Five Simple Ways To Help You Raise The Bar Every Day
Five simple ways to help you raise the bar every day
With dark mornings and evenings creeping in, the temptation is to keep our heads down and hibernate. But for many, autumn is the best time to get motivated and try slotting new things into their daily routine, to help them raise the bar every day.
Here are five things that are quick and easy to help you up your game:
Meditate as soon as you get up
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. It can be as simple as taking five minutes somewhere quiet and just breathing.
Make sure you’re sitting comfortably with no distractions. Then take a deep breath in through your nostrils for a count of three, hold for three seconds and then release through your mouth for a count of four. Repeat this several times.
As you do this, take the time to notice how you’re feeling. If your mind starts to wander, bring your thoughts back to your breath. Doing this exercise first thing in the morning is a great way of clearing your mind, and helping you focus on the day ahead.
Another great early morning habit to get into is stretching. Again, it doesn’t need to be time-consuming or complicated. You can even do some exercises before you get out of bed.
Lie on your back in bed with your legs straight. Bring one knee up to your chest, or as close to it as feels comfortable, and hold your knee with your hands or arms for a few seconds. Then change legs. This should give you a nice stretch in your lower back.
Then, still lying on your back, lift one of your knees and gently roll it over to the opposite side. Try and make sure your shoulders are touching the bed throughout. If you can, stretch the opposite arm out to the side in line with your shoulder and turn your head to face that arm. Then repeat on the opposite side. This should give you a nice stretch down the sides of your body and your lower back.
And then once you get up, stretch down and touch your toes, trying to keep your knees as straight as you can. This will help to stretch your calves, hamstrings, and lower back.
Doing five repetitions of each exercise every day will help to improve your flexibility and ease tight muscles.
Most of us look at a screen for large parts of our day, whether that’s a phone, computer, or TV screen. Phones are a big distraction for a lot of us, particularly when we’ve got notifications on and pings coming in all the time.
Setting aside some time every day when you don’t look at your phone, particularly in the evening, can help you switch off and relax. Try leaving your phone in a different room or a drawer, then you can’t see or hear it.
If you find the distraction of your phone too difficult to ignore on your own, try using something like The Forest App. The app helps you stop being distracted by your phone. You go into the app and set a period of time you don’t want to be distracted by your phone for. Setting the time then plants a tree. As time passes, the sapling starts to grow until it becomes a tree by the end of the set time which dies if you leave the app and go into something else.
This is a great way of staying focused away from your phone.
Getting outside in nature is a great way of clearing your mind and boosting your mood. With time at a premium for most of us, it can feel difficult to set aside space in our schedule to get outside. But even 15 minutes a day can have huge benefits for our mood and well-being.
Try getting up 15 minutes earlier and going for a walk. If you work from home, try a 10-minute walk three times a day. The first just before you start work, the second at lunchtime, and the third just after you finish.
If leaving the house isn’t an option, go outside with your cuppa in the morning and spend five minutes listening to nature.
Ending the day being grateful can help set you up for a good night’s sleep. Even if everything hasn’t gone as planned, there are still things to be grateful for every day, such as a roof over our heads and clean water in the tap.
It doesn’t matter where you record these things, but a journal is ideal. Just before you go to bed, write down a few things you are grateful for. By doing this, you can reflect on the good things in your life which helps you feel more positive emotions. Research has shown that those who write about gratitude tend to be more optimistic and feel better about their lives.
Slotting some or all of the things into your daily routine will help you raise the bar and live your best life.