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5 Morning Habits That Will Start Your Day With Purpose
Written by Parul Agrawal on May 13, 2021
We all know that waking up early in the morning makes us more productive. Since our childhood, we were taught to follow, “early to bed and early to rise” as a ritual. Waking up at the crack of dawn and starting our day in the right way makes us more productive and purposeful.

In this technology-driven world, the first thing we do as soon as we open our eyes is check our mobile phones for messages, emails, updates, etc. that we might have missed during our resting time. But do you know that it’s an unhealthy habit that negatively impacts the rest of your day?

According to a study from IDC, about 80 percent of smartphone users check their mobile phones within 15 minutes of waking up every morning. Doctors today concur that immediately checking your phone as soon as you wake up can start your day off in a way that is more likely to increase stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed. In other words, you are ruining your day before it even begins.

The good news is that making small changes and adding a few habits to your daily routine can have a huge impact on your day-to-day life. 

Make your bed
As simple as it might sound, making your own bed right after you wake up drastically improves the quality of your day. The way we do one thing is the way we do everything, and discipline in all aspects of life is the key to success. William H. McRaven, who extolled the virtues of making your bed every morning in a viral 2014 University of Texas commencement speech, even wrote a book on the subject, Make Your Bed: Little Things Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World. Making our bed as soon as we wake up gives us a sense of satisfaction, inspiring us to do more. 

Stretch your body
It is common for your body to become rigid and low in energy during sleep hours. Doing gentle stretches right after waking up loosens your muscles and helps with flexibility. Even five minutes of stretching relieves unwanted tension from your ligaments and joints, improves blood circulation and makes you feel more active.

Be grateful
Start your day with gratitude and positive affirmations. Be happy for another day in your life amidst the chaos and craziness of the world. Count your blessings and not your troubles. Cherishing what you have helps you value what life has to offer and creates positivity in life. Use the power of "I am" positive affirmations first thing in the morning — stand in front of the mirror to have a talk with the most amazing person of your life...yourself. Be kind to yourself and practice self love everyday.

Keep your body hydrated
Replace caffeine with lukewarm water to keep yourself hydrated. I recently drinking the juice of three lemons followed by a glass of lukewarm water every morning. Within one week of starting this ritual, my skin and hair look healthier, and I feel like a completely new person. Some people prefer making breakfast their biggest and most important meal. Others follow intermittent fasting and eat only certain hours during the day. Regardless of what eating pattern you follow, always honor the food on your plate. Be mindful of every bite you are putting in your mouth, which will improve your digestion and eventually your productivity. A constipated gut leads to a clogged brain and affects our decision-making abilities. 

Exercise your body and brain
We are complete only when our body and mind are in sync with each other. Yoga and meditation are great ways to bring synchronicity between body and mind. Setting aside few minutes every morning to focus on your breath will set the tone for the rest of your day. Twenty minutes of meditation will help you stay focused, cheerful and optimistic for the next 24 hours of your day. The most important factor in starting your day with enthusiasm is good sleep. Maintaining a minimum of six to eight hours of sleep helps avoid exhaustion and irritation the next day.

Subscribe & Get My Bestseller!
5 Morning Habits That Will Start Your Day With Purpose
Written by Parul Agrawal on May 13, 2021
You log in to your favorite social media site and see a message saying that you've been banned. The panic sets in as you realize that this means no more updates on the latest news from your followers and friends. You are not alone.

When my account was hacked, Facebook deactivated me on all its platforms due to safety concerns. I felt like a big part of my life, my identity, was gone. Disappeared. I was scared that I would be unable to stay in touch with the people who were important to me. It felt like a near-death experience, especially for my business: How will I reach out to my followers and share about my services? My following wasn't huge, but it included people who were ideal clients. It seemed like a huge disaster for my business. 

Then it hit me: The only person who can take my social life and my business away from me is myself. So instead of feeling sorry for myself and being angry with Facebook (which does nothing), I took a deep breath and started looking into other ways to stay connected without being ruled by algorithms and hackers.

I was determined to survive and thrive during this social media ban. Here's what I did, and what to do if it happens to you.

