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Campus Life

7 tips to help you start your day right

By Raven Nyman

(andrei_r/Getty Images)

(andrei_r/Getty Images)

All students know the familiar struggle of waking up in the morning after a long night of studying and far too little sleep. You’re groggy and probably grumpy, too — so the last thing you want to do is get up. Hopefully, now that summer is on its way, you’ve managed to correct your sleep schedule, or perhaps you’re already enjoying a break from school without the early wake-up times. Either way, I’m sure we could all use a bit of help kick-starting our morning routines so that they become easier to bear. Here are seven ways to start your day right and get productive before 10 a.m.

1. Drink water — and lots of it.

Water gets your metabolism going first thing in the morning while also flushing toxins from your body and keeping you hydrated. Our brain tissue is 75% water, which means that dehydration can cause serious physical and cognitive effects. Your body needs fluid to function properly, which means that after all those hours asleep, you need to drink up! At the very least, you should be drinking a large glass of water immediately after waking up but, if you can, try to drink 500 ml before you start breakfast.

2. Eat!

This one might seem simple but it’s amazing how many students skip meals throughout the day, especially breakfast. It’s important to start your day with the appropriate fuel. We all know how sluggish, grumpy, and weak our bodies feel after going a few hours into the day without a proper breakfast so don’t forget to take the time to eat the most important meal of the day. Look for sources of protein to start: think eggs, turkey bacon, organic sausage, or even cottage cheese. Feeding your body protein early in the day will keep you full longer and help to prevent cravings later on.

3. Clean up!

A simple way to get your productivity sparked is by taking care to clean up as you go. After you’ve made breakfast, don’t save the mess for later. I can guarantee you’ll be happier when you return home from a long day to a clean house rather than a messy one. The same goes for your bedroom. It’s easy to let our personal spaces become cluttered and chaotic when we find ourselves stressed or in a rush. If you can, make the effort to simply make your bed and tidy your surroundings before heading out of the house for the day. If all else goes wrong once you’ve left the house for the day, at least you’ll know your space is clean.

4. Catch up with yourself.

This might mean taking a few minutes to meditate before you start your day, or even reflecting on your stress levels and setting a daily intention as you drink your morning coffee. Setting your intentions can be as simple as setting a single goal for the day or as complex as outlining a series of goals or tasks to complete. Do what works for you and stick with it! The important thing is to give yourself time to assess your own energy and mental state before you begin to carry out your day’s tasks. Start your day by creating a sense of clarity, gratitude, and motivation. Leave answering texts or checking your email for a bit later in the morning as you take a few moments to get in touch with yourself.

5. Get a little exercise in or, at the very least, stretch!

If you’re not into a morning jog or Pilates session, then head outside for half an hour of yard work. Getting your body moving and being active is what counts. You may not feel like breaking a sweat in the moment but by the end of the day your body and mind will be thanking you for the extra work. Daily exercise significantly decreases your stress levels, while also keeping your mind and body healthy.

6. Tackle your hardest task first.

Until you get that one thing done, you’ll be worrying about it all day, and will likely become distracted from the various other things you need to do. By completing your most important or challenging task first, you’ve paved the way for an enjoyable day by ensuring that things only get easier as it progresses. Plus, by conquering your hardest task early on, you ensure that your day begins with a success, setting yourself up for continued productivity throughout the day.

7. Lastly, crank up the tunes.

This one might not be for everyone but it’s certainly something that helps me to get my energy levels up in the morning and leave the house with a smile. You can listen to music while you shower, cook breakfast, exercise, or even tidy up your surroundings. Singing along and maybe even doing a bit of dancing will leave you feeling happier and energized for the day ahead. If you can get your exercise in with a bit of casual dancing in the kitchen, then I call that a win-win!