Can’t stand the idea of throwing off that cozy blanket? Find yourself hitting the snooze button again and again and again?
That was me, until I noticed my cats’ early morning routines are better than mine (which previously consisted of a lot of grumbling and rationalizing the idea of staying in bed just one more minute…).
Here’s what my cats do that we should all be doing for ourselves.
Cat-Insired Morning Rituals You Need To Try
After the alarm goes off, we inevitably yawn. Why is that? Because of something fancy called “thermoregulation.”
Basically, we yawn to cool our brains. This is an instinctual thing that enhances awareness. (No, it has nothing to do with needing more oxygen.)
According to a study conducted by the Frontiers Research Foundation, “yawning occurs in anticipation of important events and during behavioral transitions,” like waking up. Cats do it—a lot. So should we.
I’m not talking about a full-blown yoga session here—although if you have time for it, awesome. Once again referring to the habits of my furry children, morning stretches should be quick and simple: five minutes long! Cats do a little downward dog, a little extended puppy, a little sitting half-spinal twist, and they’re good to go.
Related: 5 Reasons To Start Doing Bedtime Stretches
Stretching is one of the most essential morning routines. After stretching, you’ll not only feel awake, but energized. Stretching improves blood-flow in your muscles, which loosens the ligaments in your joints and subsequently makes movement easier.
You can also feel good because your chances of pulling a muscle or stressing a joint sometime during the day will plummet, which makes morning-stretches practically essential for fitness lovers who plan on working out later in the day.
That’s just it. Munch. Don’t gorge. Cats are “grazers”—they eat when they’re hungry.
If you aren’t really into breakfast, try “grazing” on one food from each of these four groups to get your metabolic system up and running:
- Fruits and vegetables (orange, apple, or grape juices—the less sugar, the better)
- Grains (bagels, toast—whole grain, preferably)
- Milk (low-fat or even fat-free)
- Protein (like eggs, peanut butter, yogurt, or a low-fat cheese)
A morning-munch gives your metabolism a kick in the rear, helping your body burn more fat throughout the day. You’ll also find yourself more energized—mentally and physically—and less likely to snack between meals.
Related: 10 Protein Snacks Every Health Nut Should Eat
Don’t even try to pretend you don’t care about the way you look. Because you do. We all do. If you choose to put on clothes before going out, you care. It’s human nature.
And if you own a cat—or ever met one—you’ll know it’s an interspecies truth: appearance matters. According to the Association for Psychological Science, “Evolutionary psychology holds that faces really are windows onto certain fundamental and important characteristics indicative of a person’s quality…—qualities of health and genes, and even character.”
Now, we don’t all have to look like supermodels—far from it! But basic “preening” will instill confidence for the day ahead. A new outfit or hairstyle (or even a new mascara, for goodness sake’s) can make all the difference. It’s the little things in life!
After a thorough preening session (way more thorough than my own), my cats like to find a sunny window and ponder the meaning of life. Or at least it appears that way. (Who knows what their little kitty-brains are actually thinking?)
Related: Why Meditate? The Minimalist Guide To Meditation
Whatever it is, they always look so peaceful, so content.
How often do we start the day like an angry bull? We grunt and groan into our clothes, stomp on our shoes, and charge off in our cars without giving our mental health a second-thought.
If we just paused—for even a fraction of a minute—to step outside ourselves and appreciate the world we live in, we too could feel as content with our lives, no matter how hectic the day ahead.
Morning routines are essential. Yawn, stretch, munch, preen, and pause, because when you think about it, our mornings are really the only time of day we control. The rest of the day, we’re owned by work, errands, and obligations. And most of the time, we’re too tired at night to do anything for ourselves.
But mornings are all ours. Let’s make them count.
Taylor has a degree in English, with minors in journalism and creative writing. More importantly, she is a self-proclaimed crazy-old-cat-lady and bibliophile who also enjoys running, hiking with her husband, and scrapbooking.
Photo by Daveybot