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This is how to brighten your morning

This is how to brighten your morning

Here are ways to make sure you wake up on the right side of the bed and ease into your day with a positive, calm attitude.

Remember: Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on your immunity.

Enter your day happy and relaxed, and you greatly increase your chances of a healthy, productive day.

1. Go to sleep with your blinds or curtains open

1. Go to sleep with your blinds or curtains open
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That way, the natural light of the rising sun will send a signal to your brain to slow its production of melatonin and bump up its production of adrenaline, a signal that it’s time to wake up.

When the alarm goes off, you’ll already be half awake.

Even better: Go to bed early enough so that waking up when the sun shines through your window still gives you the recommended seven hours of shut-eye.

If you maintain this routine, it’s likely that you can start relying on your biological clock rather than an alarm clock.

2. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier

2. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier
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This way, you don’t have to jump out of bed and rush through your morning.

You can begin your morning by lying in bed, slowly waking up.

Stretching. Listening to the news headlines.

Mentally clicking off what you’re going to wear, what you’re going to do, what you’re going to have for breakfast.

It’s just as important to prepare yourself mentally as physically for your day. (Here’s how to hack your daily commute.)

These few minutes in bed, before anyone else is up, are all yours.

3. Stretch every extremity for 15 seconds

3. Stretch every extremity for 15 seconds
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Try this even before you open your eyes.

Lift your arm and begin by stretching each finger, then your hand, then your wrist, then your arm.

Then move on to the other arm.

Then your toes, feet, ankles, and legs. Finally, end with a neck and back stretch that propels you out of the bed.

You’ve just limbered up your muscles and joints and enhanced the flow of blood through your body, providing an extra shot of oxygen to all your tissues. Here are more tips to get that blood moving throughout the day.

4. Stick a chair in the shower and sit

4. Stick a chair in the shower and sit
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Use one of those plastic chairs you can buy at any hardware store.

Let it warm up under the spray for a minute, then sit in it and let the spray beat on your back.

It’s simultaneously relaxing and energising, like getting a water massage.

After a couple of minutes, you can swing the chair out of the way and commence with washing. If you have time, you could give yourself an invigorating facial massage.

5. Read a motivational quote every morning

5. Read a motivational quote every morning
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This can provide a frame for the day, a sort of self-talk that keeps you motivated in the right direction as opposed to the negative thinking of the morning news.

Another option: Use a motivational mantra that provides a meditation-like burst, or read or recite a poem that helps you focus.

A good one to use: Rudyard Kipling’s “If.”

6. Take a vitamin

6. Take a vitamin
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Keep a multi-vitamin out on he kitchen counter by the coffeepot so you remember to take one every morning.

More than 20 years of research led to a major recommendation in one of the country’s premier medical journals suggesting that every American take a multivitamin as part of a healthy lifestyle. You could also whip up a vitamin-packed strawberry and yogurt smoothie.

7. Eschew any decisions

7. Eschew any decisions
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For truly relaxing mornings, reduce the number of choices and decisions you make to zero.

Go about this two ways: First, make your morning decisions the night before: what clothes to wear, what breakfast to eat, what route to take to work, and so on.

Second, routinize as much of your morning as possible.

Really, there’s no need to vary your breakfast, timetable, or bathroom ritual from one morning to the next.

8. Cuddle with your kids

8. Cuddle with your kids
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Few things are more stressful in the morning than waking up an overtired fifth grader or a snoring high schooler.

Yet this is one of the few times you can catch your child still vulnerable.

Sit on his bed and gently smooth his hair as you softly waken him.

Or, if you’re dealing with a very young child, lie beside him and gently hug him awake.

Such a moment will send a quiet surge of joy through your entire day and will become all too rare in all too short a time.

9. Spend 5 to 10 minutes listening to music

9. Spend 5 to 10 minutes listening to music
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Or sitting on the deck or porch just thinking. Some people mediate for a short while in the morning.

This allows the creative thinking that takes place during the night to gel and form into a plan of action, grounding you for the day.

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