After a December packed full of festive events, it can be hard to get back into routine in January.
When setting resolutions or goals for the year, a good place to start is with an updated morning regimen, which will set the tone for what is to come. Read on for some ideas for how to make your a.m. time as productive as possible.
Start with stillness
Incorporating meditation into your day can be life-changing.
"Meditation requires dedication and patience, as slowing down and controlling your thoughts can be surprisingly difficult. Increased awareness aids in emotional balance and enhances general wellbeing," noted Andrew Russell of ARRAN Sense of Scotland (arran.com). "Morning meditation can help you feel more present in your life, increase your appreciation for great situations, and empower you."
Ditch the alarm clock
Though many of us rely on a traditional alarm clock to wake us in the morning, it may be time to update your technology.
"Sunrise alarm clocks are one approach to cope with the reality that most of us no longer sleep and wake according to our normal sleep patterns. They trick your biological hardware by simulating gradual sunsets at night and gradual sunrises in the morning to help you wake up more naturally," he said.
Sleepy-eyed and groggy first thing? A shower is the solution.
"Starting the day with an invigorating shower will set you off to a good start. As well as enjoying the revitalising feeling, morning showers, according to scientists, are healthier for you due to some surprising health benefits. Showering in the morning can help to improve blood circulation, decrease stress, and increase immunity," explained Andrew, before recommending the energising ARRAN Sense of Scotland Glenashdale Bath and Shower Gel. Other top picks include Le Labo's Shower Gel with mandarin and The Body Shop's Pink Grapefruit Shower Gel.
Drinking a glass of water not long after you wake offers many health benefits.
"It's good for your skin, metabolism, and energy levels to stay hydrated. There are even more advantages to drinking water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach including providing a boost in energy, a clearer complexion, and a great way to flush out toxins built up in your system," he shared.
To ease some of the morning rush, try to organise as much as possible the evening before.
"Making too many decisions first thing in the morning will slow you down and exhaust your brain for the remainder of the day. You'll have more energy and time to enjoy the most productive morning possible if you can eliminate decision-making from your mornings," commented Andrew.
Many of us are guilty of checking our emails and social media apps the moment we open our eyes each day. But while it's tempting, constant scrolling can be very distracting.
"Your creative brain is most attuned when you first wake up in the morning, so make use of this time to create the conditions you want in your life. Train your brain to accept less stimulating - but more helpful - activities such as exercising, spending time with family, listening to a podcast or even mindfully making a cup of coffee," he added.