5 Hacks to Improve Your Day
Little wins can often make your day and at Workshop, we’re big fans of finding ways to turn an average day into one that makes you feel better, brighter and full of energy, preferably before you've even left for work. Here are five of our favourite instant mood boosters…
Overhaul your morning brew
There are countless ways you can make your morning cup of coffee work that little bit harder, but one favourite is to spike it with a spoonful of medicinal mushrooms. Loaded with anti-inflammatories, powdered mushroom blends containing reishi, lion’s mane and chaga amongst others can help support the immune system; in Chinese medicine reishi are traditionally used to increase vitality. Medicinal mushrooms are also widely lauded for their adaptogen properties, meaning they can help your body adapt to stress, increase mental clarity and boost energy levels. To find the best source for your morning cup, make sure you opt for a product that’s 100% mushroom and free from filler ingredients like grains and gluten.
Try cold therapy
Starting your morning with a little hydrotherapy is a great way to start the day, so get into the habit of turning the tap to cold at the end of your morning shower. Not only do cold showers help boost endorphins, studies have shown they can help improve circulation and boost your metabolism. Taking cold showers can even help fight off common illnesses such as colds and flu; that’s because the shock of cold water in the bloodstream triggers leukocytes in the body which are responsible for fighting infection. If you’ve tried it before, start slowly with just a few seconds under, gradually building up until your tolerance improves.
If you wake feeling lacklustre, sluggish or anxious before the day has even begun, it can set really set the tone for your mood ahead. When that does happen, take a moment to pause and use the best energising and de-stressing tool at your disposal: your breath. The easiest part of the autonomic nervous system to control, and arguably the one that has the most instant impact, changing your breath patterns can have huge physical and mental benefits. The Wim Hof Breath of Fire technique is one of the best ways to improve energy levels and change the way you are able to respond to stress. The idea is that by inducing a short stress response in the way you breathe, the better able you are to build resilience and take control of situations that arise that might otherwise throw you off balance. To practise the technique, find a comfortable position and take 30-40 quick, deep breaths, inhaling through your nose and out through your mouth; they should feel energetic and full of power. Next, take a slow, deep breath and exhale, then hold your breath until the need for your next one becomes apparent. Inhale again as deeply as you can so that your belly and chest expand. Repeat the cycle 3-4 times as needed.
Go for an early walk
Starting your day by getting out and connecting with nature has so many benefits, including fostering a more positive mindset and reducing feelings of fatigue and anxiety. If you can combine getting outside with your daily run or cycle then even better; studies show that partaking in ‘green exercise’ helps improve your motivation when it comes to sticking to regular exercise, plus getting your workout in early floods your body with endorphins that will last the rest of the day, thus helping to improve your mood significantly.
Start with a song
It’s no coincidence that when you want to put in your best performance at the gym, you turn to your playlist of upbeat tunes; according to research done by the Scientific American, fast-paced music acts like an instant energy booster, overriding your brain’s fatigue signals and helping you feel more alert and energised. If you often wake feeling sluggish or still tired from the night before, try listening to something fast and (a little furious) to quickly pep you up. Conversely, if you’ve woken up feeling stressed thanks to a missed alarm or emails piling up in your inbox, play something relaxing first thing instead which will set the tone for a calmer, less stressful day.