By Suzanne Boothby
Are you someone who starts the day with a pep in your step or do you need a little help in the morning to feel your best? Either way, a simple morning routine can set you up for an amazing day.
You don’t have to wake up before dawn or spend hours to feel your best. By waking up just 15 minutes earlier, you can easily add some healthful habits that can help you feel good throughout your day.
Here are a few short practices, from drinking more water to moving your body, that you can add to your morning for greater health and happiness. And yes, juice is included!
Your morning practice really begins the night before. Start by putting your phone in airplane mode so you are not distracted by emails, phone calls or social media alerts. Research shows that too much screen time at night can leave you feeling groggy in the morning because of both the mental activity and the light from your devices. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep by going without electronics for at least an hour before bed. Better sleep = feeling rested in the a.m.
Many people reach for their phone first thing in the morning, but this can easily lead to looking at headlines, scrolling on social media or responding to emails before you are ready. Studies have found that waking up to a series of phone notifications can trigger stress in the morning. So, resist the urge to turn on your phone and instead take a few minutes to start your day without distractions.
Before you get out of bed, you can practice one or two minutes of deep belly breathing. Simply put your hands on your stomach and breath into that area. Notice how your breath moves your hands up and as you exhale your hands lower. Take a moment to enjoy some deep breathing and re-oxygenate the body after a good night’s sleep.
You can practice this one before you get out of bed too. Think of three things that you are grateful for in your life. Maybe it’s your family, your comfortable bed, the sounds of birds chirping, the sun beams streaming into your window, or anything else in your life. We spend so much of our day thinking of all the things we have yet to accomplish, so start the morning by reminding yourself about some of the little things you already enjoy.
While you may already have a set time to exercise or go to the gym, consider adding five minutes of movement to your morning. If you are someone who feels stiff when you wake up, try some simple stretches. Lift your arms above your head. Touch your toes or knees. Swing your arms and slowly twist your spine from one side to the other. Lay on your back and pull one knee into your chest, hold it for a few breathes and then switch legs. You can shrug your shoulders or practice some gentle neck rolls. If you are someone who wakes up without a lot of energy, consider going for a brisk walk around the block, doing some jumping jacks or jumping on a rebounder. One way to remind yourself to move in the morning is to leave your sneakers or workout clothes next to the bed as a visual cue to get moving.
So many of us get up and start our day without setting any kind of mood or tone. Consider adding a little inspiration to your morning. You can achieve that by: reading a few pages of a book that you love, putting on some music that uplifts you, saying a prayer or mantra for your day or taking time to visualize the rest of your day. Maybe you have a big meeting later or a lot of phone calls to make. Just take a moment and see your day going smoothly. Imagine getting to work on time, dropping the kids off at school without any hassle or enjoying a healthy lunch.
You want to be sure to rehydrate and drink some water in the morning. You can set yourself up by filling a water glass the night before and putting it on your bed stand. Don’t worry about how much water you drink first thing, just focus on taking a few sips after you wake and keeping your glass or water bottle by your side throughout the day. If you are someone who struggles to drink enough water, review these benefits of drinking water. You can also add lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water for more flavor and extra nutrients.
Juices are a great way to start your day and to flood your body with an array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You may already have your favorite, but here are a few other juice recipes to try. If you are feeling crunched for time, you can combine morning habits by playing inspiring music while you make your juice or practicing belly breathing before you drink your juice.
Remember, a morning routine is an easy way to show yourself some love and attention before the day gets going. You don’t have to do all of these things mentioned above, but you can start with one or two and see how it goes. A simple morning routine can set the tone for a healthier day and make it easier to achieve your wellness goals.