Kick start your day!


12357149_sThere’s an old joke that says, ‘There are two types of people in the world. Those who like mornings, and normal people’. Happily, though, there are plenty of things you can do to Kick Start Your Day without becoming abnormally zealous! Here are just a few…

Get with the beat: Some people find that the day starts off badly if they wake to the sound of an alarm, a disliked piece of music or the doom & gloom of the news headlines. But you can improve your mood by waking to a favourite piece of music – several smartphone and tablet apps are available to wake you in this more agreeable way! Alternatively, you can buy a CD alarm clock that lets you do the same thing.

In too deep: When you sleep, you go through five stages, which vary in depth. Waking from a stage of deep sleep often leaves you feeling groggy and discombobulated, so experiment with the time that you awaken. Surprisingly, you may have more energy through waking 15 or 20 minutes earlier; you just need to find the best time for you in general. Or…

An alternative to experimenting to find your ideal time is offered by a product called the aXbo clock. It uses a sensor to read your body rhythm and awaken you from a shallow stage of sleep at around the time you programme in. Again, there are smartphone and tablet apps that aim to do the same thing.

The same old tingle that I feel inside… Next time you shower in the morning, aim a jet of water – not too hot, not too hard – at the base of your skull! It’ll probably send a pleasant, tingling, shudder through your body that quickly makes you feel very refreshed! It’s a great way to start to feel lively! And while you’re there…

Hot and cold: Provided you’re feeling brave and you’re in good health – and here we specifically caution those that are diabetic or pregnant, or have poor blood pressure or a weak heart, etc. – try this in the shower: wash in your usual way, then stand under the hot water for three minutes or so. Now switch the water to cold and shower in that for thirty seconds… Switch back to hot for three minutes and repeat this cycle, six or seven times, finishing on a burst of cold.

This process initially stimulates blood flow outward to the skin, then – when the cold water kicks in – redirects the flow to the inner organs. Alternating in this way gets the blood circulating and can enliven you terrifically, leaving you feeling invigorated and energized. Just be careful with the temperature!

Up, up and away! Our final shower tip gives your circulation some more help! Towel yourself dry from the feet up. Towel gently and vigorously – without chafing, of course – and you’ll simultaneously be encouraging blood back up to the heart.

A, E, I, O, U: One for the brave here and those in good health! As you may know, a number of societies and religions have long understood that chanting can invigorate the body and focus the noggin. Even people who make the most cursory attempt have reported benefits, whilst scientists continue to find chanting has merit…

In popular Ayurvedic and Hawaiian mantras, the vowels are often focused upon. To give you an idea if this’ll work for you, take a deep breath and say, out loud, the vowel sounds for the whole of the out-breath. Start by saying ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaaaa’ as in ‘Are’ for a minute or so, then switch to ‘Eeeeeeeeeeeeee’ as in ‘egg’; ‘Iiiiiiiiiiiiii’ like you were going to say ‘in’ – more of an ‘ee’ sound, really – followed by ‘Oooooooooooooo’ as in ‘Oh!’ Finally try exhaling ‘U’ in the same way that you’d pronounce it in ‘through’: ‘Uuuuuuuuuuuuuu!’.

My dog’s got no nose: When you think about it, there’s only one way that you can relate to your external environment: through your senses! Now, it’s generally accepted that we have somewhere between 9 and 21 specific senses – depending on your interpretation – but the umbrella senses are sight, sound, smell, taste and touch… And it stands to reason that the more senses you stimulate, the more vivid your experience of the world is!

So one way to give your morning a kick start is to find an aromatherapy oil that you like and put a few drops in a burner, allowing the bathroom to fill with an invigorating scent before you pop in there to get ready. Anything citrus or spice based will generally be a good place to start for an easy, energy-boosting whiff! Remember to check out which scents are best for you, though, either with an aromatherapist or – cautiously – by reading about it online.

Pride and groom: Ever left the house in such a hurry that you’ve not had time to wash, deodorize or otherwise groom yourself? If so, you probably know that how it feels to be grungy and unpleasant for the large part of the day. By contrast, just making time to groom and energize yourself is a tip in itself! Do your best to find ways to make available the extra few minutes that you need to complete a great grooming routine.

Food, glorious food! Most grandparents, parents, dieticians and wise folk agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you wake up, your body has been deprived of food – its source of energy – for hours. And your brain is really quite focused on that! Studies have shown your concentration, creativity, performance and energy levels all improve with a good breakfast.

It’s often said that a portion of fruit – half a grapefruit, say, or a banana, is a great place to start – but so is a bowl of porridge with fruit in it. Whatever happens, find a healthy breakfast that you really enjoy and make sure you make it part of the day, every day.

Well, zip-a-dee-doo-dah! If that little lot doesn’t bring plenty of sunshine your way and put a bluebird on your shoulder, nothing will*. Remember to check out the other Bob’s Bones from Back in Shape – and let us know how you get along!

*This is from a song lyric. Sunshine and bluebirds may not actually appear.