It’s 6:30 AM on a Monday, year two of the COVID pandemic. You are grumpy, tired, and in a bad mood. How would you describe your energy level? Low - and holding on for dear life? Yup. That’s many of us these days.
Jolted by the sound of your alarm clock, you grab your phone and dive into your messages and emails or maybe spend some time scrolling through your social media timeline before the stress hits. You roll over begrudgingly; bleary-eyed, a few seconds after your feet hit the floor, you turn the dial on the hot water in the shower while hoping you set the timer on the automatic coffee machine before bed. By the time you’re out the door and caffeinated, your entire day becomes a game of catch-up, and you never feel on top of it or very productive.
In this first chapter of a three-part #ChosenInsightSeries special, Chōsen Co-Founder John Stanton shares personal tips on how you can influence your energy - for the positive. Using good habits paired with sound science to elevate his mood, John combats his own covid-fatigue by starting the day with a productivity-boosting morning routine.
Our daily habits are an indicator of productivity and achievement. Instead of scrambling through the morning, which can lead to feeling depleted, we can do better! When practiced consistently, morning routines can boost your mood, increase productivity and reduce stress levels. On top of that, John adds: “When you start your day with intention and groundedness, it makes space for feeling positive, confident, and at peace with yourself.”
We invite you to practice the following (life-changing!) tips on how you can establish a healthy morning routine:
1) GOOD SLEEP HYGIENE = PUT THE ELECTRONICS AWAY!
The road to a better day begins the night before! Cortisol, often called the stress hormone, wakes you up and is supposed to time with sunrise due in coordination with your circadian rhythm. As cortisol naturally rises to a peak to wake you in the morning, melatonin increases throughout the day to put you to bed at night. If you are on your digital devices late in the evening, the blue light bombarding your eyes and mind affects your melatonin release. You signal your brain that it’s time to stay awake, and your cortisol/melatonin balance gets all out of wack.
For the best sleep, put your electronic devices away an hour before bed and try not to touch them an hour after waking.
2) MEDITATION/QUIET TIME
John begins his day with at least a 10-minute meditation upon waking to check-in with his body, mind, and mood. Meditation helps him feel more grounded. For those of you who are beginners or feel intimidated by the prospect of sitting still for 10 minutes in the morning, meditation can simply mean quiet time - when you are not thinking about work or other life stressors. John recommends an auditory practice if you are just starting:
Focus on one sound in your environment until another sound catches your mind’s attention. Pass from sound to sound without attaching any story to them.
Moreover, John likes to describe this as “his time,” without the noise of work or other life stressors. He is consistent about this boundary that makes him feel like his time is truly his own.
3) THAT MAGIC COLD SHOWER
Science shows that cold showers work like a magic endorphin machine! The benefits include: improves circulation, helps with metabolism, soothes muscles, supports the immune system, and releases endorphins. The benefits far outweigh the initial reluctance. From John: “you’ve got this!”
4) GET UP AND MOVE
We know that productive people own their morning! Our physiology heavily influences our psychology. When we move with intention, power, and purpose first thing in the morning, we create a wave of positivity that we carry throughout the day. This can be as simple as stretching for 5 minutes, moving through 10 sun salutations, or as advanced as joining John in his strength and conditioning workout.
5) PAUSE CAFFEINE INTAKE UNTIL LATER
Within the first hour of waking, your natural cortisol cycle wakes you up. Consider delaying that morning coffee to an hour or two after getting up.
Think about it: adding a cortisol boost from caffeine at your morning peak versus waiting until your cortisol tapers off is counterproductive. When you time your morning coffee appropriately, you can feel more energized and alert for a more extended period.
“When we decide to be in control of our time, we increase the chances of completing our tasks effectively and handling setbacks without feeling stressed or overwhelmed,” says John. It can be daunting at first to think about scheduling a time for mindfulness in the morning. However, it is willpower that allows you to be the captain of your own ship: it is a crucial habit for individual success.
For more information on how we can guide you to boost your wellbeing and increase resilience, join us on our 5-week online journey designed by our team of global performance experts composed of Gold Medal Olympians, Wellness Doctors, Nutritionists, Neuroscientists and Business Leaders. You will learn the science behind resilience and set up new daily practices to bulletproof your wellbeing. CLICK HERE to enroll today.
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