My Morning Routine
For The Healthy Body and Happy Mind
I love the saying - "Nothing makes sense until you look back, and then everything makes perfect sense." I'm not sure if that even remotely close to the actual quote, but hopefully you understand what I'm trying to say. That butchered quote couldn't be more true in every aspect of my life at the moment. When you're in it, it feels like you're surrounded by hundreds of possibilities without any guarantee as to which is truly the right choice. As someone with an indecisive, yet intuitive soul, this is where it gets loud for me. I feel what it is that I want, and I feel like I know what's meant to be, but is that enough? This question and this trust is something that I'm still trying to figure out.
At the moment, the least comforting feeling is knowing that I'm in it. I'm twenty-three years old, but my life is anything but twenty-three years young. I am constantly thinking about growing my brand and my business, understanding or trying to take the next step, and figuring out what and who I am supposed to be. All the while, listening to my inner libra, reminding me to relax, chill out, and stress less.
As someone who made it all the way through college without using a planner once, and now can't leave the house without it - I'm coming to realize how necessary a healthy routine is for the moments in my life that I can control. I spend a lot of time in front of a screen, talking with clients, creating programs, designing content for Instagram, editing photos, and the list goes on and on. This is something that I cannot control because it's apart of my business as an online brand, Nutritionist and wellness blogger. Without it, I wouldn't be here! Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love what I do and what I have the opportunity to do every single day, but it makes scheduling 'me time' a little bit more difficult.
After I made the decision to really focus on my brand, I quickly fell into the habit of reaching for my phone first thing in the morning to mindlessly scroll through Instagram, check up on Facebook, or read through emails. Little did I realize, by giving my early morning thoughts to everyone else in the world, I was missing out on the person who needed them most. I found myself constantly feeling envious of other bloggers, comparing myself to other creatives, and feeling very pessimistic about what I had to offer. I was getting no where fast and I wanted to blame everyone else for what I had given away.
My time is something that I've always cherished, but have never been obligated to truly make time for. Now that I'm in it - time for myself, time for my creativity, and time to become better is limited. By devoting my morning to things that serve me, to things that better myself and my business, and to things that make me feel good and think more positively, I am able to be more productive throughout the day. Here are a few helpful tips for building a morning routine for a happy mind and healthy body, as well as why I do what I do - because yes, there is always a method to the madness! These are just a few helpful steps that I have invited into my morning routine. If you are feeling unorganized, anxious, overwhelmed or simply looking for a morning adjustment, I hope a few of these tips can find their way into your routine and help you as much as they have helped me.
Wake Up Before The Sun
The first and easiest step to building a better morning routine is to simply wake up earlier than you need. More often than not, we hit snooze a million times and rush our way out the door, and into the day. By giving yourself plenty of time in the morning to sip on coffee, read through the news, or stretch your sleeping muscles, you will be able to relax your mind and your body before you try to take on the chaos of the day.
If I plan on leaving the house around 7:15, I make sure to wake up by 6:00 at the latest. Although getting ready for the day may only take me fifteen minutes at most, I use this hour to do things that I enjoy or that bring me joy and calmness. This time is the start of my morning routine, it encompasses time that I have devoted to myself and my business to organize my day, sort through my thoughts, and plan for any task that I may need to accomplish. Making the commitment and giving myself time in the morning to simply think, or do whatever it is that I want to do, is the most important thing that you can do to begin your day on the right path. It's not a selfish thing, it's not difficult to implement, and it doesn't require anyone else but you. If you're overwhelmed from the moment you wake up, chances are you won't sort through the rest of the day very well.
Make The Bed
Yes, your mom was right - making your bed in the morning will make a difference in your day. Okay, maybe not when you're seven and have cheerios and ponies on your mind, but in the adult world, it's kind of a big deal. It took me a while to figure this one out. Growing up, I never took pride in how well my bed was made or how well my room was kept. Why? Because I was a kid and the only thing on my mind was ponies and cheerios. Even when I was in college, I never took the time to perfectly arrange my sheets and pillows; I figured, "Why make the bed when I'm going to sleep in it tonight?" It is a valid reason that many of us share, but the whole idea of making your bed goes beyond the appearance of a tidied up room.
To make your bed is to accomplish a task. This is the first opportunity that you have to create positive thoughts, manage and improve your day, and take pride in something that you value. Every morning, before I sit down to sip on coffee, Chad and I will usually make the bed together. He grabs one side of the comforter, I grab the other, and within a matter of a minute at most, our bed is made and we are ready to start the day. He always reminds me, "Team work makes the dream work" and I couldn't agree more.
Beyond feeling good about accomplishing a goal first thing in the morning, you now have a clean and clutter free space to work in, think in, and enjoy. When I walk into my bedroom and find the sheets a mess and pillows on the floor, I find myself less productive in other areas of life, especially when I'm doing work at home and am constantly reminded of the unorganized clutter. Making your bed first thing in the morning will set the tone for a positive and productive day; you will be able to enjoy your space without the noise and clutter keeping you from accomplishing all that you wish.
