NEW YORK – Are you always in a bad mood when you wake up? Do you skip breakfast? A few simple changes can transform your mornings.
1. Waking up with a jerk and hitting the gym
Mornings are slowdown time. Give yourself time to wake up quietly and move your muscles slowly. Says spiritual guru Mohanji, “When you wake up, turn to your right and get up from the bed. This balances the energy flow, which is latent during sleep.” Yoga expert Abhishek Sharma says, “What we do soon after we wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day. Mistakes in the morning have adverse effects on the quality of our day, and over a period of time, lead to serious consequences on our health and well-being. Spend a few minutes in silence, take deep breaths, sip room temperature water.”
2. Not stretching
When we wake up, our muscles, particularly the spine, is a bit stiff. Waking up without stretching makes us carry this stiffness, which compromises our productivity through the day. Move gently after waking up. If you have tight hamstrings and calves, stretch them. Just three to four gentle stretches and a few deep breaths will help.
3. Starting your day with a cup of tea
The secret of good metabolism is not to start your day with a cup of tea but something alkaline. Says yoga and fitness expert Mini Shastri, “Don’t start your day with something acidic like tea or coffee with sugar and milk. Drink lime juice and water. Follow it up with white tea or quality green tea.”
4. Checking your phone
Author Julie Morgenstern wrote in her best-seller Never Check Email In The Morning And Other Unexpected Strategies For Making Your Work Life Work, “You don’t have to immediately solve the world’s problems in the first two hours after you wake up. Your energy should be first focussed on the most important jobs, not the least important. Check your emails only once you reach office. Checking them in the morning won’t really make you productive. On the contrary, it’ll put you in an unhappy mood.” Corporate guru Azim Jamal starts his day with the hour of power or what he calls 20:20:20. “20 minutes exercise, 20 minutes meditation and 20 minutes of reading something uplifting,” says Jamal.
5. Skipping breakfast
A slew of recent reports link skipping breakfast to obesity, diabetes and weak immunity.
In fact, Harvard School of Public Health has said that missing breakfast puts extra strain on the body. Wellness expert Ramon Lamba says, “If you skip breakfast, you will end up making wrong food choices through the day. You don’t have to have breakfast like a king, but you do need to eat something.” In the morning, blood sugar levels are low because there’s a long gap between dinner and breakfast time. If we do not eat something in about half an hour of waking up, the levels dip further making us lethargic. Another big mistake is to start the day with sugar in tea, biscuits, etc. Fitness expert Leena Mogre says, “Begin the day with a few soaked almonds, whole wheat bread, rotis or some fruit. This raises the blood sugar levels gradually.”
6. Waking up grumpy
Most people have cluttered and over-busy mornings. They abuse their maids, curse the traffic and everyone else around them. But the good news, according to mood researcher Allison G. Harvey, Ph.D, professor of psychology at the University of California, is that morning bad mood lasts only for about 20 minutes! Actress Manisha Koirala says, “I think the worst thing people can do is to begin their day with noise or being grouchy. It blocks positive energies. Tranquillity in the morning time is the most important thing. Before 10 am, try to listen to natural soothing sounds of nature – birdcalls, sounds of ocean, chanting of mantras.”
7. Not planning the day ahead
Do you pack your clothes and plan your meals a day in advance? Says Mogre, “The biggest mistake people make is not planning in advance. It may be unappealing to think about the next morning after a long day, but plan your meals and set your clothes aside. Prep up your breakfast, the night before.”
8. Getting nicotine-or-caffeine `hit’
A lot of people reach for their pack of cigarettes or that strong black coffee as soon as they get up. With the body away from any nourishment for several hours, and mornings being the best time for digestive juices to work – a cigarette or a strong coffee on an empty stomach can devastate the system over a period of time.