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Start the Day off Right 

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Are you the type of person who hits the snooze on your alarm, the person who has a hard time getting out of bed? Maybe your outlook and attitude is meh, at least until the day gets going and you’ve had your coffee? 

I admit that I use to do the same things, even more so when the pandemic first hit. I had a loss of motivation and a bad attitude. When I noticed that mood continuing through the day, I knew things had to change. 

I turned to my yoga background, knowledge, and a few books I had read on discipline and routine. Once I applied a few extra steps to my wake up each morning, the change was almost immediate—to my mood, to my metal state, and to my outlook for the day. The best part is that these changes don’t add any extra time to my morning routine, and they are easy apply! Give them a try and see how it affects you and your day. 

  • Wake up at the same time each day

Get up at the same time no matter what day of the week it is. Yes, this means weekends and holidays too. Now, I know most of you have read that sentence and are already tapping out, or thinking I am out of my mind. Please, give me a chance and keep reading! 

When you get up and go to bed at the same time of day, this helps your body better regulate its sleeping patterns. When there is inconsistent sleep and wake times, your body does not always get the chance to go through proper sleep cycles. When your body goes through those proper sleep cycles, both your physical body and mind have time to recover, heal and reset. There are many things that happen internally while we sleep and the lack of that can have big consequences. 

  • Gratitude practice

Before you rise or move out of bed, a gratitude practice sets the tone for the day. For example, try saying three to five things that you are grateful for. This can be said out loud or silently in your head. They can be as simple or detailed as you like. You do not have to spend a lot on time on this. The first things that come to your mind will provide the same amount of benefit. 

Doing this can give us perspective over the course of the day. Having perspective can change your thinking and how you react to situations. It can connect us to a bigger purpose in our lives. For example, today I am grateful for my health, my family, and the rain.  

  • Movement

Once you wake, some movement in or out of bed can really wake up your mind and body. Any movements will work, but I recommend ones that suit your personality and preferences. Some in-bed options include curling and spreading your toes and fingers, making circular motions with your ankles and wrists, and holding a laying twist for three to five breaths per side. Some out-of-bed options include flowing movements, like a sun salutation (a yoga flow), squats, push-ups, or getting down on all-fours and alternate arching and rounding your back. Remember that the best part is you get to choose any movement you like!

Implementing one or all of these wake-up practices will surely change your day. I recommend making note of what you add into your routine (this can be a quick note on notepad, journal, phone app or mental note), and then reflect at night how the day went. This provides a better idea on what works for you and what does not. I know we are not one item fits all, but I am confident that at least one of the three suggestions will do something positive for you. 

By: Allison Brush, Fitness and Sports Instructor

Allison Brush has spent more than 8 years at CFB Borden as a Fitness and Sports Instructor, among other roles. She can truly say she loves what she does and the world of fitness. Working out gives her a physical and mental challenge that is hard to mimic elsewhere, and she welcomes the discipline it requires to commit to a consistent routine that helps to reach her goals. She relishes the fact that it is always uncomfortable, and even more so when she is learning something new. Her passion lies within the area of yoga, meditation and breathing technique and exercises. She also loves spending time with her family and getting outdoors any chance she gets.

This article is part of the Borden Citizen “Weekly Fitness Tips” series. Click here for more content like this, and subscribe to the free Borden Citizen weekly newsletter to make sure you don’t miss the next one!