Mornings can be mayhem or magical--depending on your outlook on A.M. activities. Most of us would settle for somewhere in between. And that's doable, if you rethink the moments between your feet touching the floor and heading out the door.
Here are ways to get your day off to a healthy start, courtesy of Alice D. Domar, PhD, director of the Mind/Body Center for Women's Health at Boston IVF, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.
Wake up your senses. Fill your bedroom with soothing light and your favorite colors, fragrances, flowers and music.
Reach for the sky. Stretching your body when you wake up is a wonderful way to loosen up your joints and increase flexibility. Mimic the way a cat wakes up by elongating your spine and stretching out your arms and legs, one at a time. Slowly stand up, inhale as you stretch, and exhale as you contract.
Make a promise to yourself. As soon as you wake up, think of one nice thing you can do for yourself that day.
Indulge in a water massage. Use your morning shower to cleanse your body and your mind. Mentally focus on positive thoughts, and use the pressure of the warm water to stimulate your muscles. Be mindful of how the warm water and soap feel against your skin.
Break the fast. Fuel yourself with a high-fiber breakfast that includes whole grains, fruit and low-fat protein.
Find joy in journaling. 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.
Move it in the morning. Wake up your metabolism and energize your body. Exercising in the morning demonstrates that you put your health first--helping you feel good about yourself all day.
Fight that foggy-head feeling. 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.