5 Little Secrets to Dazzle Your Mornings (A Disability Writer's Guide)
Do you feel that?
That soft tugging sensation early in the morning before your alarm clock goes off?
You’re not sure what but something is pulling you to wake up. Not in wake-up and tackle the day before it tackles you kind of way, but to shift directions, to embrace self-care, to ultimately do what you know is good for you.
But you struggle.
Instead, you start to think of the laundry, the virtual meetings, and getting the kids ready for school.
But most of all?
You’re afraid you’re wrong about yourself.
Maybe that tugging sensation you feel is just a conjuring trick of the mind. Maybe self-care is overrated. Maybe you’re just a fool with delusions of opulence and this whole fantasy of self-care is just that: a fantasy.
So, you do nothing.
You shrink your morning routine. The breakfast, the kids, the dog and slip into home office mode through the back door with yesterday’s shirt on.
But does this have to be true? No! No! No! Why do I say this?
Let's dive in and find out.
1. The most powerful tool to jump-start your morning
Family genetics, your diet as a toddler, your pre-school education; even the road to discipline your parents chose can impact your smarts.
In many ways, your intelligence is geared to go before you're even aware of it. But, did you know your little grey cells are forever changing and evolving?
So, what does this mean? It means you can supercharge your brain to perform at a higher level, make it bigger, and even prevent Alzheimer's disease.
One way to do this is with brainhq.com, a site for getting your brain into shape. Think of it like your own personal fitness trainer; exercising your memory, attention, people skills, and intelligence. And the best part? It only takes a few minutes to do.
And boom! You're there.
Another simple way to boost your brain's energy is brushing your teeth using your non-dominant hand. This will make your brain pay attention, stimulate interaction, and create new neural pathways. I know, it sounds simple, and I have to admit it isn't.
But, one thing's for sure the results are amazing. Now it's time to share my favourite. I used this technique with my blind students during client matching with their guide dogs. It's called Alternate Nostril Breathing.
Studies have shown it has an instant effect so you can benefit from the practice in as little as one session. Take deep, slow breaths between your left and right nostrils. It will help you rid stale air and make your breath more efficient bringing better balance to your nervous system and lowering blood pressure.
2. The one thing that saves you from morning madness
Lockdowns, home office, quarantine, and family responsibilities can leave your morning routine feeling like a power struggle.
So, how do you stay on top of things without losing it?
First off, start your day the night before — tucked in bed take a moment to reflect on your day — when you woke up, what you ate for lunch, the people you met, the conversations you had — it will help boost your memory.
In addition to that, use a journal to reflect on your actions, your progress and your behaviour. This can help you identify what works and what doesn’t. The examples above are great with kids too, creating a spellbinding atmosphere perfect for bedtime mode.
To top it off, I jot down 3 tasks I want to complete the morning after. It helps me create a habit that allows me to see tasks and projects with more clarity.
3. The astonishing truth about dreams
Imagine waking up in the morning knowing the answer to the problem that's been bugging you all week.
Pretty cool, eh? Believe it or not, that's exactly what can happen when you pay attention to your dreams.
Seriously though, did you know you dream 4–7 dreams per night?
Yes! And, according to brain and memory coach, Jim Kwik, dreams can help you solve problems in your daily life, leading to greater creativity.
Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity because he remembered his dream. And, Larry Page invented Google after he dreamt he’d been accepted to Stanford University. So, when you wake up in the morning try to keep your eyes shut, and recall and record your dreams. You will be amazed at the information and inspiration you will feel.
4. The one Thing You Can’t Do Without
Have you ever felt like a well that has run dry in the morning?
The reality is, water accounts for up to 80% of your brain mass, and a big part of it is lost during sleep. One way to focus and improve brain function and your mood is by pouring yourself a glass of warm water. I like to add a squirt of lemon too. This will help you maintain hydration during the day and your memory and mood will thrive.
In fact, recent studies out of UConn’s Human Performance Laboratory show how mild dehydration can cause headaches, concentration problems, and fatigue. What does that mean? It means, waking up feeling as sour as a lemon and tight as a rod. So, set a reminder and keep a bottle of water ready to grab.
5. The Secret to Heating Your Body
You want it.
You dream it.
You can’t get it no matter what you do.
I hear you! Waking up in the morning without groggy dangling behind can be one hell of a challenge. So, I'm going to share with you a secret weapon that will improve your oxygen, blood flow, reduce weight, and build your muscle groups in 3 spicy minutes. Think I'm exaggerating? I'm not.
High interval exercise is like a river gone wild. It floods your brain and makes you feel on top of the world. And that's what you're looking for first thing in the morning, right? So, what's the secret weapon I'm talking about? Squats.
High-knees. Give them each 1 minute with 30 seconds break in between and they'll get your blood flowing and transform your mind and body.
And, here's the kicker. A recent study showed that exercise improves learning by as much as 20%.
So, go ahead, turn your body into a sweatbox and power up your brain.
Give Your Morning A Go!
Imagine a life where you love your morning.
Imagine feeling empowered, physically and emotionally.
Imagine tossing your hair back like Marvel's Black Widow and facing whatever the day throws at you.
It’s possible. Even if your morning feels like grumplestiltskin now, with these little secrets, you can focus on your health and happiness , and turn your morning into the kind of dream you look forward to.
And, don't just take my word for it. "When you train yourself to do difficult things first thing in the morning, it will show up in other areas of your life."
I'm ready. Are you?