9 Things To Do Before 9

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1)      Repeat those positive affirmations!

Wake up with good intentions.  Have you ever pasted up a big sign on your bathroom mirror that says something like, “You are beautiful!” to try to improve your mood and self-esteem?

Affirmations are declarations or statements.  You are positively making a personal announcement. Your subconscious mind will accept and believe what you preach internally.  If you are making negative affirmations, i.e. “I cannot do this,” “I am a failure,” “I am alone,” your subconscious will attract negative energy into your life.  By declaring what you want to be true and real in your life, you can mentally and emotionally see and feel it as true.

Every affirmation we think or say is a reflection of our inner truth or beliefs. It is so important to fill your mind with positive and constructive thoughts in order to reinforce your internal wants and needs.  Focusing on the negative only allows self-doubt and disapproval to penetrate your energy and become negative.  You can influence your mind and transform your attitude, behavior, reactions, and even possible external situations by using positive affirmations.  Using the present tense, your mind will dedicate internal energy towards making your wants happen and continue to happen.

Try these positive affirmations:

I love and accept myself exactly as how I am.

I am healthy, I am happy, I am loved.

I see endless possibilities in my life.

I am never alone.

I am confident and empowered.

I believe in myself and my abilities.

Yes, I can!

 

2)      Drink warm water with lemon when you wake up

Lemon juice serves as the perfect morning pick me up.  Drinking warm lemon water in the morning flushes out toxins and is extremely cleansing for the body.  It supports digestion and aids in helping the body absorb nutrients.  Lemon juice is an excellent source vitamin C therefore protecting and strengthening the immune system.  It also contains pectin fibre which serves as a powerful antibacterial.  Even further, lemon is anti-inflammatory, it dissolves uric acid therefore reducing pain and inflammation in the joints.

 

3)      Eat breakfast

Science has continually proved that eating a healthy breakfast is not only the best way to keep your metabolism moving smoothly and quickly throughout the day, but it is the best way to actually turn on your brain.  Eating breakfast is a smart move!  Food is fuel for the body, so eating a nutritious breakfast means you’ll have enough energy to burn, keeping you active and productive until lunch rolls around. 

Pairing a whole grain with a protein is the best way to fuel your brain and body.  Try these simple ideas.

-“Pancakes” – ½ cup cottage cheese and 2 eggs, make in skillet with coconut oil.  Top with cinnamon, agave, and mixed berries

-Oatmeal with sliced bananas and walnuts

-Whole grain cereal with dairy alternative milk like almond milk and berries and almonds sprinkled with cinnamon

-Scrambled eggs with whole grain toast

 

4)      Stretch

It is understandable what minimal time we all have in the morning.  So how are we supposed to make time to truly wake our bodies up?  Setting aside a few minutes in the morning to stretch is especially effective and so beneficial for the body.  Your body is more prone to aches and pains in the morning since your body has been at rest throughout the night. 

Stretching helps slightly raise the body’s core temperature, loosening up muscles and preparing them for activity. Morning stretches also help the spine stay supple and agile, according to an “Essence Magazine” report with Dr. Asar Ha-Pi, director of A New Horizon Health Center.  Stretching helps to reduce the muscle tension as well as increase range of motion.  Since stretching helps to not only maintain but improve your flexibility, stretching can help prevent some common injuries. 

According to the Cleveland Clinic, stretching helps the circulatory system better deliver nutrients to muscle tissue, driving the body to perform better in daily activities and fitness efforts.  Stretching allows blood flow to move to all parts of the body – including the brain.  Adequate blood flow to the brain increases awareness and sharpened senses.

 “Do something today that your future self will thank you for.” *Stretch!!*

 

5)      Turn on some music

Music is an incredible moon enhancer.  It is a wonderful way to pep you up and get your mind and body moving.  Being able to listen to stories along a melody can put life into perspective.  It allows you to step out of the stress of your daily life. It can motivate you for the day ahead and improve your performance whether it be at work, during your workout, or while cooking a meal or cleaning. 

Scientifically, music triggers biochemical stress reducers that help to combat the anxieties we all deal with daily.  Music also enhances blood vessel function since music tends to have a healthy and happy effect on the brain.

 

6)      Set your daily intentions and reflect in gratitude

Each morning, spend a few minutes inside your own mind.  The first couple of moments after waking might be the best time to do this.  Take a couple of moments to reflect on the things and people you are thankful for.  Appreciate all of the good things you have, a comfortable bed that you woke up in, a hot shower, a job, transportation, great friends and family, whatever it may be.  Send your gratitude out into the universe.

 

7)      Read or do a puzzle

Stimulate your brain with jigsaw puzzles, crosswords, sudokus, or word puzzles.  Puzzles can help improve cognitive function, memory, and coordination.  Puzzles also heighten creativity and allow your mind to work strategically and logically thus developing your critical thinking.

Puzzles are known for their power to help the brain produce the neurotransmitter dopamine. These important neurotransmitters help the brain communicate with rest of the nervous system, allowing the body to do certain things. The production of dopamine Benefits of dopamine include a positive mood, better concentration, improved memory, and good motor skills.

The mental stimulation of a complex and challenging puzzle is a fantastic way to “turn on” your brain in the morning.

 

8)      Write it down!

Each morning set your daily tasks and line up your schedule.  Make list of things that you need to accomplish and stick to it.  Try putting your “to dos” in an efficient order as well.  Sort out by long term (i.e. learn Tai Chi, plan family vacation, large home projects), short term that can be done within the next week or so (i.e. visit animal shelter, clean out pantry, file weekly receipts) and lastly thing that need to be done that day (i.e. mail out shower invitations, replace bathroom light).  Always write things down in one place so that you can go back and reference.  You won’t be stressed out trying to remember what you thought of since you know it’s written down!  By the end of the day you will feel like you deserve to relax and you won’t be wondering what you forgot to do. 

 

9)      Clean up after yourself

Stick by the motto, “if you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves.”  Keeping your home, work space, car, or wherever else clean is not only an important way to stay organized but it is also helpful to the brain.  The brain has less to sift through and life becomes less stressful when things are in somewhat of an order.  The truth is, if you really take care of the little things like putting your dishes away each night, dusting every couple of days, putting things back after you take them out, the big things ultimately disappear.  Cleaning your home isn’t such a chore and you can find that shirt in a jiffy that you were thinking of wearing.  Those painful lessons in kindergarten of having to put our toys back where they belong is more than useful to us now! Leaving things neat is an easy way to reduce stress and anxiety.

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