1. Rise with the birds
There are real benefits to waking up early, according to science. In a Harvard study, morning people were more likely to establish long-term goals and become more proactive – a trait which is linked to better job performance, greater career success and earning higher wages. If you find mornings punishing, you can adjust to earlier rising by having an earlier bedtime and going outside in the mornings. The daylight resets your circadian clock and helps make you less Shrek-like first thing.
2. Break a sweat
It doesn’t have to be an hour at the gym – a jog around the block or 15 minutes of heart-pumping exercise in your lounge room will boost your energy and your mood for the rest of the day. Try a HIIT workout, for maximum fitness in minimum time. Of course, any time of the day is a good time to work out, but get it done first thing and you’re less likely to bail if your day becomes hectic.
Experts say that showering in the morning can boost alertness, especially when you fiddle with the temperature. Small studies have shown that blasting the cold tap – and regularly exposing yourself to chillier water – can help increase your tolerance to stress. If you’re not game to go all Survivor with your washing habits, make your morning shower a little self-care ritual to zen you out before a hectic day. Take your shower game up a notch and give yourself some extra zing with NIVEA Shower Clay Fresh Ginger & Basil body wash. It includes Kaolin clay, leaving skin feeling purified and soft to touch, with no dry feeling afterwards.
4. Mentally plan your day
Take five minutes before you head out of the door to sit and close your eyes and visualise how you’d like your day to run. Imagine yourself speaking with calmness and confidence in that meeting you’re nervous about, taking a walk at lunchtime and being super productive with your workload. Research has found that meditations are like kryptonite to stress, and they don’t have to be about repeating mantras.
5. Eat an energy-boosting breakfast
Skip the sugary muffin and choose foods that will give you a sustained energy boost in the morning. This will help you feel focused and ready for the day. Try a small piece of ginger in a banana and mango smoothie, eggs anyway you like on wholegrain bread, quinoa porridge with berry compote or a handful of blueberries on your porridge.