Morning Habits to Start Your Day Off Well
By Heidi Baldwin, MS, Holistic Health Coach
Have you ever hit snooze on your alarm one too many times, only to wake up and rush yourself out the door for work? From the stress of it all to the missed breakfasts, it is not our preferred way to start the day. How you start your morning can set the tone for the rest of your day, which is why it's so important to have some good morning habits.
Let's walk through a few simple morning habits that you can implement right away:
Before Doing Anything, Drink Some Water
Make a habit of drinking a glass of water first thing in the morning. After a long, good night's sleep, your body needs to be hydrated. You can put a glass of water on your nightstand before bed for a visual reminder when you wake up. Drinking water before you get out of bed is really the best way to get your GI system moving as you start your day, but you have to plan ahead and have the water by your bed. If you prefer fresh, cold water, put your water bottle beside the coffee machine or something else you use first thing in the morning. This is your next best option, and you should always drink water before your morning coffee. Visual reminders are helpful when trying to establish a habit, so make sure your water bottle is where you can see it. Warm lemon water is also a great way to hydrate in the morning because it feels energizing and gets your digestive system moving. Lemon water also helps alkalize the body. I personally drink water as soon as I get out of bed, and then drink lemon water when I get downstairs each morning.
Move Your Body
Not everyone enjoys working out in the morning, and not everyone has the time. However, you can still dedicate a few minutes in the morning to moving your body, whether it's a stretching routine in your room, or walking your dog around the neighborhood. If you need to, wake up a few minutes earlier to make that time for yourself. Moving your body increases your energy and releases endorphins, so you start your day feeling good and motivated to continue with more healthy habits. If you can, take your exercise outside to get some fresh air. I like to start my day with some gentle yoga poses and at least 10 minutes on my rebounder to get my lymph system moving.
Mental wellbeing is just as crucial for a healthy lifestyle as physical wellbeing. Take a few minutes each morning to write in your journal. Write down some affirmations, things you are grateful for, or some morning thoughts. This helps clear your mind and sets a positive tone for the morning, encouraging you to make more healthy habits. Journaling and other mindfulness practices, such as meditation, also help lower stress. Writing whatever pops into your mind when you wake up in the morning can really help provide clarity in your life.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
We need energy to function our best, so that first meal of the day is the most important. If you are trying to cleanse your system, start with some freshly squeezed fruit or vegetable juice, followed by a healthy smoothie. For others, a well-balanced breakfast full of protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, and fiber works best for them. Many people rely on complex carbohydrates, such as a slice of gluten free toast, with a source of protein and healthy fats, to stay satisfied for much longer. Many people love avocado toast for this reason. Find an option that works for you, keeping in mind that you are better off eating your larger meal(s) earlier in the day rather than in the evening when your body needs to be preparing to sleep, not busy digesting food.
Keep Up with Your Hygiene
Your morning routine includes a hygiene routine, whether that's just brushing your teeth and moisturizing, or showering and doing all the steps in your skincare. Taking care of your hygiene not only ensures that you're clean and fresh for the day, but also reminds you to take care of yourself. It helps decrease stress and starts your day on a more positive note. I personally recommend adding dry-brushing into your routine before showering as another tool to get your lymph flowing properly.
I know that hitting the snooze button for just 10 (or 20) more minutes of sleep seems like your best option in the morning, but getting to bed a half hour earlier (or more) each night and making sure you have time to start your day off well will make a huge difference in your life! Instead of feeling rushed and thrown into your day, you can feel relaxed and well-cared for, ready to take on whatever the day brings you!