We’ve all been there: it’s Sunday afternoon and it’s starting to sink in that the weekend is almost over. You start thinking of all the items you’ll need to check off your priority list at work, the back-to-back meetings you’re in and the deadlines you have looming. Even if you love your job, when you’re stressed out (or feel under a lot of pressure), it might be difficult to stay focused and remain productive.
But the first step to success isn’t setting goals or staying late-night at the office: it’s taking care of yourself and your health. After all, if you aren’t at your best, you won’t give or perform your best. You don’t have to completely rethink everything you do, but you can start off each workday with a better, stronger attitude by making minor adjustments to your routine.
Here are little changes you can do for yourself before noon to become a healthier and more positive person at your workplace. By making these things a habit, you’ll start to feel more confident and ready to tackle whatever comes your way:
Drink 8 ounces of water as soon as you wake up.
Chances are you need more water than ever before: not only because you’re working out more (go you!) but because it’s summer and the hotter temperatures mean your body absorbs hydration faster. Before you reach for that morning brew, try to down a glass of hot or cold water in the morning. This will jumpstart your metabolism, purify your system and most importantly, release tension in your brain from lack of sleep, stress or fatigue. Some studies even show that the more often you drink water first thing in the morning, the more you’ll crave it during the day. If you need added flavor, throw in a lime or lemon slice.
Instead of hitting snooze, try a yoga stretch.
Especially after a weekend that went by way too fast, your temptation to sleep for ‘just five more minutes’ can actually make you less rested and productive. Your body is restless and even if you fall back to sleep, it isn’t the quality sleep that you actually need to feel replenished. If you need those extra minutes of rest, forget the Zzz’s and go for the Om’s. Yoga stretches are a great way to energize yourself. Ease into a child’s pose, do some cat and cow movement, and even a few sun salutations if you want to wake up your full body. Easy stretching sequences help to get your blood flowing and your body primed for the day.
Choose exercise when you can.
Though you might not have time to take a class every single morning or go for a run outdoors, the more often you move your body, the more productive you will be. Getting active not only will give you a positive surge of energy, but endorphins help reduce your stress levels, too. Consider all of the ways that you could add in a little movement to your day-to-day routine: ask your supervisor or assistant to have a walking catch-up meeting instead of a stationary one. Park a little further away from the office or get off a train stop earlier so you work out your legs before sitting for eight hours. Even tiny changes can make big impacts.
Fuel your body with the right kind of food.
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. In fact, recent studies have even indicated that breakfast is so crucial, you should eat it twice: when you wake up and mid-morning. Why is that? Eating healthy proteins, vitamins, nutrients and grains when you’re first getting your day started provides the energy you need for the rest of your day. Especially with an active lifestyle, your body needs the right kinds of foods right from the start of your day. Try these high-fiber breakfast ideas that are easy and a great option for anyone.
Block off time to strategize.
We all have smaller tasks at work that while important, can also distract us from the overall picture. Every single day (yep, Monday through Friday) – set aside at least 10 minutes to strategize the big projects and priorities you have in your pipeline. Your brain is the most refreshed in the morning – and ready to get things done – so make sure to use it’s early A.M. power to your advantage. You can clean up your inbox or wipe down your desk in the afternoon when you start to hit a mid-afternoon slump.