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Ten ways to perk up your morning

Last updated on: April 29, 2013 12:32 IST

Ten ways to perk up your morning

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Shameem Akhtar

Simple tricks to up your mood in a jiffy

Ads are made around products that promise to perk your moment, indicating just how chronic this problem may be and how widespread. A majority of humanity lumbers out of bed, fatigued at the thought of having to face a working day ahead. Interestingly, even the stay-at-homes, who may be on a holiday or no special challenges stacked up for the day may feel this same sense of tiredness. What causes this sense of lethargy and unwillingness to face the day with the verve we wish we could muster?

It could be many things:

  • A late and heavy dinner
  • A dislike for the chores ahead
  • A hormonal downswing, that suppresses hormones that perk us up -- dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, to name a few
  • A lack of protein and core minerals in our diet, which again affects our moods negatively
  • Lack of exercise, which can add a pep to our lives
  • A dull or stressful day ahead
  • Even overall boredom can be a mood-killer
  • Chronic constipation can also make you feel fatigued

Yogacharya Shameem Akthar gives you simple tricks on how to up your mood in a jiffy:

1. Yoga trick

A full body stretch is an immediate wake up call. Some poses do it naturally and are not complicated or exotic. The mountain pose (tadasana), the yastikasana (stick pose) are simple full-body stretches. While for the former you need to stand up and stretch from toes to finger tips, the yastiksasana is done lying down, and could be the first thing you did on waking up.

Lie down where you are, raising hands overhead. Bring feet together. Inhale and exhale. Once more inhaling, bring the palms together and the feet closer to give yourself a complete stretch. Release the stretch when you exhale. And you are done! It is a simple but powerful way to remove the stiffness in the body and mind.


Photographs: Loveobx23/Wikimedia Commons

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2. Breakfast well

Plan a good breakfast. Looking forward to a hearty breakfast could be the best thing you did to yourself: make it colourful, engaging and different. Have small bits of several food types -- fruit pieces/or juice; carbs in the form of breads/cereals/or your native food (idli, paratha etc) with the right accompaniment.

Add your protein source (yoghurt/egg) and treat yourself with something sweet. Having sweets in the mornings is better in terms of weight control since you are likely to burn it off. It gives an immediate perkiness.

In ayurveda, a meal is complete when all the major tastes that the tongue requires are taken care of.


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3. Dab some mood-boosters on

Using a dab of the essential oils listed below, in your kerchief, inside of your wrists, or on your inner wear (where you can smell it for long, like in the bra or vest), can keep you on a fragrant high the whole day. These oils are easily available at medical or beauty shops and include ylang ylang, jasmine, rose, geranium, sandalwood. Or use perfumes or deos with these oils in them.


Image: Ferrari perfume is seen at the Ferrari store in central London May 6, 2009. Currently a chain of twenty outlets worldwide, the first Ferrari Store in Britain opened to the public in London's Regent Street on Wednesday, selling the whole range of the Italian sports car manufacturer's merchandise.
Photographs: Toby Melville/Reuters
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4. Sunlight does it

Most of us like to be in dark spaces for a while after we wake up, allowing the body enough time to adjust to the sudden clamour of the alarm clock. But if you are in a bright space after this initial adjustment is made, you will find that your mood is up and ready to face the day.

This is because the pineal gland responds to sunlight and stimulates the nervous system, readying you for the day. So, if you can sip your coffee in a space where the sunlight is dribbling in, it will be a natural way to wake up a sleepy, lethargic mind.


Image: Wild fowl fly at sunrise in Quorn, central England January 16, 2012.
Photographs: Darren Staples/Reuters
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5. Colour the mood

Bright colours have a natural mood-stimulating, mind uplifting effect. The entire entertainment and food industry exploits this principle when trying to sell something to us. Having a cheerful painting, or decor or accessories (including cups or breakfast utensils) could have a powerful, look-forward-to-day impact.

Some colours that win hands down are yellow and orange.

Even bright shades of otherwise sober colours like blue (copper sulphate blue), green (light green), violet (purple, lavender) could make a huge difference in the way you adjust to your day.


Image: Painting of a plant and a peacock
Photographs: Courtesy: facebook.com/MamataBanerjeeOfficial
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6. Gems and crystals

In alternative therapy, bright stones are seen as natural mood lifters. If you are shy about being teased about wearing them, you can still use them as key chains, or just raw chunks that may be carried with you in your wallet.

Some stones that are believed to uplift are the shimmering sunstone, the resinous amber, the sparkling citrine, the precious topaz, and the bright orange carnelian.


Image: Christie's Jewellery specialist Helen Molesworth holds up a coloured diamond pendant during an auction preview in Geneva May 11, 2007.
Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters
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7. Uplifting foods

Good fats are mood uppers. These include dry fruits, especially walnuts, seeds that like flax seeds and sunflower (may be ground and used to garnish soups, salads or yoghuts), olives and olive oil and most fish, but especially salmon. Try and squeeze some of these into your daily diet, for a natural upper.


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8. Exercise

Weekend exercise can be exhausting and can actually be counterproductive. Try to have a short but regular exercise regimen involving activity that you enjoy.

Even ten-minutes of exercise squeezed into your morning routine will give a high that will last you the whole day: yoga, brisk walking, cycling can do the trick.


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9. Look forward

Plan something for the end of your day. It could be cuddling with a book you wish to read, a TV show you want to watch, a dessert outing with the family.

If you plan it ahead, at the start of the day, it will hang about you like with a strong mood-upper the whole day. It will help you face the crowded day and carry it forward effortlessly.


Image: Strawberry Kheer with Rose Water
Photographs: Stu_spivack at Flickr/Wikimedia Commons
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10. Snuck in a private moment

Usually if a day is stacked up with several things you must do, you will feel tired even before you start. Squeezing a private moment to yourself -- like a walk out after lunch, taking the dog out for a walk, grooming your pet, a tea-break with colleagues or friends or just with yourself -- would help break the monotony of a busy day.

If you make a habit of this you will find that you can handle the rest of a tiring day easily. Having it organised beforehand would help ensure that you will commit time for yourself. In fact, amongst the entire list we gave above, this one could be the one which gives the right perk to your morning. And your day.


Photographs: Pets 101, Chennai
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