You’ve probably already seen them, walking among us. They look pretty much like everybody else, except they seem to be smiling and full of energy in the morning, even when it’s cold or dark outside. It’s almost like they’re… happy?
A solid morning routine sets the foundation for feeling energized, motivated and satisfied. The secret to having a great day – and indeed, a rosier outlook on life overall – often begins with a good morning, and happy people know this very well.
Here are five things you can begin doing every morning to improve your mood and be happier.
They Wake Up Early And At The Same Time
Even though sleeping in is one of life’s sweetest pleasures, it may not be the best way to start your day. The joy of ignoring the rising sun often gives way to a general feeling of sluggishness and perhaps even panic (especially if you’re running late for work!). If you’re always waking up at different times, your body may struggle to adjust to a natural sleep pattern. You’ll always feel foggy, as if you were just shaken awake from a deep sleep.
Additionally, having a leisurely morning means you have time to set yourself up for success by doing all the other things on this list. If you’re the type of person who needs a full eight hours then make sure you hit the hay early, and give yourself time to breathe in the morning.
They Eat A Satisfying Breakfast
Everyone knows that skipping breakfast is a sure-fire recipe for crankiness. Not only does a good breakfast rev up your metabolism from its overnight slumber, but it also dictates your energy levels all day long. No matter what you choose, make sure your breakfast contains protein and complex carbohydrates to allow your brain to concentrate and focus, as well as control your appetite until lunch time.
Better yet, choose a healthy, hearty breakfast you look forward to every morning – whether it’s a bowl of piping-hot oatmeal on a cold winter’s day, or a refreshing fruit smoothie after your morning workout – knowing that a satisfying meal is just around the corner can give you some much-needed pep in the A.M.
Notice we said “move,” not “exercise.” While some people love to run before sunrise or go to a 6 A.M. spinning class, formal exercise isn’t the only way to benefit from morning movement. Something as simple as a 10-minute stroll walking your dog or even just some light yoga poses when you get out of bed will wake up your body, get the blood flowing, and help you feel physically ready to start your day.
They Appreciate Little Things In Their Morning Routine
This tip will be different for everyone, but it speaks to a few items on this list already. A satisfying breakfast or a good sweat session is often enough to put a spring in some people’s morning step, but it doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Come up with a few small tweaks in your routine that will motivate you to get out of bed and get going – for example, a “getting ready” playlist with your favourite pump-up tunes, a new podcast to listen to look forward to on your commute, or catching up on the news for 15 minutes before heading out the door.
They Plan For The Day
Feeling a sense of accomplishment at the end of each day is critical to maintaining happiness. It may be as simple as jotting down a quick to-do list before heading out the door.
Being organized and writing things down on paper gives many people a sense of calm and order. Plus, the list will provide a visual reminder of everything you’ve completed that day and you’ll feel great each time you get to cross off a task. Here’s another tip: put a few super easy tasks on the list to get the ball rolling (including that 10-minute morning stretch/yoga you’ve just completed).
Maintaining a positive outlook throughout the day is a challenge for all of us, and you’re not going to have a great day every day. However, by implementing these five strategies, you’ll be setting yourself up for success — and you may find that you’re happier, too.