Integrative Nutrition Blog

Have a Better Day Series: A Simpler Approach to your Morning Routine

February 18, 2016

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This week we’re kicking off a weekly series dedicated to helping you have a better, more productive, and healthy day! Tune in every Thursday for the latest tips!

Ah mornings, a time of renewal and possibilities, a chance to create the reality you seek and set yourself up for a productive day ahead.

Well… if you’re a morning person. If not, then mornings can be a little rough around the edges.

If you wake up tired or groggy, barely able to make yourself presentable let alone squeeze in a workout or journal your intentions before running out the door then fear not, this post is for YOU! The simple truth about mornings is this:

Not everyone is a morning person!

While you’ve probably read some version of “17 things successful people do before 9am” only to feel disappointed that you’re consistently unable to perform so many ambitious tasks that early, it’s important to remember that we are all unique and thrive at different times in different ways. Rather than beating yourself up for not meeting unrealistic expectations, why not go with your own flow and find a simpler routine that leaves you feeling energized without losing any precious sleep?

Here are 5 healthy, time-efficient and realistic ways to start your mornings.

1. Drink a tall glass of water.
After a night of fasting your body is dehydrated, so make a tall glass of room-temperature water the first thing you reach for after waking up. You can leave it on your bedside table the night before so it’s right there waiting for you in the morning. If you do have a few extra seconds to get fancy, you can add some fresh squeezed lemon or Apple Cider Vinegar for a healthy digestive aid. There’s nothing like pure hydration to help you feel revived!

2. Take a deep mindful breath.
10-20 minutes of morning meditation is a great way to start the day, but we don’t always have time for that. For a shorter version of the beneficial effects of meditation, simply close your eyes, put your hands over your heart, and take a deep breath (or two or three). This simple act could take a minute or less and is a great way to center yourself and begin the day with a dose of calm.

3. Smile.
Want to know the cool thing about smiling? It makes you happy even if you don’t really mean it! Smiling is fast and free, and it’s contagious. Do it while you’re getting dressed or making tea if you are alone, or smile at someone in your household if you’re interacting with family or roommates. This simple morning activity will lift your (and their) spirits and set you up for a positive day ahead.

4. Stretch.
The restful stillness of sleep is often followed by some stiffness in the morning, so a super quick stretch of any kind is going to leave you more nimble and relaxed throughout the day. It also gets the blood flowing so you’ll have more energy and mental clarity to boot. You can start with simple stretches that address areas in your body that feel particularly stiff, try some sun salutations, or find a stretching app for your phone. Just remember to only go a little bit past what feels comfortable so you don’t end up sore and uncomfortable later.

5. Eat a healthy protein or fat.
If you have time to make yourself a wholesome breakfast then that’s the best way to get your engine running through lunch, but if you don’t then remember to at least eat a healthy protein or fat to sustain you. Eating no breakfast at all is bound to leave you drained and unfocused, and fruit or cereal alone will spike your glucose and make you crash later. Eggs, avocado, full fat coconut milk, coconut oil, nuts or nut butter, seeds, yogurt, beans, quinoa, and lentils are all examples of healthy protein and fat. Who says last night’s leftover dinner can’t be today’s breakfast? If it’s wholesome, it’s healthier than an empty stomach!

What is your favorite morning activity? Share in the comments below! 

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