Mornings - because we all have them.
I love mornings. I love mornings because of the fresh dewiness that is laden on window sills and atop the plants and grass in the garden, because the sky is a different shade of new, and because there’s no better smell than coffee, no better sound than that of birdsong and soft jazz.
What do you love about mornings?
Having a morning routine makes for the scrambling around to be less of a scramble and more of a poached pocket of key elements. In every way, a morning routine will differ from one person to the next, even those who live under the same roof. Depending on your personality, habits, and lifestyle, how you start your day will be unlike how I start mine and how your neighbor starts hers.
Your day may start at the mercy of another. Whether it’s your dog (child or husband) who needs to be let outside and fed or your boss who requires you to be present at a certain hour each day, know that you still have control over your morning and with just a few changes in detail you can feel like you’re the one setting the pace.
Every day you have the choice whether to wake up when your alarm sounds the first time, to sleep until the last possible second, or to wake up 30 minutes earlier than you usually do. Depending on your habits, this detail might take either a lot of attention and effort on your part, or little to none.
When you wake up is just as important as how you wake up. First of all, starting to wake up one or two hours before you need to leave the house, any number of minutes that allow you to be relaxed and unhurried, can be just enough of a change to welcome a positive difference. Personally, I am not one to enjoy the rush factor of waking up and running out the door, but I’m also not one to drag about the house either.
I enjoy the process of becoming alert and hydrated, waking up my body with a big glass of lemon water. I look forward to preparing an often large breakfast, alternating with quick and easy breakfasts throughout the week.
Usually, I prefer to exercise in the morning, but there have been times when I exercised in the afternoon or evening. Life swims through seasons. Seasons when we are more alert than others, busier than others, in need of different love and care than others, and it’s each of our responsibilities to acknowledge this very important detail.
We aren’t always going to be at our best, or perform at our utmost. When developing your morning routine, remember to keep yourself in mind. Waking up and going for a jog at four in the morning might serve someone you know, but if it doesn’t serve you, forget about it and begin developing your very own energizing routine.
Today’s guide is to encourage you to set up a few healthy habits each morning that work well to pull you from your slumber and set you off on the right foot into your day ahead. Let’s get to it.
Developing a Morning Routine
Set a reoccurring alarm
Traditionally, we might be used to the honking of our alarms every morning, pulling the switch to turn it off, and pushing back the switch to reset it for the following day. I got used to a routine like this growing up.
For those who are blessed with smart phone technology, the alarms no longer honk and there’s no longer a need to “reset” them. It’s so simple to even create multiple alarms for any need you may have, such as a weekday alarm and a weekend alarm. However you wish, at least set an alarm that reoccurs on the days you need it to in order to bring ease into your morning.
*Stay tuned for an especially handy tool that we love in our house.
Wake up with a big glass of water
You may be a coffee person, you may a tea, juice, or smoothie person, but we should all be water people. Drinking water is the best way to wake up the body and to feeling more alert. I like to squeeze a little lemon in my water in the mornings and take the last sip of my glass with a little splash of apple cider vinegar. Vitamin C helps us glow!
Then, I fill my glass again and take my vitamins. After that I move onto food and tea or coffee. Yes, you can have your coffee too.
To make drinking water in the morning easier, either have a pitcher of water and a glass ready on the kitchen counter, or do what Cameron Diaz suggests in “The Body Book” and keep a bottle of water on your bathroom vanity and just chug it first thing when you get up in the morning.
Eat a sustainable breakfast
Depending on your appetite, you might be one to eat right away in the morning, or your stomach may take some time to be hungry. Regardless, plan a meal that is going to satisfy you, but also keep you full for several hours until you eat lunch.
In our house, we plan our breakfasts every day and alternate sweet mornings with savory, usually opting for a more well-rounded savory feast. Eat the foods that you like, but steer clear of empty calories such as cereals and lean towards healthier alternatives like oatmeal and fruit or eggs and olives and cheese. Yogurt is also a wonderful breakfast food, full of probiotics.
Experiment with different foods and choose the ones that make you feel the best and keep you satiated longest. Use this time to be honest with yourself. Keep breakfast simple by either preparing the same meal every day or mixing it up with a meal plan.
Meditate & or exercise
If you don’t create time to exercise in the morning, or have a plan to exercise later in the day, I would suggest setting aside the time to meditate. There’s no special attire you need to wear or change into. It’s just a matter of having a comfortable place to sit and allow for 5-10 minutes to be with yourself.
Mediation is great for the immune system, so what better way to start your day than with a little immune support. Exercise goes hand-in-hand with meditation, however, if you’re short on time in the mornings, dedicate just a minute or two to a warm-up; stretch, wake up the spine with a reach to the sky and a forward fold or a little cat-cow action . Explore movement until you find something that feels good.
Dive into a self-love activity
Self-love is a wonderful habit that each of us should strive to exercise. For everyone, this action will look and feel different and it may even vary each day. Some examples may be journaling, practicing gratitude, reading a book, newspaper, or a magazine, turning on some music, calling a dear friend or family member, practicing a foreign language for 15 minutes, or simply choosing to give yourself plenty of time in the morning so you don’t have to race around.
However much time you choose to dedicate to yourself in the morning, the choice to do so and to do so regularly will offer wonderful long-term results. There’s no better feeling than the feeling of ease.
Plan your get-ready routine
Lay out your clothes the night before. Remove the scrambling around in the morning trying to figure out what to wear, where things are, wondering if something should be ironed or steamed or not. Do it all the night before and rest easy in the morning.
Arrange time for showering after exercising, if necessary, or opt for showering at night. Personally, I prefer to shower at night. Blow drying my hair takes way too much time in the morning. Plus, it looks better and is much more manageable the next day.
If you’re on the facial hair spectrum, perhaps trimming the beard at night or shaving your face in the morning will bring the best results. Either way, develop your morning with this in mind, or rest easy knowing it’s already done when you go to sleep at night.
Mornings can be a wonderful time if we allow them to be. With a little effort they can be fluid, energizing, and enjoyable. It’s your morning, so have it your way. Develop habits that make you feel good and start looking forward to tomorrow. Not having a routine makes for a hectic day – we all know this. So, be kind to yourself and discover a rhythm that is gold to you.