Obligations that require us to wake up two hours earlier than our natural sleep cycle intended quite frankly, sucks. Unless you’re an unusual breed human (and I commend you if you are) then getting up for work/school/other adult duties that take priority in our lives is not something we look forward to every week. I personally have incredible difficulty with time-management in the morning. I set my alarm early enough to give myself about 30-40 minutes to get ready and without fail, I am still somehow always behind schedule.
Starting a healthy routine, I now have to make a little extra time to have a cup of warm honey-lemon water, make a morning/lunch smoothie and pack a healthy lunch. That all might seem really manageable but somehow without fail, time always slips away from me. Then, I feel rushed and a little unprepared for the day because I find myself questioning if I’ve forgotten anything.
I’m taking a chance and assuming that I can’t be the only one that’s not so great at functioning well in the mornings, hence this blog post.
My morning routine needs to be healthier, so that I stop procrastinating so much when I'm tired and put off getting up. I’m seeking out ideas to jump-start my day with energy, and will lead me to have a more organized mind and day.
The Myth of Skipping Breakfast
When dieting, a lot of people think that by skipping meals (unfortunately breakfast is usually the first to go) they’ll reach their goal weight faster. Or, if you aren’t dieting but just don’t have the time, you’ll forgo eating something in the morning. Both of these are a big mistake. There are many cons to not eating breakfast in the morning, some of which include:
Ever heard the term, “hangry?” According to a 2002 BBC News World Edition article, 26% of people experienced large improvements in mood when changes were made to their diets. These changes were, you guessed it - consuming breakfast regularly.
When you don’t eat breakfast, you’re more at risk for increasing your low blood sugar. This can show itself physically by leaving you shaky, dizzy, weak, giving you headaches and a tingling or rapid heart rate. Assuming you don’t want to go through your day like this, make sure to eat properly in the morning!
First, I would suggest making yourself a warm cup of honey lemon water to sip on in the morning as soon as you wake up. Lemons and honey are anti-oxidant rich, and the trick has been used as an Ayurvedic health method for centuries. If you don’t have a lot of time in the mornings, make a smoothie. (This is probably the only part of a healthy morning routine that I have down.) For mine, I add:
A large handful or two of kale/spinach
A couple large spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt
A handful of granola
A cup of Frozen fruit
Half a cup of low-fat milk
A large squeeze of honey
A couple ice cubes
Once blended, this will usually make two decent glassfuls. I drink one while getting ready and pour the other into a tervis for when I leave the house. This is a great way to get energy and the necessary nutrients I need and doesn’t take nearly as long as preparing a meal and sitting down to enjoy it.
Nobody wants to leave their bed in the morning. This unfortunate but necessary action is made easier by having more motivation to get up. Try making a morning playlist of songs that get you moving. Listen to them as you get ready for the day and don't be afraid to dance to get your heart rate up. This will help get you energized and get your mind out of its sleepy haze. If dancing around to poppy songs isn’t really your style, try some morning yoga stretches to get your blood flowing and mind clear.
Stretch One: Standing Half Moon
Hold this pose for 3-5
breaths for both the right and left side. The benefits of Half Moon come from
the side stretch, which allows the side body and rib cage to open up.
Stretch Two: Chair Pose
Take 3-5 breaths while
holding this pose. Chair pose is great for building strength in the legs.
Stretch Three: Forward Fold
This pose helps the spine to
become more flexible while stretching the entire back line of the body. It also
allows cerebral spinal fluid into the brain.
Stretch Four: Low Lunge
This pose stretches your
quads and hip flexors
Starting your morning with an energized, clear mind is key to having an energized and clear mind for the day. By throwing out the stress of the morning and allowing more time to relax will benefit your body for the rest of the day. Fitting in the yoga stretches might mean you have to get up even earlier than you would like, but adapting a healthy routine will be much more beneficial than those 20-30 extra minutes of sleep.
So, set your alarm a little earlier. Trudge into your kitchen first thing for your warm honey lemon water concoction, and take some time to do those four yoga poses while you drink it. Heck, maybe even lay in Child's Pose for awhile and stretch until your body is ready to really get moving for the day. Then make a smoothie, blast your favorite songs and face the day.
by Sky Andersen