They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’re not arguing with that. But what about the most important time of the day? The first thing you do in the morning will often set the mood for the day ahead.
Many people will make excuses for not making the bed, eating a solid breakfast or tidying the dishes. But these tasks take mere seconds to do and can set you up for an exceptionally productive and chirpy day ahead. The key is to form a habit. Once the habit is created, everything will proceed like clockwork, and soon, it will become second nature to put your well-being first.
Best of all, you only need five minutes.
1. Wake up
When the alarm goes off (if you have an alarm), wake up immediately. Ignore the temptations to snooze; rather, give yourself 30 seconds or so to do a few deep breathing exercises. Take at least three deep breaths, concentrating on breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. You’ve just woken up from a restful sleep, this slowly eases your mind and body into the day, giving your body time to process being woken.
Hop out of bed and stretch as your body has been idle for at least six hours (it should be more, but we won’t go there). Stand up, put your hands as high as they can go in the air and then gently bend down to touch your toes. Roll your body up, one vertebra at a time. When you get to the top, slowly bring your head up and roll your shoulders back. This not only stretches out your entire back but it also eases your body into the day.
2. Throw open the blinds. Make the bed.
Letting the natural light hit your face first thing in the morning is a sure-fire way to put a smile on your face. Even if it’s overcast and raining outside, natural light increases concentration and focus, a great way to start the day, and the morning light especially can reduce stress and anxiety. Not only that, sunlight helps our brain to produce serotonin, the hormone that improves our mood, and makes us feel happy and well-rested, and produces endorphins, the “feel-good hormone”.
In these first two minutes, it’s also a good idea to make the bed. There are huge benefits to making your bed in the morning, and according to US Navy SEAL Commander Admiral William McRaven, the simple act of making your bed can have a positive impact on your well-being and behaviour – it’s a simple task to undertake, but it creates a sense of pride, purpose and accomplishment.
Already within three minutes of waking up, you’ve achieved something. Isn’t that a great way to start the day?
3. Create your to-do list over breakfast
Think of your breakfast like fuel. Your car needs petrol to run, you need breakfast to function. It doesn’t have to be a huge meal, but it does have to be substantial. Even something as simple as a smoothie, packed to the brim with vegetables, protein and fruits, which can be prepared the night before, can be an excellent start to the day.
While eating breakfast, form your to-do list. What are the top three things you would like to achieve today? They don’t have to be huge tasks, but they do have to be realistic and ensure they are in line with your goals. Write them down to help keep you on task - this also helps to prevent being overwhelmed when other demands arise.
Three simple steps and five minutes. That’s all it takes to set you up for a productive, successful and happy day ahead.
Yvette Timmins is an award-winning Australian florist, and the CEO and founder of Bloom College, who is innovating the floristry and well-being industries by leveraging technology to educate students on the positive energy of flowers. By combining a range of online and offline workshops, courses and an app, Yvette is taking the floristry, health and well-being industries by storm through her unconventional belief that flowers play a pivotal role in the mission towards self-fulfilment.