Master Your Mornings

[Image - Abigail Keenan]
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Written by Tim Barnes-Clay

Morning is an opportunity for dads to set up the day and take control. So, what are the secrets to a successful day?

Our diet and lifestyle choices affect our alertness, attitude and outlook, not to mention our patience. Grabbing life ‘by the horns’ early on in the day can really make the rest of your day feel a lot more manageable.

That pint of water, combined with a morning stretch, could provide you with the alertness and agility needed to avoid turning kiddo’s toy car into a skateboard. A minute or two of organisation, along with the nutritious breakfast, could give you the edge needed to get home bang on time, feeling spritely and ready to make the most of your evening.


Breakfast means, quite literally, to break the fast – so be sure to get all the nutrition and revitalisation your body needs.

It’s a cliché’; it’s what your mother always said and it’s what you will, if not already, be saying to your kids when they turn their tired noses up at the soggy cereal sitting in front of them. Nutritionists and food experts have proven time and time again that the old saying is true; ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’.

In contrast to the sit-down-and-chat mornings previous generations enjoyed, modern breakfast is more of a grab-and-go deal. But remember, after around 10 hours of not eating, your body is eager for sustenance, especially with a long day ahead.

Be sure to get your morning calcium, fibre and protein in foods like yoghurt, whole-grain (bread or porridge), milk and cheese. These will lift your mood, strengthen your immune system and heighten your physical and mental performance.


The human brain is made-up of around 85% water – so dehydration literally makes your brain shrink. There, a bit of scare-tactics never hurt anyone!

Hydration is so much more important than we like to think. More so, rehydrating your body after a night’s sleep is particularly important for your health, performance and mental well-being throughout the day.

Doctors say that you should drink around 8 pints of water a day… that’s not an easy commitment to make, but be sure to have at least a pint of water when you wake-up, the immediate difference it makes to your day can be astonishing.

Drinking water also purifies your internal system, cleanses toxins from your skin (making it much look and feel much healthier), renews cells and balances the lymph system – helping you fight off infections.

Don’t forget to stretch

Limbering up may feel a bit over the top when you’re just about to go and eat breakfast, but a good stretch is the best way to shake-off the sluggish feeling that comes with a night of slumber – and it’s also oh-so satisfying!

Not only does stretching help prevent injury by preparing you for movement, but it sends a nice and easy message to your body that it’s time to wake-up, getting your blood flowing, sharpening your senses and boosting your concentration.

Colorado Physical Therapy Specialists say that fluid builds up in your joints as you lay-down throughout the night – particularly as you get older – so stretching your joints in the morning will really loosen them up, reducing any stiffness or discomfort.

Organise and prioritise

Taking ten minutes to plan the night before can make a huge difference to your day. Dedicate a little time to expecting the unexpected, making extra plans for what life may throw at you.

Waking up at least an hour before you have to leave will give you time to sit-down and think. It’s so important to have a moment in the morning to gather your thoughts, compose yourself, and feel a bit more like you, before stepping out the door.

Take a look over the calendar in case you forgot something, get your lunch ready, lay your clothes out… you know the drill – just remember to keep it up as a regular routine. By keeping a notepad near the bed and jotting down what you have to do tomorrow, you never have to worry about forgetting anything important.