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“Win the morning, win the day” (said every life coach, inspirational speaker, wellbeing podcaster and Insta meme ever). It seems like the simplest of lifestyle hacks, doesn’t it? Productivity breeds positivity, therefore we should all start the day strong by instilling a productive morning routine.
But why does it work so well? As much as we might like to lean into spontaneity, our stubborn human brains do not favour uncertainty and are wired to like patterns and predictability. Scientists found that the brain relies more on past experiences than on any new information that’s presented to it, so successfully forming healthy daily habits makes our brains happy, and our bodies and minds more relaxed. In essence, good routines lessen stress.
If you live in the city or pride yourself on being a stalwart urbanite, you’ll be accustomed to a fast-paced lifestyle and ever-changing schedule. You might even believe it’s what keeps you young and agile. The problem is, shifting schedules are a hotbed for raised cortisol levels and prolonged stress. Far from being boring, routine activities have been proven to reduce stress by making situations appear more controllable and predictable. The more prepared we feel, the more relaxed we are and the lower our stress levels. One recent study showed that when faced with stress and upheaval, 62% of British adults agreed that daily rituals do a lot to lift their mood. Moreover, research shows that repetitive routines are calming, reducing anxiety and helping you to take control of your day and subsequently, of your life.
When it comes to mental health, boosting your mood and motivation, and overall health and wellbeing, pre-work productivity is best practice. The Washington Post recently reported that videos of morning routines are hijacking our social channels with the #5to9 hashtag, where early-bird influencers wake up at 5am and film what they do before the working day begins, going to the gym, meditating, writing in journals and even ironing bedsheets. And while this approach might be a little extreme for most, you can still bring about the positivity / productivity paradigm by whittling it down to a single activity. Call it a daily ritual, habit or "me time" - whatever phraseology works best for you - but having a routine acts like an anchor. By committing to it, you are giving yourself the gift of certainty, making it more likely that you’ll have a better day ahead.
Here’s a fresh morning workout — if you want to combat stress for the day ahead, make like a mammal and shake it off. This natural stress response releases tension throughout the body, instantly bringing down anxiety and cortisol levels, while relaxing muscles and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system. It’s this system that regulates the body's rest responses and when activated, helping to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and stress levels, while also promoting restful sleep. The benefits of shaking it off are far-reaching, and include a boost in happiness from starting your day with some welcome silliness.
How many times have you heard the old adage that health is about commitment and consistency? But when it comes to supplements, it's easy to miss a day here and there, only to start feeling the effects further down the line. This is where routine could become your secret weapon against forgetfulness. "I drink a litre of water as soon as I wake up, before I do anything else — and I do mean anything else. Before I look at my phone, answer emails, work out, take a shower, get dressed even. With that litre of water, I take two LYMA Supplements. No matter what, nothing happens before my LYMA”, says LYMA Founder Lucy Goff.
Stress within the body can cause a reduction in mental clarity and resilience, and affect sleep. LYMA contains ten peer-reviewed power ingredients, expertly formulated to support the body at all times.
LYMA Director of Science, Professor Paul Clayton strongly advocates TRE (Time Restricted Eating), keeping all food consumption strictly within the same hours every day. “The minimum fasting time most people agree on is 14 hours. So, if you eat your last meal at 7pm, your next meal should not be before 9am. That leaves a 10-hour period for eating, and the latest refinement is that you should really eat three meals, five hours apart. So, your second should be at 2pm and your final meal of the day should be eaten at 7pm. The same schedule should be repeated every day.” TRE isn’t just about having a good daily routine, it also carries plenty of long-term health benefits. “TRE has several notable and clinically proven health benefits, including the potential for improved body composition, better heart health, reduced blood sugar levels, increased energy, better focus, increased immunity, and decreased inflammation.”
Having a regular bedtime is the most important factor in achieving optimal sleep and ensuring long-term health. Every organ of the body is synced to circadian rhythms and the night is when they launch into detoxification, rejuvenation and repair — but those resting hours need to be both regular and sufficient. Creating a healthy bedtime routine relaxes your body and clears your mind of all busy thoughts before bed, which helps to prevent the triggers that lead to sleep anxiety.