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Beeeeep, beeeeep, beeeep!!! The alarm goes off. Many people find themselves pressing the snooze button repeatedly as they snuggle further down into their blankets, dreading the day ahead out of the warmth of their cozy bed. They cringe at opening their thick, black-out curtains and they stumble straight to the coffee machine for a cup of Monday morning relief. For me, my children are my alarm (often before 6am!) and it used to enrage me because I was so, so tired.
There were other factors involved in my tiredness that I encourage everyone to explore further before assuming you’re just a bad morning person; are your vitamin and mineral levels in optimal ranges? Are you truly getting enough sleep? Are you under a lot of stress? If so, I encourage you to spend the time exploring remedies to these ailments first in the search for morning relief.
The great news is these things all can be solved, even if they seem daunting. The even better news is how easy it is to regain the positivity that mornings can bring to your day and eventually your productivity levels. The right morning routine sets us up for success, giving us the motivation and momentum to propel ourselves forwards into the day with more self assurance and a clear mind.
The following seven habits are only a few things I’ve tried to reinvent my mornings, even with a three and a one year old, and they’ve transformed how I feel every day. I say this as someone who actively deals with depression and anxiety that waxes and wanes with the stressors of life, so I get it. I understand it’s hard some days, or even some weeks. But these actions will help anyone who can try them, I would bet on it. If you look at this and think, “I don’t have time!!” I would encourage you to find a way to make time, it will be worth it.
Start your day with a glass of water, before any food or any caffeinated beverages. I do this in bed before I’ve even gotten up. If you’re a nursing mother this is a wonderful practice to remind yourself to stay hydrated! Anyone can benefit from being hydrated from the moment they wake up.
Begin incorporating a yoga routine into your morning. It can be as small as a 10 minute routine in your pajamas, but make the effort to do some stretching and body awareness routines. This has healed my chronic back ain from carrying two kids around and the aftermath of child birth. Do this before eating breakfast. Youtube has TONS of FREE yoga videos for all levels, so no need to go to the gym or pay for anything fancy. I use my All-New FireTV with 4K Ultra HD and Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media PlayerAmazon fire tv and download the free Youtube app and search for yoga video; it’s so simple and convenient.
If you regularly drink a lot of coffee and still feel tired, try switching to tea for half of your caffeine intake. Try switching all the way over to tea eventually. See if this helps you feel better. I like Chai tea lattes (you can even toss in a shot of espresso), and for some reason they don’t come with the jitters or crash that coffee tends to create.
Include a healthy fat in your breakfast, along with some greens.
This may be hard for those of you who don’t enjoy eating vegetables, but if you must get your greens via a smoothie I recommend Vega smoothie mix. We have eggs on a handful of greens with a slice of toast, or avocado toast, or avocado and fruit smoothies (the smoothie mix has greens in it)… there are so many recipes on Pinterest! If your doctor has you on a special diet, then obviously ignore this step.
Prepare your morning the night before, including showering. I used to shower in the morning and it was an added step that took away from my ability to do all of these helpful morning habits. My hair looks better now that I shower the night before, I feel better when I go to sleep, and I don’t feel as rushed. A bonus for us parents is that you can shower in PEACE when the kids go to sleep! Do a ten minute prep, whether that means prepping your clothes or to-do list, or setting up the kitchen just how you need it for the following morning. You will be thankful for ANY prep you do the night before, ALWAYS.
Stop resisting the fact that you have to be awake. Some people are NOT morning people and they take a long time to ‘wake up.’ My husband is one of these people. One thing I notice is that he seems to be fighting the fact that he has to be awake at that time, wishing he was back in bed. Accept things you cannot change and stop creating resistance in your daily life. Embrace early mornings. Remember, I say this as I have two small children who wake before 6am every day, even weekends! If you must, splash some water on your face to snap you out of that sleepy mode.
Pray. If you are religious then set your day on the right day with prayer. Take a moment to be grateful, to think of others, and to humble yourself in prayer. If you’re not spiritual, then a few minutes of mindful meditation would do wonders for grounding your thoughts in the present and bringing gratefulness into your morning. Your mood affects your day, so try not to neglect it.
Some days you won’t do all of the things because life happens, we get sick or our kids get sick or we run behind. That’s ok. The point is to TRY with a conscious effort every single day, yes even the weekends. Do you know what is a definite morning crusher? Alcohol. Consider cutting it out if you’re really struggling with mornings, and you’ll see instant results.