A healthy self-care practice is key to maintaining mental and physical health, but it can be tough to know where to start. Establishing a healthful morning routine can be quite simple and its effects will make it even easier to keep waking up to mindful and peaceful practices.
Here are six ways you can integrate into your morning routine.
1. Get a good night’s sleep
Great mornings begin the night before when you get a good night’s sleep. Poor sleep is associated with depression, attention and memory problems, and falls, so sleeping well is essential for not only health but also for safety.
Adults over the age of 65 may need at least 30 minutes to fall asleep, so starting a bedtime routine earlier in the evening can help you get enough sleep at night. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, avoid napping during the day, curb alcohol intake (especially before bed), and avoid drinking lots of fluids before sleep.
Also, avoid using phones, TVs, tablets, and e-readers at least an hour before bed. The blue light emitted from those screens has an energizing effect on our brains, so putting them away earlier can mean falling asleep earlier.
2. Eat healthy food
Eating well is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of chronic illness, especially in women over 50, and it’s a great way to manage weight and boost your morning energy.
Women over 55 are at greater risk for heart disease, and foods like oats and nuts will help fight those detrimental effects. Start with a breakfast of oatmeal, walnuts, and berries, which can help slow age-related memory loss by increasing blood flow to the brain. Dairy foods like Greek yogurt provide a healthy helping of calcium in the morning, which is important for maintaining bone health.
3. Get up slowly
Take your time getting up in the morning: science shows this is a better way to wake up. One way to wake up more slowly is to try a sunrise clock. These “alarms” slowly increase the intensity and brightness of a room to advance your circadian rhythm and help you wake up more easily.
5. Meditate for 10 minutes
Meditation has been shown to help manage heart disease, high blood pressure, chronic pain, depression, and even sleep problems. Just 10 minutes of meditation every morning will enable you to foster a regular mindfulness practice whose benefits can be long-lasting. Those with long-term meditation practices have been found to have greater skills for compassion and even increased neuroplasticity.
6. Go for a morning walk
Walking has a very long list of great health benefits. Not only is it a peaceful way to start your day, but it is an excellent way to manage stress, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of stroke and diabetes, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and alleviate anxiety. In fact, a Temple University study of women experiencing menopause showed that the more the women walked, the less likely they were to experience depression, anxiety, and stress before and after menopause.
Walking is also a wonderful way to spend time with loved ones. Call a friend and invite them for a morning walk—so you can both improve your morning routine for better health.
Do you need to work on your morning routine? What will you do to when you wake up to take care of yourself better? Please leave a comment below.