Monday, November 16, 2009

8 healthy ways to start your day

If you've been reading the last couple of weeks or if you just been around me, you know that these last couple of weeks have been kind of low for me. I've been sick, frustrated, and tired.  So, when things like that happen, I look for ways to perk up, to feel happy, and to give myself credit for the things I already do for myself that make me happy and healthy. I came across these 8 healthy ways to start your day because I follow Cool Running on twitter and I like them.

1- Wake up your senses. They suggest filling your bedroom with colours, fragrances and music that you like.  This makes me glad that I got to pick my bedroom colour- I really enjoy the "Rye Moss" that we picked. While I won't be burning any scented candles overnight, I might just figure out how to incorporate good smells into my tiny bedroom.

2- Reach for the sky. I guess stretching is a great way to start the day. I already do a little of this, but I might throw in a few extended child's poses and "mimic a cat" like they suggest.

3- Make a promise to yourself. The suggestion is "As soon as you wake up, think of on nice thing you can do for yourself that day". I love this idea. Whether it is reminding myself that I'm doing yoga at lunch on Monday and that's a darn nice thing that I'm doing for myself, or deciding that I'll give myself a break or treat myself to a latte, I think I'm going to get on board with this.

4- Indulge in a water massage. I think using my shower time to relax and just let the water both wash my greasy hair AND wash away my stress is a great way to start the day. I'll have to keep that in mind from now on. Now if only my water pressure was a little better it would truly feel like a water massage.

5- Break the fast. They suggest a high-fiber breakfast full of whole grains, fruit, and low-fat protein. I always have breakfast and it almost always involves all three of those elements (although the fruit sometimes lacks once berries are out of season). I didn't used to, but now that I'm used to eating breakfast every morning, I actually wake up hungry and I can't imagine starting my day without eating.

6- Find joy in journalling. Their words are "Let your mind wander to an enjoyable memory. Then write down your thoughts and feelings about that memory. It could be just the boost your morning needs." Do mental notes count? Beacuse I don't know what kind of time they have in the morning, but I have my morning timed pretty much down to the minute and I think I'd have a hard time doing this to start my day...but I can see how it might work for some people. I think I'd just rather sleep a few more minutes and keep the writing for after work.

7- Move it in the morning. Exercising in the morning means that it is done and that you've taken time for your health before life and the rest of the day get in the way. While I don't usually run or work out in the morning (every so often I'll get up extra early and do it) I do enjoy the fact that I can walk to work. I find the brisk walk gets my blood flowing, my muscles moving (especially if I worked out hard the day before) and just feels good! Plus, I don't have to worry about traffic frustrations, bus strikes or just crazy bus people.

8- Fight that foggy-headed feeling. Their words are "If you're not a morning person, trying to multitask first thing is a recipe for a rough start. Concentrate on important tasks one at a time, and give yourself enough time to get ready. It helps some folks to have a morning blastoff checklist." I definitely understand this one. I can concentrate on ONE thing at a time in the morning and I think it amazes some people that it takes me more than an hour to get going once I get out of bed (seriously- it took me three tries to find my hair-dryer this morning and not only was it in the same place it always is, but I use it EVERY day). I know it takes me a long time to wake up and feel functional, so I try my best to plan accordingly.

I think I would also like to add a 3a to this list- and that is to also make a promise to someone else. While I'm promising myself to do something nice for me, I think I'll also make a promise that I'll do something nice for someone else as well. Whether it is a smile, a compliment, a helping hand or a little post-it, I know that making other people smile also makes me smile- and that sounds like a healthy habit to me.

So- do you do any of these? Do you think you'll start? Do you have a healthy habit of your own? I'd love to hear about it.


Lulu said...

When I was in Quebec City for the summer, I would get up at 5 am and go for a run (even doing the 400 stairs!) - now with the dark and the cold that is Borden I've started doing Yoga at 5 and then off to breakfast at 6. Usually I have a nice bowl of oatmeal with toppings (ala KERF)

I do like the wake up your senses ideas though!

k said...

ugh...the dark is BRUTAL for getting up earlier and for exercising in the morning. it is just so much easier to stay in the arm cozy bed.

Lulu said...

agreed... but at least I figured out a way to exercise inside for these awful cold and dark months :)