specifically walnuts) and seeds are also a source of ALA omega-3 which is converted into EPA and DHA, the active forms of omega-3,’ Jenna explains. ‘Vitamin D from the sun as well as foods such as salmon, mushrooms and eggs can boost brain power.’ yacobchukGetty Images A good night’s sleep can make you feel like a new person. And that’s not surprising when you consider just how many health benefits sleeping well can have.
‘Sleep supports the proteins and cells of your immune system to detect and destroy bugs and germs. Sleep also helps to reduce stress, support mental wellbeing and improve heart health,’ says Euan MacLennan, herbal director at Pukka Herbs and medical herbalist at an NHS practice in London.
‘Research shows that side effects from herbal medicines for sleep are rarely experienced, particularly compared to over-the-counter medicines. Some of my favourite natural remedies to support sleep include ashwagandha, valerian and oats – which naturally contain tryptophan, helping to regulate our bodies circadian rhythms,’ Euan adds. kieferpixGetty Images Yoga and meditation teacher, Kirsty Gallagher , recommends meditating for five to 10 minutes upon waking.
‘Sit quietly as soon as you get up and focus on your breath; deep breath in and deep breath out, allowing yourself to become calm and present. As thoughts come into your mind don’t get caught up in them or dwell on them, simply acknowledge them and let them go, returning your mind back to your breath.
‘Feel the calm, the peace, the presence. This one pause will make the biggest shift to your day and all that follows.’ yipenggeGetty Images Kirsty recommends downloading podcasts or audio books from some of the world’s most inspirational people.
‘Allowing their words to infuse and shape your day can be really beneficial, particularly if you begin your mornings listening to their positive mantras. From Robin Sharma to Anthony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle to the Dalai Lama, to Louise L Hay or Oprah Winfrey,’ she says. ‘There are lots of amazing and accessible guides.’ Getty
For Lucy Gornall, personal trainer at DigMe Fitness , the big secret to being a morning person is simply getting to bed earlier. ‘I go to sleep between half 9 and 10 and find that getting up at 5 is barely an issue as I will have had at least 7 hours sleep,’ she says.
A nighttime routine to help relax your body and bring a sense of calm is essential. Why not try a soothing and organic night time tea ? Mayur KakadeGetty Images
Journaling was big in 2019 and it’s even bigger in 2020. Alister explains that a great way to develop motivation is to connect to your reason ‘why’.
He explains: ‘If you are unsure of your “why”, then spend time considering this. Journaling as part of a morning routine is a great way to delve deeper into your motivations, asking questions such as, “What would make today great?”, “What am I grateful for today?” and “What inspires me most in life?”‘ Zulman/Getty
‘Take a moment to make a pact with yourself that you will wake up earlier tomorrow than you did today, and then in small increments each day, work towards the desired time,’ says Alister.
‘If you are waking at 8am and you wish to wake up at 6am, I’d suggest that you break it down; aim for 7.45am and reduce it by 5/10/15 minutes each day.’ Patcharin Saenlakon / EyeEm/Getty
Lucy says that placing your alarm across the room means you have to physically get up to turn it off. ‘When you’re up, stay up, and crack on with the rest of your day,’ she advises.
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