I don't know about you, but I've never been much of a morning person.
I used to envy those who could spring out of bed with tumbling perfect locks, dive into work or go on a brisk morning walk, before then taking on the day full steam ahead.
Whereas my morning's would involve dragged-through-a-hedge-hair (seriously, I'm not sure what on earth went on during the night to result in such tangles, with hair sticking up at all ends), bad breath and a grouchy, grumpy mood which I couldn't shake until I'd had at least twelve cups of tea.
But since running my own business and working from home for the past two years, I've really had to make an effort to shake things up and maximise all the time I possibly have.
Even if I do still look like something is nesting in my hair when I get out of bed.
So, while I can't always guarantee a perfect morning, I can certainly help with tips for a productive one.
This is a paid collaboration with Listerine.
Positive mind, productive day.
Sometimes I just wake up on the wrong side of bed, I think we all do.
But outlook and state of mind is so, incredibly powerful.
One morning last year, I woke up on a rainy, grey December day and instantly my heart sank.
Maybe it was a dream I'd had, maybe it was the stress I was under at the time.
But for some reason, that day - something shifted.
I just told myself that today WAS going to be a good day.
That I'd enjoy all the day brought to me.
And that I'd try my very best to spread kindness, positivity and love.
And it worked. I had the best day, I stayed calm and I tried not to let things overwhelm me.
I quite simply put myself into a positive mindset and any minor hiccups in the day didn't seem quite so dramatic.
Now I totally understand this sounds a tad farfetched and I'm by no means discrediting stress, anxiety or the like.
But sometimes you really can fuel and feed your positive mindset.
And in turn, that creates a happier, healthier day ahead.
One thing I LOVE to do in the mornings is pick up an affirmation quote. I keep a pack on my bedside table and each morning, I pick a new one out.
Again, it might sound silly to some people. But the small things matter.
My morning routine
For me personally, I'm not 'fully' awake until I have showered, cleaned my teeth and freshened my breath.
I guess it's a mantra we've been used to from childhood, however I have updated the products I've used in recent years to ensure I feel even more fresh and ready to take on the day.
And I also like to whiten and brighten my smile - for which I believe is the very best accessory to any outfit.
After flossing and then brushing with an electric toothbrush, I swish Listerine Advanced White.
I've been using Listerine products for as long as I can remember, and have always enjoyed the deeply fresh feeling you get after a quick swill.
But their Advanced White product is clinically proven to help give you whiter teeth in just 2 weeks, using non-abrasive polyphosphate technology to lift stains from your teeth.
It also kills 99% of germs that cause bad breath in your mouth and creates a protective shield to block new stains from developing.
3 Powerful essential oils in the mouthwash combine to reduce plaque bacteria helping to clean the tooth surface.
All of the above not only keeps my smile bright, white and healthy - but it also sets me up with a clear mind for the day ahead.
Fuel up with something wholesome & nutritious.
They say you should breakfast like a king, lunch lunch a prince and dine for dinner like a pauper.
I don't know how true that is, but I do know that fuelling up with something wholesome and nutritious will only reflect positively on the rest of the day.
You don't want to be apologising for the rest of the day for the things you said while hungry! *or hangry*
In recent years, I've really changed things up with my breakfasts, making them larger, more exciting and packing in lots of nutrition.
I often make granola for the house, which I store in a big glass jar and then people can help themselves. It's easy, wholesome and very filling.
I blend together cacao powder, flaxseed, maca powder, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, white mulberries, a splash of almond milk and coconut sugar.
Then I mix the slightly creamy mixture with some jumbo oats, lay it all out on a tray with coconut oil and drizzle some honey over the top.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins on a medium heat and then serve with coconut yoghurt. Oddly, the longer the granola has been sitting in the glass jar for, the better it tastes. But I would advise eating within 3 weeks.
I've written a whole post on healthy breakfast ideas, in case you're looking for some inspiration.
Get some fresh air.
I really do think that nature has some kind of superpower, because even grabbing some fresh air during a heated or stressful moment can calm me right down.
There's something so lovely about the summer-time, when you can enjoy the outdoors more often, but even in Winter - I love going for a 10-15 minute walk just to clear the mind in the morning.
This is especially important for me, who works from home, and quite often can while away the day in her office without seeing another soul.
Nature is nurturing and starting the day off with some fresh air has really helped inspire the most productive of mornings for me personally.
So next time you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious or like the day just isn't going your way.
Grab some fresh air and let it do its magic!
"Her greatest superpower was her smile."
Start your day with a small victory
I'm a big fan of celebrating all of the days small victories, because with social media permeating our everyday lives, we can often become fixated on the 'big things', and compare ourselves to others necessarily on a daily basis.
The smaller things shouldn't be overlooked though, as each accomplishment, however minute, should be celebrated and congratulated. You should treat yourself with the same love, care and respect as you do others.
One of my favourite morning victories, is to make my bed.
I know it sounds really silly - but I do really believe that untangling those sheets, straightening up the pillows and tidying up your space can really set up your mood and your productivity for the day ahead.
It takes all of about two minutes, but it can really put my mindset into gear and kick-start my creativity.
How do you set yourself up for a perfect morning? Do you have any other tips you'd like to share?