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Kiran Manral
8 Jan 2016 . 4 min read

Five things to do in the first 30 minutes of your day!


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The way you start your day pretty much sets the tone for how the rest of your day will go. If you, like me, slam the alarm with an angry hand and tuck yourself back into the covers for an additional 15 minutes of shut eye, you’re getting it all wrong. On the flip, if you wake up and drag yourself listlessly through all the routine maintenance and still manage to get late for everything, you’ve still not got it quite right.

Did you know that the first 30 minutes of the day, after you wake up are terribly important for what sort of a mood you start your day with. And as anyone could tell you, a great, positive, energised mood is half the battle won towards carpe-ing that diem.

Given we are so stressed out with the daily grind, these simple things can help us make our mornings more charged and energised, which in turn will definitely impact how we deal with the onslaught of the work day.

Here are five things you should do in the half hour window after you wake up to make sure your day goes great.

Get some light: If you can, ensure you get some natural light into your room, even if it means sleeping with the curtains or blinds open.Viewing the gradual increase in light as the sun rises is good for you. If you cannot get morning light, or sleep with your curtains open because of privacy issues, get yourself an alarm which uses gradient ambient light to light up the room according to the time you set. Waking up to natural light does not shock your system into waking in fight or flee mode as the alarm most often does, and is a much gentler way of easing into a new day.

Stretch: Yes, the way cats, dogs and young children do when they wake up. Stretching most times might be an involuntary reaction when you wake, sometimes you might just hit the alarm and jump up without stretching. But know that stretching immediately upon waking has an important biological reason you might not realise. It helps to get the blood flow going to various muscles, important if you have been sleeping in one position all night. Stretching also lessens the joint stiffness you might experience. When you wake up stretch your arms and legs gently and languorously when still in bed, do it a few times until you feel relaxed and limber and only then get out of bed.

Drink at least half a litre or water as soon you get up. No not tea, not coffee, but just simple pure H20. You sleep for an ideal approximation of eight hours. For those eight hours you have not had any water and your body is dehydrated. Water helps your kidneys flush out toxins, and getting liquid into your body the first thing in the morning, will help your kidneys do their work better. Also, remember water helps boost your metabolism and aids weight loss.

Meditate/chant/Exercise: Even if it is just ten to 15 minutes, do something that fires you up on all cylinders. A quick run can boost your heart rate, get your blood zipping through your veins and make you feel alert. If a run is not what you can do, choose a gentler option of yoga, or just surya namaskars to get you started. If exercise is not your cup of tea, sit in a calm place and meditate or chant. Get to your zone of peace, before the chaos of the day rushes in. It will help you feel centred.

Eat a healthy breakfast. Your body has been starving for eight hours. You need to refuel it. We all know that it is necessary to eat a healthy breakfast, but more often than not we tend to skip it, or grab something on the run. Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up jump starts your metabolism. It signals to your body that food is now available and that it should let go of hoarding onto that fat in case the next Ice Age is upon us. Your ideal breakfast should comprise of fruit, high fiber sources like whole grain bread for instance, and a low fat source of protein like egg white or low fat yogurt to keep your blood sugar on an even keel for the first half of the day.

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Kiran Manral
Kiran Manral was a journalist before she quit to be full time mommy. Her blogs were both in India’s top blogs and she was a Tehelka blogger columnist on gender issues. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published by Westland in 2012 and her second novel Once Upon A Crush, was published by Leadstart in 2014. Her third book is due out in August 2015 from Penguin Random House. She is on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival and is an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She was awarded the Women Achievers award by Young Environmentalists Group in 2013. She lives in Mumbai with her family and counts every day off the Nutella wagon as a successful day.

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