We’re one week into the New Year and for you that might mean tweaking your morning routine to help you make the most of your busy days. When I think of people in the morning, two images come to mind. First are the people who HATE morning. They’re groggy, tired, zombie-like creatures who are still moaning and groaning hours after their wake-up call. Second are the people who LOVE morning. They’re the ones who seem like they’re competing with their fellow early birds to see who can get up earliest and accomplish half their day before 9am. Perhaps there’s an in between. But from personal experience, I went from a half-dead zombie in the morning to having the energy levels of a 4-year old on Halloween. Did I ever think the day would come when my absolute favourite time of the day was 6am? Absolutely NOT! So, what changed? How did I do it?
To be honest, I’ll admit it was forced upon me when I started my corporate life. The 8am-5pm grind had my eyelids feeling like sandbags by 10pm. I was then jolted awake at 6am by my pounding alarm, which I now know is one of the worst ways to wake yourself up. Why? It not only disrupts your circadian rhythm, but is extremely stressful to the body and causes sleep inertia. You feeling me so far? Wait…what’s sleep inertia? It’s that disoriented blind and drunk feeling that is immediately followed by an abrupt awakening. This not only impairs your morning alertness, but also interferes with your ability to perform any mental or physical tasks. No wonder you hate it!
In fact, I can’t wait to go to sleep, just so I can wake up early. I know. Nauseating. But, I promise, you can feel that way too and absolutely love it. Here’s how. All you need is 10-minutes.
Wake Up At the Same Time Every Day
Wait. Here me out. I know you’ve heard this before. Which is why it’s essential. IT WORKS! It just takes time. Just like learning any new skill or developing a new habit, you have to stick to it. Your body has muscle memory which gets stronger with consistent practice. Give yourself at least two consistent weeks of waking up at the same time every single day, regardless of what time you go to bed. Yep. I didn’t say it was easy. But after a couple weeks, you will start to notice that your body is on YOUR side and each day, it becomes easier.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
You wake up in the morning completely fasted and dehydrated. Your body is screaming for nourishing liquids and nutrients. Instead of starting your day with coffee, drink a large glass of room temperature water with freshly squeezed lime/lemon or 1 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar. This will not only help wake you up, but it starts your digestive cascade setting you up for you morning meal. BONUS! You’re killing two birds with one stone. Then enjoy your cup of coffee.
Feel Your Daily Intention
Take 1-2 minutes every morning to sit down and be still. Let go of your daily to do list and bring yourself to the feeling of how you want to present yourself to the world that day. Don’t ‘think’ about it, ‘feel’ it. For instance, you could spend this sitting time feeling love; kindness; compassion; patience; focus; clarity; strength; relaxation. Pick one and breath into it for a solid minute. Thoughts will come into your mind, and that is OK. As soon as you notice the thought, acknowledge it, then let it go and come back to that feeling. Practice this daily at the same time and begin to observe how it impacts your day.
Stretch and Power Up Your Core
After an entire night of being horizontal, your spinal fluid, energy systems and circulation becomes stagnant. Take about 5-minutes every morning after you’ve felt your daily intention to get your blood flowing, and muscles moving. It’s a beautiful way to help wake you up and keep your body physically healthy. Here’s a video of my morning stretch and core routine to help you get started.
As mentioned above, you wake up fasted. A lot of my clients tell me they aren’t hungry first thing in the morning, and that’s OK too. Feed yourself only when you are hungry, just ensure it’s with foods that are naturally nourishing and easy to digest. I typically like to start my days with a smoothie, as they are extremely hydrating, pre-digested (from all that blending), and loaded with powerful superfoods that keep me focused and energized for most of the morning. Two of my favourite go-to’s are Liquid Gold Smoothie and Green Digestive Machine Smoothie. If you live in a cold climate, I highly recommend smoothies that are naturally warming. Check out my Smoothie with the Seasons Guide for 20 seasonal smoothies that support your body through each season.