We all know that waking up early in the morning makes us more productive. Since our childhood, we were taught to follow, “early to bed and early to rise” as a ritual. Waking up at the crack of dawn and starting our day in the right way makes us more productive and purposeful.
In this technology-driven world, the first thing we do as soon as we open our eyes is check our mobile phones for messages, emails, updates, etc. that we might have missed during our resting time. But do you know that it’s an unhealthy habit that negatively impacts the rest of your day?
According to a study from IDC, about 80 percent of smartphone users check their mobile phones within 15 minutes of waking up every morning. Doctors today concur that immediately checking your phone as soon as you wake up can start your day off in a way that is more likely to increase stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed. In other words, you are ruining your day before it even begins.
1. Make your bed
As simple as it might sound, making your own bed right after you wake up drastically improves the quality of your day. The way we do one thing is the way we do everything, and discipline in all aspects of life is the key to success. William H. McRaven, who extolled the virtues of making your bed every morning in a viral 2014 University of Texas commencement speech, even wrote a book on the subject, Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World. Making our bed as soon as we wake up gives us a sense of satisfaction, inspiring us to do more.
2. Stretch your body
It is common for your body to become rigid and low in energy during sleep hours. Doing gentle stretches right after waking up loosens your muscles and helps with flexibility. Even five minutes of stretching relieves unwanted tension from your ligaments and joints, improves blood circulation and makes you feel more active.
3. Be grateful
Start your day with gratitude and positive affirmations. Be happy for another day in your life amidst the chaos and craziness of the world. Count your blessings and not your troubles. Cherishing what you have helps you value what life has to offer and creates positivity in life. Use the power of “I am” positive affirmations first thing in the morning — stand in front of the mirror to have a talk with the most amazing person of your life…yourself. Be kind to yourself and practice self-love everyday.
4. Keep your body hydrated
Replace caffeine with lukewarm water to keep yourself hydrated. I recently drinking the juice of three lemons followed by a glass of lukewarm water every morning. Within one week of starting this ritual, my skin and hair look healthier, and I feel like a completely new person. Some people prefer making breakfast their biggest and most important meal. Others follow intermittent fasting and eat only certain hours during the day. Regardless of what eating pattern you follow, always honor the food on your plate. Be mindful of every bite you are putting in your mouth, which will improve your digestion and eventually your productivity. A constipated gut leads to a clogged brain and affects our decision-making abilities.
5. Exercise your body and brain
We are complete only when our bodies and mind are in sync with each other. Yoga and meditation are great ways to bring synchronicity between body and mind. Setting aside few minutes every morning to focus on your breath will set the tone for the rest of your day. Twenty minutes of meditation will help you stay focused, cheerful and optimistic for the next 24 hours of your day. The most important factor in starting your day with enthusiasm is good sleep. Maintaining a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep helps avoid exhaustion and irritation the next day.
Repeat the above every 24 hours to stay content and happy for life. Easy, right?
This article originally appeared in Entrepreneur.