If, for the next 30 minutes, you had no work or personal responsibilities to tend to, what would you do? Catch up on a few chapters in your book? Go for a short stroll? Squeeze in some meditation? I’d take the dogs for a quick walk around the neighborhood or work in the garden.
By waking up just 30 minutes earlier each day, you can make these wishes a reality and change the whole course of your day. It’s time for you to break the snooze alarm addiction and take time for yourself each morning.
A month ago, I decided to overhaul my daily schedule. By starting my day earlier, I’ve found I’m more productive and genuinely happy. Here’s a few ways to spend those 30 minutes wisely.
1. Start your day with exercise. I prefer to wake up my body and get mentally focused with 20 minutes of yoga. The gentle stretching makes it easier to sit at a desk for hours at work and helps me clear my head before a busy day.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast. If you’re in the habit of grabbing fast food or snacking on a sugary muffin each morning, try something new. Wake up 30 minutes earlier and prepare a healthy, full breakfast. Scramble some eggs. Enjoy homemade jam on toast. Slice a fresh peach. Sip a cup of coffee and gaze out the window. When I make time for a real breakfast, I avoid unhealthy snacks before my lunch break.
3. Spend time with pets. The dogs are always ready for some leash time, even first thing in the morning. During the quiet morning hours, why not take the dog for a walk and enjoy the sunrise together? Time with my pets helps center me for the day ahead.
4. Read something. Do you feel like you’ve been neglecting your magazine subscriptions? Do you feel guilty for not reading the newspaper until after work? Get up 30 minutes earlier to catch up on the day’s events or make a dent in that novel you’ve been pining to read. You’ll feel ahead of the game before your workday even starts.
5. Tackle light tasks. Sort the laundry, wash a load of dishes, or vacuum the living room. Completing just one small household task at the start of the day can make you feel organized, energized and ready to take on tasks at work.
6. Build relationships. Make waking up 30 minutes earlier a family affair. Spend the time enjoying a walk together, making pancakes for breakfast with the kids, or chatting with your sweetheart about plans for later in the week. Sneaking in a little extra bonding time can wipe away that feeling that you’re not getting enough family time.
What do you do to get your day started? Please share the healthy ways you greet the morning in the comments below.
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