Our morning time is quite precious – it offers a breathing space before we jump into the colourful outside world. Starting our mornings with the right tone can make a massive difference to energy levels, productivity at work, and how we perceive the day ahead. We can linger in bed, aggressively hitting the alarm clock a few times before rushing out the door, stressed, to work (and who even has time for breakfast?), though this type of routine may take a toll on us both mentally and physically, as rushing manifests stress, and stress impacts health.
My morning routine consists of a few basic self-love habits – nothing crazy or time-consuming – and I always feel calmer and more grounded when I start my day like this. Try, even just for a week, setting up a simple, positive routine that fits in with your lifestyle. You may be surprised at how much more efficient you feel into the morning.
Hydration. I am ALL for my morning coffee (that is a ritual in itself!), but water is always the first thing that enters my body when I wake. After not drinking overnight for 8 or so hours, we're naturally a little dehydrated, which can affect how we feel and make us groggier than normal. Drinking water when you first rise is a great way to wake-up your metabolism and flush out toxins. Make it a habit to head to the kitchen and enjoy a big glass of water as soon as your feet hit the floor!
• Cold water can be quite shocking on our system first thing, so go for room temperature or warm.
• Sometimes I’ll add a squeeze of lemon to my water to help aid liver detoxification and upcoming digestion - it tastes nice too!
Steer clear of technology immediately upon wakening. For the longest time I’d wake up, roll over and mindlessly scroll through social media on my phone - it would quickly leave me frazzled, especially if I allowed myself to get sucked into a social media vortex where my AM time would quickly dissipate. With technology we’re hit with a bombardment of information, colour, and both good and bad news, and it can be over-stimulating, over-whelming and time-consuming when we first wake up. Even seeing a build-up of emails from overnight can cause us to enter a state of panic! Technology tends to quicken the pace of the world around us – choosing to have a breathing space from it first thing in the morning REALLY helps slow everything down.
• Keep your phone on airplane mode until it's time to use it.
A nourishing breakfast. Starting our day with a wholesome breakfast means we’re starting our day fueled - like a car topped up with petrol. Remember, our body needs nutrients to function at its best - not just physically, but mentally too. When we skip breakfast or go for a not-so nourishing option, we’re often setting our blood sugar levels for a disastrous day, and this habit can really affect our food choices for the coming morning (10 am chocolate Danish pick-me-up any one?).
• To assist with stable blood sugar levels into the morning always aim for a protein-rich breakfast (e.g. egg, smoothie with protein powder...)
Rise a little earlier. Waking up a little earlier gives us more time in the morning to really set ourselves up for the day. Even an extra half an hour can make a huge difference – think, a slightly longer shower where you can enjoy the warm water on your skin, a little more room to make something extra yummy for breakfast AND sit down and enjoy it, time to make sure you’ve got healthy nourishing food sorted for the day ahead and even some space for a little reading.
Move your body! The benefits of exercise are endless, and extend far beyond the physical. Starting the day with movement is a beautiful way to enter the morning. I sit at a desk a lot for work, and taking the time to get a little activity in the AM helps keep my body feeling a little extra fluid throughout the day, manage stress, and also means that when I get home after a long day I can really just relax - exercise has already been ticked off! If you can get sunlight on your eyes first thing too (as long as it’s not too bright!), for example with a morning walk, then this can be a great way at resetting our internal body clock – ideal if you’re struggling with sleeping problems or insomnia.