Five ways to kick-start your working day

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If your morning routine involves stumbling out of bed and grabbing breakfast on the go, it’s time to make some changes. Fear not! We’ve come up with five simple suggestions to help you adopt a morning routine that’ll leave you feeling fresh faced and full of energy.

1.Sleep well the night before

A recent study by the University of Hertfordshire showed that 91% of 18-24 year olds in Britain are sleep deprived. Why does this matter? Because getting less than 7 hours sleep a night is associated with a higher risk of health problems including weight gain, diabetes and heart attacks.

Even if you are sleeping for the recommended 7-9 hours, you still need to ensure that you’re getting plenty of high quality sleep. The deep stages, known as slow wave or delta sleep, are responsible for repairing the body, generating tissue and building bone and muscle. It’s hardly surprising that a Sleep Council report recently stated: “sleeping well is as crucial to our health and wellbeing as eating a healthy diet or exercising regularly.”

So how do you guarantee a good night’s sleep? To begin with, avoid blue screens for a couple of hours before bedtime. The University of Hertfordshire’s study revealed that 78% of people are exposed to disruptive blue light from computers and smartphones before going to bed. Unfortunately, just 2 hours of using a blue light emitting device causes your melatonin levels to drop significantly, boosting your alertness.

Snacking on a banana is another way to induce sleepiness, as they’re rich in carbohydrates, which can help to relax your body and brain. Alternatively, make yourself a warm milky drink, then retire to bed and allow yourself to doze off while you read.

  1. Become an early bird

Allowing plenty of time to get ready in the morning prevents any last minute stress. You might even have enough time to enjoy an extra cuppa when you arrive at work! However, waking up doesn’t come easily to everyone.

Are you a night owl? Then you can improve the experience of early rising by opening the curtains as soon as you’re awake. Letting the daylight in tells your body it’s time to wake up by reducing melatonin, the hormone responsible for sleepiness. While you’re basking in natural light, drink a glass of water, as this re-hydrates your body, making you feel even more alert.

If you really struggle with getting up early, try laying out your clothes, making lunch and even preparing breakfast the night before.

  1. Boost your energy with breakfast

A balanced breakfast should be nutritious and release energy slowly, to keep you going until lunchtime. Why not start your day with a healthy bowl of porridge, some muesli with yoghurt, or an omelette? If you’re really not a morning person, check out this recipe for overnight oats. Simply mix some oats in apple juice or natural yoghurt, leave the mixture in the fridge overnight and stir in a handful of chopped or dried fruit when you wake. Time saving and delicious!

If you have a little extra time, eating protein packed beans, eggs or even fish for breakfast will give you a great start to the day, as protein contains amino acids. These help your brain to perform at its peak and release energy slowly.

Not hungry first thing? Then opt for a breakfast smoothie. Pop some oats and protein powder into your blender the night before, then in the morning add your fruit and whatever liquid you fancy.

  1. Get your heart rate going

Exercising first thing gets your metabolism going for the day and helps you to feel clear minded. It also means you have plenty of free evenings to enjoy.

Whether it’s running, swimming, dancing or working out at the gym, choose a form of exercise you really enjoy. Laying out your workout clothes the night before makes it easier to stick to your plans.

If you find getting to the gym or pool tricky, there are plenty of good workout videos available on YouTube. Love pop music? Then try Casey Ho’s Pop Pilates sessions. They’re just 10-15 minutes long but intense enough to really get those muscles working. If you’re looking to increase your strength and flexibility, Yoga with Adrienne could be the channel for you. Cardio more your focus? Check out Saskia’s energetic dance workouts.

  1. De-clutter your desk.

Clearing your work space of clutter clears your mind ready for the day ahead. Start by getting rid of any rubbish, paperwork or stationery you no longer need. Then, if your desk has drawers, use them to store essentials like pens, staplers, hole punchers and scissors. If you don’t have access to any drawers, consider adding an organiser tray to your desk instead.

If you need easy access to particular pieces of paperwork, clipboards and cork notice boards are great temporary storage solutions. However, to avoid cork board congestion, make sure you file away that paperwork as soon as it’s no longer needed!

Once everything has its place, it’s time to adjust your chair, move your mobile out of view and log out of social media. You’re good to go.

Take our tips on board and you’ll boost your chances of having an enjoyable and productive day at work. So why not start as you mean to go on?

Published by Anna Whitehouse

Copywriter and journalist with a side serving of poetry

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