I have two words for you guys – MORNING ROUTINES.
Imagine the following…
You wake up. Snooze that alarm a few times (or 10… who are we kidding now?!). Drag yourself to the shower. Chow down some sugar-filled cereal. Spend a good 5 minutes looking for that damn hair tie (I mean, where do all those escape to???). Guzzle coffee down your throat as you race out the door.
Now, imagine this…
Wake up a little earlier (and on the first alarm). Meditate. Drink at least one glass of water. Plan out your day. Do your daily exercise and get those endorphins running. Make a yummy and nutritious breakfast. Calmly get ready and start the day.
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a whole lot better after the second routine than I am the first one. Rushed, stressed and on a sugar-high? I don’t think so. How we spend our mornings plays a HUGE role in how our day turns out. If you start the day feeling upbeat, motivated and inspired then you’re going to approach everything you do that day from this positive headspace and no doubt have an ahhhhhh-mazing day.
Plus, healthy morning routines, in particular, can keep you on track of your health goals. How many of you have said that you want to better yourself in some way and then before you know it, it’s the end of the year and you’ve accomplished diddly-squat (weirdest word ever ha, I love it)? I’m sure most of us are guilty of this one. However, by having a morning routine you are taking little steps every day to get closer to your goal. Do this every day and all those little steps become a giant step and soon enough your kicking those goals’ butts. Y-A-Y!
CREATING YOUR HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE
What should it include? You want your morning routine to include things that will better both your physical AND mental health (they’re equally important!). So, I’ve included a list of my MUST-DO morning routine essentials that leave you feeling fab:
Every morning drink at least one glass of water; ideally, try to drink up to one litre. So many of us don’t place enough importance on hydration (ugh, so guilty!), which is absolutely crazy seeing as 60% of our body is made up of water. Yep, you heard me – 60%! Not only that, but water is vital in every bodily function and is super important for keeping our bodies healthy on a cellular level. So, it’s definitely NOT something you want to skip out on. If you struggle drinking just plain water, perhaps try warm water with lemon slices in it? I’ll often add lemon and ginger – SO yum. Also, try to do this first thing in the morning, so it has time to settle before breaky!
[ I try to drink this entire bottle every morning. ]
If you’re a newbie with meditation and have trouble ‘turning your brain off’, just start with the basics. Find somewhere comfy (you can lie down if you’d like but there’s a good chance you’ll fall right back to sleep ha!) and just be. Make a conscious effort to relax each part of your body starting from your toes and ending at the tip of your head. Concentrate on slowing the breath. Then, listen to your surroundings. Just be in the moment. If you do get thoughts popping into your head don’t get frustrated just imagine them floating by and out of your head.
What do you imagine for your life? What do you want it to look like? What do you want to accomplish? Who do you want to be there with you? Think of all aspects of your life: personal goals, health and fitness, family, relationships, dreams, career, finance and so on. Think of these things in as much detail as possible and pretend you ALREADY have them. Not only does this inspire and motivate you, I truly believe that it puts things (VERY good things) into motion. If you truly believe that whatever you imagine is to be your reality, then your thoughts, attitude and actions will start to align with your vision. It may sound a little hocus pocus at first, but the mind is a lot more powerful than we give it credit for, so use it wisely!
“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” – Albert Einstein
Whilst imagining what you want for your life, it’s also important to be thankful for what you have right now. Even if it’s not your ideal life, or you’re having a rough time, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful about. So think of, or write down, ten things to be grateful about, big or small. If we’re constantly grateful (which we should be), we’ll always be in a good mood and the joy we have for all the victories in our lives will be magnified. Plus, it will help to buffer stress and any other unpleasant situations.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey
So, if you’re struggling with the first three things – meditation, visualization and gratitude, perhaps write in a journal. When you have too much on your mind or you can’t get yourself out of a funk, it always helps to write it down. You may be able to make some sense of why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling; things tend to be a lot clearer when they’re laid out in front of you. Who knows, you may even just find relief from getting it out of your head. Either way, it’s a win!
plan your day
I’m totally a to-do list girl, I seriously love making lists (that feeling of crossing something off is the best, don’t fight me on this one!). I find that writing down what needs to be done that day helps keep me organized, focused and motivated. Make sure you are including tasks that will get you closer to your goals. You can also do this the night before if you prefer.
There are so many advantages to exercising in the morning. Firstly, you get pumped up for the day and feel like you can tackle anything that comes your way. Secondly, if you leave exercising until after a busy day of work/uni/school/life, you either can’t be bothered or it will get pushed aside in favour of something else. Lastly, and certainly not least, it gives you that incredible endorphin rush, hello there good mood!
[ TIP: I always try to eat something little before I start exercising to give me energy, even just a piece of fruit will do. ]
Making a healthy breakfast every morning is a great habit to get into and it will give you energy to tackle the day ahead, improve your mood and help concentration. It doesn’t have to be an arduous and time-consuming process either. You can make a breakfast smoothie and prep all your ingredients the night before. You can cook up my go-to breakfast quinoa porridge, which only takes me 10-15 minutes. You can crack an egg into a skillet along with a whole lot of veggies that you had cooked the night before (prepped or even just leftovers) and then have that with some avocado on multigrain toast. Whatever you choose to have, try to make sure you have a combination of complex carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. If you need some breakfast recipe inspiration then check out pinterest!
By this point you should be feeling freakin’ fantastic and ready to have an amazing day. All that’s left to do is shower, get ready to leave or get stuck into your work/errands!
How to get started. After reading through the above suggestions, start building your morning routine – what do you want it to include? I think all of the above suggestions are essential for improving your physical and mental health, but if you’re currently living the first scenario, then switching to this entire healthy routine may not be realistic, so try adding one new task every week. Start with drinking water first thing when you wake up this week and then in a week’s time add in 5 minutes of meditation until you work your way up to the whole shebang (what’s with me and weird words today?!). Feel free to add in anything else you like. Sometimes, if my body needs a rest, instead of exercise I’ll read a book that motivates and inspires me. No surprises here, I love books that are all about self-growth, I just finished reading Adventures For Your Soul by Shannon Kaiser and I highly recommend it!
What are you going to add in your routine?
How long should it take? This is entirely up to you and your schedule. This is typically how long I spend on each:
Meditation/visualization/gratitude: 10-15 minutes
Plan: 5 minutes
Exercise: 30-60 minutes
Breakfast: 20 minutes
BUT, if I have to be out of the house ridiculously early, then I’ll usually postpone my exercise until later that day, making the routine shorter. Have a good look at your schedule and commitments, how much time can you spare? What if you wake up an hour earlier? What if you re-arrange some things around? Get clever and think of ways you can incorporate these healthy rituals into your life. Maybe you can even do the visualization and gratitude when you’re exercising, or in the shower or even on you’re way to school/work if you take the bus or train. Although I do find these morning routines best done in the, well, morning (shocker), you could always do it later on in the day if that’s where your timetable is more flexible – just think of it as a self-care routine!
“Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort. ” – Deborah Day
Let me know in the comments below what you’ll be including in your healthy morning routine! If you already have a morning routine, what are your routine essentials?!
I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! xx
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