Hydrate Before You Caffeinate
As I shuffle my way into the kitchen, feeling the cold tile beneath my feet and missing the warm and comforting calls of my cozy bed, I can't help but reach for a big cup of steaming coffee. Pause. Of course it makes sense to reach for a warm cup of caffeine when you're trying to wake the body up, but believe me when I tell you - there is a better way. Before you sip down that coffee, give your body what it really needs with a glass of water, preferably room temperature. If you're feeling really courageous, you can even add a slice of fresh lemon or lemon juice. Water is an essential and vital element to our overall health, and after fasting for 7-8 hours (sleeping), the first thing your body may need is to be rehydrated.
I make sure to drink one full glass of water (16 oz.) before I even have a sip of coffee. I often have this stubborn battle within my own head on really chilly mornings, something like "Oh just skip the water this one time, you'll make up for it later!" and then of course I remember that I am doing it for my health and it is a priority. After I have a full glass, I grab my cup of coffee and find my way to the couch. This is another example of a small, yet incredibly effective task that you can easily accomplish first thing in the morning. Even though it's one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet, most of us have a hard time drinking enough water throughout the day. By making the commitment to at least have 2-3 cups before you leave the house, it makes for a better day. You can use this trick once you get home for the day as well. Hydration is key for proper digestion, absorption of nutrients, and physically feeling good; without it, we can feel physically fatigued and mentally tired before we even take on the day!
Start With Something Useful
As I sip on my coffee and gravitate towards what's going on in the world, I again stop myself to think about priorities. What will make me think more clearly? What will inspire me? What can I do to learn and grow? If Instagram and media outlets aren't the answer, than I will wait to check those platforms until I'm ready. I always start with something useful.
Around the time that I made the leap and started my business, Chad let me in on one of his best kept secrets: "Greatday.com." Those were the words he said to me after I reluctantly admitted that I wasted so much time in the morning, endlessly scrolling and missing out on any real value. I've talked about this a little bit on my page, but if you don't know what great day is, start by clicking here. Ralph Marston is the author and creator of this daily motivational website, known as Great Day. Every day (besides Sunday), he posts a new affirmation to the homepage. You aren't able to look a head or even look back at old collections; they are simply meant to be cherished on that day and that day only.
For some reason, it stuck. One of the first things that I do after I pick up my phone is check "greatday.com" and read the passage word for word. Sometimes I even read it twice just to make sure that I truly understand the message. Six months later, it is still something that that I use daily. Somehow I feel a sense of connection and understanding within every post, like it was written for me or my day. When I take the time to read and fully comprehend the message, I find myself using it, or recognizing it, throughout the day. It gives me a new or different perspective to think about, and a sense of hope when I feel like the entire universe is working against me.
If you feed your mind positivity, whether it's from making the bed or reading your favorite passage, you are able to set the tone for how you feel, how you deal, and how you perceive obstacles, challenges or setbacks throughout the day.
A Very Important Meal
Breakfast - it's a very important meal of the day, maybe even one of the most important meals of the day, but I like to think they're all pretty important in their own right. Some of us love it and some of us can't remember the last time we sat down to actually have breakfast. As we find ourselves rushing to get dressed to rush out the door, the last thing one might think about is having breakfast. I get it, we're not all morning people, but I truly believe you can be if you want to be. It starts with waking up early, making your bed, hydrating the body, and choosing the light. Forming these habits doesn't leave you rushing, panicking, or feeling overwhelmed to start the day. Practicing these daily rituals will bring you clarity and calmness to do what should be done and what needs to be done. The final step to my morning routine is to sit down and have a fulfilling breakfast.
Not a day goes by that I miss having breakfast. If I plan on going to the gym first thing or have a busy day ahead, I might even enjoy breakfast, twice! Breakfast doesn't need to be complicated, but it should be a necessity and it should provide you with beneficial nutrients. Just as we make our beds and read our favorite scripts to think and feel our best, we need to eat the right foods to feel and perform our best. Breakfast should consist of quality protein such as eggs, nutritious produce such as fruit or veggies, healthy fats such as egg yolk (yes, the whole egg, not just egg whites!) or peanut butter, and complex carbohydrates to wake up the brain such as oats or a slice of whole grain toast.
Similarly to my beginning steps, having a healthful and satisfying breakfast will set the tone, influence decisions, and create clarity throughout the day. Breakfast is a very important meal because it has the power to determine how you feel throughout the morning and what your next meal might look like. By skipping breakfast and rushing into the day, you aren't giving your body (or your mind) the proper nutrients needed to feel and think your best. From there, you may find yourself starving by lunch time and reaching for anything and everything in sight. When you choose to make breakfast a priority, you are giving yourself all of the right tools to feel your best and make the best decisions.
Whether you're looking to calm the chaos, organize your thoughts, or simply increase your productivity throughout the day, each step in my morning routine might be able to help. Start your day off with thoughts and things that serve you, that can add value to your life and help you achieve any goal that you have in mind. You don't have to be an entrepreneur to set aside time to make yourself and your life better. We're all human and we're all trying to figure it out; your morning routine might be the best place to start.
Set the tone for your day, give yourself time, and prepare for what you want to achieve. It's always the smallest steps that get you to where you want to be.
If you try any of my morning routine tips, be sure to tag me on Instagram @thehealthiest_me or use the hashtag #thehealthiestme