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Published November 02, 2011, 11:30 PM

Mathison: Get your day off to a great start

“Falling back” as our clocks shift and as we gain an extra hour is a little easier on our systems than springing ahead. Even with the extra hour, mornings can be a challenge. Most productivity and personal development experts will agree that the early bird gets the worm. Tony Robbins talks about the Hour of Power as a great way to get your day going.

By: Dr. Susan Mathison, Areavoices blogger, INFORUM

“Falling back” as our clocks shift and as we gain an extra hour is a little easier on our systems than springing ahead.

Even with the extra hour, mornings can be a challenge. Most productivity and personal development experts will agree that the early bird gets the worm. Tony Robbins talks about the Hour of Power as a great way to get your day going.

I’ve experienced the same and try to start my day in a way that sets me up for success. I also believe that different people work best at different times, and there are morning larks and night owls. These are described as inherited traits in the sleep literature.

But no matter when your productive hours are, it’s important you set up your day for greater well-being with some healthy morning rituals. Here are my tips for a great start in the morning:

  • Say no to the snooze button. Jump out of bed as if someone threw a bucket of cold water on you. Half of your day’s success is actually showing up and being excited. Even if you still feel foggy, get out of bed the minute your alarm rings.

  • Drink a pint of cold water first thing in the morning. If you don’t like water on its own, squeeze some fresh lime into it. After being without fluids for several hours, your body is dehydrated – you need fluids and the cold water will also stimulate your metabolism.

  • Bright light will help you energize. Exposure to light, especially sunlight is invigorating. It signals the brain that it’s time to get going, and turns off the production of melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone.

  • Enjoy the silence for a few minutes. Be mindful of your blessings. Think about the day ahead, and anticipate that it will be great.

  • Stretch and move. Research shows that a morning workout triggers positive endorphins and lowers stress hormones for most of the day. Every other day, make it an interval session of fast bursts of activity to turn on fat-burning hormones for the next 36 hours.

  • Brush your tongue as well as your teeth. Lose the morning breath and start off minty fresh. Research shows that a tongue scraper works even better.

  • Aromatherapy in your shower. Scents like mint, citrus and eucalyptus are a great pick-me-up.

  • Drink green tea. Instead of coffee, have a cup of green tea. Boosts your energy, provides antioxidants and has been promoted as a great natural healthy option.

  • Eat breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking to get your metabolism going. All research points to breakfast being the most important meal of your day. Make sure you include protein, healthy fats and some complex carbs to help with appetite control for the rest of the day and prevent the mid-morning slump.

  • Journal. I find that writing things out helps me be creative and problem solve, especially in retrospect.

  • Take care of yourself, before the rest of your world wakes up. Once kids, spouses and pets are awake, it’s harder to give yourself time to get a great start. Setting the alarm for your own personal power hour makes sense.

  • Start the night before. Make your list of to-do’s. Plan ahead for breakfast and lunch. And get a good night’s sleep!


    Dr. Susan Mathison founded Catalyst Medical Center in Fargo and created PositivelyBeautiful.com to share her thoughts on beauty, wellness and life. She blogs at positivelybeautiful.areavoices.com

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