1. Read a book
There are ways to find solace during a social media ban, such as reading your favorite novel or flipping through magazines. I find it really refreshing when my phone isn't constantly buzzing in front of me, making reading more enjoyable as well. Reading is one of the best things you can do to increase your writing skills and enhance your vocabulary. Then plan to make a comeback, writing posts using richer, more eloquent language. 

An added advantage: Your brain will thank you for not being overloaded with information all day long from social media posts about what people ate at breakfast this morning. 

2. Meditate
When scrolling on Instagram, it can be hard to stay in the present. This is a great time to take some deep breaths, do yoga or just sit in silence and think about what you want for yourself without any outside distractions. I've been meditating for a few years now and it has really helped me to stay grounded and balanced. A social media exile period is an excellent opportunity for self-reflection, which can be really helpful when you're trying to figure out your life's purpose or to simply connect with your dreams. Meditation will help you get out of your own head and see what's really going on around you. 

You'll begin to notice how the ban has made life easier and your brain more creative than ever before because of all that free space.

And don't forget about exercise either because while you might not be able to show your six-pack abs on Instagram, you'll still feel better about yourself and have more energy to get things done. Going offline and exercising will boost your self-esteem, mood, and physical and mental health.  

The benefits of these activities are so great that they should be a part your daily routine anyway, but now is the time for them!

3. Engage with your audience
A social media ban will give you a chance to engage in real conversations with people who want a face-to-face talk over a cup of coffee either in person or via Zoom. Use this time as an opportunity to connect with your network on social channels that you may have been neglecting before now. Remember, a social media bans is not the end of your social life. Engage with people in person, on a video call or via text message (remember those?).

4. Listen to your inner voice
One of the best ways to weather a social media ban is by listening closely and following what feels right for you. Stay happy: It's important to stay positive, even when you're feeling down. This time offline may give way to some clarity and let you be you again, without the need to prove anything to anyone in the online space. Stay true to yourself and be grateful for people in your life who are there with open arms no matter what happens on social media.

5. Connect via e-mail
An e-mail list is the biggest asset for any business. If you have ignored your e-mail list, now is the time to connect by sending out updates, sharing blog posts or even just checking in.

The best way to get started is by using a service such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact. They have templates that are easy to set up — no design skills required! And the great thing about this option, even people who aren't on social media can stay in touch with you by subscribing to your newsletters or updates.

6. Create evergreen content
Let's face it, social media posts have a short life span. So why not create a blog, videos or a podcast with content that is not time-sensitive and upload it on a platform that you own. Your audience can come back to your site at any point in the future, so you don't have to worry about losing your precious content. 

Publish each post on your website and share them to other platforms such as Medium, LinkedIn and Quora to reach an even wider audience. This way, you can share the message that is important to you and reflects your skills without having the pressure of posting regularly or being active all day long online like with social media platforms.

7. Expand your network
Create a social media account on alternative platforms such as Gab, Clubhouse or Reddit. These networks are less popular and have lower user numbers than platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, but they may be more suitable for your audience and can help you make a connection with your ideal client. Now is a great time to navigate new platforms and learn their operations. Social media bans are not uncommon, especially if you're an influencer or have been in the spotlight recently due to content that has gone viral on social networks. The best way to survive a social media ban is by not depending solely upon one company. 

Social networks are powerful tools for connecting with your audience and building relationships, but they're also very good at disconnecting you from the world around you — and from your own self. It's important to take time for yourself and do the things you truly enjoy. 

When it happened to me, I read a book. I meditated and picked up my phone to engage in conversation with my friends and family. I listened to my inner voice and let go of the anger that I felt. It was really nice to take some time for myself without the distractions of social media. And now when people ask me how I am doing, they can actually see what is going on with their eyes and feel with their heart instead of just reading about it online. This has allowed me more freedom than I ever had before. My life didn't change — in reality, nothing has changed: Facebook is still there. But now there are also other ways I can co-create my life with the moments and people that I love. This ban has taught me to value and be grateful for the things I have in my life. A true blessing in disguise.  | Parul Agrawal 2020 - All Rights Reserved

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