Earlier last week, we focused on healthy and practical sleep habits to help you THRIVE in life. We also dived into the importance of an evening routine that will set you up with the stepping stones to a greater night’s rest (see our previous blog SLEEPY SOLUTIONS here). So, what if I told you that an evening routine can also propel you into a positive start to your morning routine – improving motivation, productivity, mood, success and your health.
Now, If you’re anything like me, you find waking up and getting ready during winter a difficult task. Wrapping yourself into a bed-rrito and keeping cozy sounds inviting, however, it will not help you smash your goals for the coming day. That’s why Dr. Kaitlyn has created a simple morning routine to help make your winter mornings a breeze.
Sound great right. Shall we dive into what you can do in the morning to kick start your day the right way?
…NOW, NOW FIRST THINGS FIRST!
‘I can’t wake up at 6 am – that’s WAYYYY too early’.
This is like looking in the mirror and saying something negative. If you say you can’t, you probably won’t.
Instead, start slow by bringing your wake-up time 30 minutes earlier and give yourself something to look forward too. It doesn’t have to be extravagant or time-consuming. Instead, enjoy a nice winter warming breakfast with your partner or family, enjoy a morning cup of tea before the kids cause havoc, find a good yoga or guided meditation video and even better get a friend involved for a morning walk so you are accountable to get up!
Get rid of that god-awful siren alarm tone. That blaring alarm tone can start your day off on the wrong foot – in panic and stress. Try something calmer. (My preference is Sunny on my iPhone through the BEDTIME setting).
Yes, you heard me.
Give yourself 5 extra minutes in bed to acknowledge the morning. The key here is to not go back to sleep or even close your eyes, if you know you will ignore this section completely (It’s too dangereous). Instead, stay awake and bring awareness to the morning, cuddle your partner, say some positive private affirmations and run through what your morning has to offer.
Don’t you dare press snooze! I said 5 minutes, not 10. Now the key here is to stop your alarm, leave your phone alone and get UP!!
We wake up to a mobile phone and we just can’t help but have our early morning social media fix. So we flooded our minds with news stories, work emails and other people’s news feeds before we paint our own picture of the day – we give up our power to decide how we want to greet the day and that can be a mood-killer. Best way to start your day is by spending time marinating in your own thoughts before the world dumps all its problems onto you.
This has been shown to improve your mood and starting your day with a little less stress – which we could all use.
Try setting yourself a checkpoint. No phone, internet, social media until I have showered or had a morning walk. This way it is not at the expense of something that is beneficial to your morning.
Every morning, with intent. I don’t mean yank the sheets up and throw the pillow on your bed. I mean take a few minutes to make your bed, fluff the pillows, smooth out the doona and tuck the sheets.Admiral. William H. McRaven, commander of U.S. Special Operations Command stated in his speech to the University of Texas
‘if you make your bed in the morning you would have accomplished the first task of the day, it will give you a sense of pride and will encourage you to do another task and another and another. It will also reinforce that it’s the little things in life that matter if you can’t do the little things right you can’t be expected to do the big things right and if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made. That you made, and this will give you encouragement that tomorrow will be a better day’.
*Check out the full video here*
So, make your bed sergeant!
Get the blood pumping when you are most motivated.
It might not feel like it because you want to roll over in bed BUT first thing in the morning we are hit with a cortisol spike which is our stress hormone, which gets us up, alert and motivated. This is the perfect time to use this spike to your advantage. Go for a walk, hit the early morning class at the gym or do some yoga in your lounge room. Make it short and sweet, because who wants to exercise for 2 hours at 6 am (not me!) and if you can get some morning sun even better!
Morning movement also enhances your metabolism, improves focus, concentration and mood, you’ll exercise better self-discipline throughout the day being less likely to sabotage your healthy lifestyle for a cookie because you have set the tone for the day and you will sleep better.
Now let me guess you…don’t eat breakfast, no time for that. Sleep is more important (isn’t it funny how sleep wasn’t important the night before). So, you rush out of the house with maybe a piece of fruit or swing past the local drive through.
How about setting your morning routine so you can actually eat breakfast? It isn’t that hard. Don’t believe me?
In 5 minutes you can whip up some scrambled eggs, smashed avo, steamy vanilla oatmeal, or toast with peanut butter and banana…shall I go on?
You can also meal prep some breaky wraps or sandwiches, veggie-loaded egg muffins or make parfaits the night before. DELICIOUS!
Now before you start I don’t want to hear about the dishes, this is an excuse. Give yourself a few minutes to do them with your favorite tune in the background or rinse and set aside for the nightly dishes.
Now I am not saying you can’t have your morning coffee. I would never hurt you like that! But hear me out and wait a little longer and it will make sense.
Caffeine gives us a spike of energy because it increases cortisol – our stress hormone. But remember, cortisol is already high in the morning so that morning coffee is hyping us up and stressing out our system. Instead, ride that initial natural spike of energy for the first few hours. We suggest having a cup of that liquid fuel between 9:30 am and 11:30 am.
Here is where I will lose most of you – limit your coffee intake to one a day! (I know, how outrageous). However to avoid nightly sleep disruptions due to caffeine, work back 10 hours from bedtime to find your caffeine cut-off time. Timing your intake can boost your morning and provide energy all day!
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So, lie in bed, press snooze, put your phone down, get up, make your bed, have some time to yourself, get moving, enjoy some breakfast and reward yourself with a Flat White. Then the day is yours. Go out and kick butt!