How I brighten my morningsJune 04, 2015
My significant other regularly asks me "how do you do it!?", meaning: how on earth I manage to dart through the house with all my energy, when the rest of the world has hardly opened its eyes yet. Ben, different than me, has a hard time waking up and getting started, and oftentimes I make him crázy when I start planning the whole day and hyperactively tell him my ideas whilst sprinting through the house gleefully.
But I love the morning! I love being awake when the world is still shrouded in silence, and to just enjoy the moment seeing the world wake up; animals and people starting another day in their lives. And I love to watch the empty streets of the city slowly getting crowded with people going to their work with a coffee and newspaper in hand. I like watching people, and our house gives me the perfect opportunity to do that given that I live in the middle of this beautiful, historic city called Zutphen. I love analysing people: looking at them and trying to imagine what kind of life they're living. Different than mine? Are they happy? Sad, perhaps?
However, I have little tricks up my sleeve when I still want to wake up early with a good mood and want to feel energetic when the night was only so-so. The morning is golden to me because it sets the tone for the day!
I decided to share my tricks with you!
• Sleeping with a sleep mask
To wake up energetic and rested, it's ofcourse logical that you need a good night of sleep. I am quite the worrier and my brain usually decides to ponder about life when I desperately want to go to sleep (I am sure it sounds familiar to many of you), but I always try to minimize the triggers that keep me awake. It's hard to shut your brain off, but a dark room is of the essence. The brain is a funny thing, you know, and can be tricked into many things, so use this to your advantage!
As I said above, I live in the middle of the city and that means that a lot of light comes through the curtains. We have the thickest and darkest curtains available, but to no avail. Therefore I sleep with a sleep mask to block out any light. And it realllly helps! I am actually sleeping with a sleep mask since a short while, but it gave me so many benefits already.
When the brain sees any light, it immediately thinks it needs to be awake. When it sees nothing but darkness, it thinks, rightfully so, that it needs to prepare for sleep!
I have never been a breakfast-y person before, but I really wanted to learn how to be one. So I slowly integrated breakfast into my daily routine. No bread though, like most of the Dutchies have for breakfast, but I wanted a light breakfast. Smoothies came to the rescue. Most of the time I have a green smoothie for breakfast, as these give me the kickstart for the day that I need, ánd give me a full stomach till lunch time. The smoothie I usually go with is the Glowing Green Smoothie, which contains a whole lot of (beauty) benefits. You should try it, because it's quite tasty and fresh for the green gunk it looks like! Oh, and add a straw to your glass, because straws make life more fun!
I also consume superfoods in my smoothies, or overnight oats, for that little extra energy. My favorite superfood powder that I use in my smoothies, is Maca powder. Maca is a plant, also known as Peruvian Ginseng, that contains some useful health benefits. You'll notice a change in your energy after using it for a couple of days. Start with 1 teaspoon of powder if you're not used to Maca. The recommended daily allowance is 1 tablespoon.
• A quick shower/facewash
Nothing refreshes me more than a quick shower or a splash of cold water in my face. If you want to feel energetic in the morning, this is essential! Adding skincare products will also help feel refreshed.
• The smell of coffee
When it's spring or summer I just LOVE to open all the windows whilst my coffee is brewing; the absolute best coffee available and particularly fresh coffee beans. The smell of coffee gives me the wake up call that I need. And, if you do caffeïne, the mornings are always the best time to consume it, as caffeïne is a central nervous system stimulant that wakes you up and increases muscular activity. But hey, any caffeïne addict probably knows this already!
Although it is adviced against if you have a hard time waking up, I love to do some Yoga in the morning. But if you have trouble waking up and are afraid that you might fall asleep whilst doing a Halasana, then by all means try exercise that does work for you. Many people love to go for a run -which is actually even better than Yoga- to get their engines running.
• Listening to music
I like to listen to some catchy tunes whilst preparing breakfast or dressing myself, because it really makes me cheerful.
• Reading my mail
I also like to take the time to read my mail and messages on social media, and catch up with what my friends have been up to. And ofcourse I also read the newspapers to keep myself updated.
• Start the day with a laugh
It sets the tone for the day. I love to watch funny cat videos, or I browse 9Gag to get my daily dose of laughter ;-). Did you know that there are Zen monasteries where the monks start the day, and end the day, with laughter? Laughter boosts your energy and protects you from the damaging effects linked to stress. And laughing feels just plain wonderful, right?