Not everyone was blessed with the “morning person” gene. Certainly not me. I prefer to hit snooze at least five times. The thought of putting my alarm clock across the room to force myself to get up is like forcing a five year old to walk through an ice cream shop without getting him a scoop. Why would you do that? It’s just mean.
Personally, I like to ease into the morning. I have a gentle alarm tone set on my phone because I’ve learned that a blaring BEEP-BEEP-BEEPING alarm tends to jolt my day to a frazzled start that’s hard to recover from. And so, with much trial and error, I have found a few things that have become incredibly helpful in creating a morning routine that starts my day off right.
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Warm Lemon Water
There it is. I said it. Everyone whose anyone with any kind of successful morning routine starts with warm lemon water, right? I admit, I was skeptical of this health trend but really wanted something to jump start my day. So I went with it for a week and was surprised to find that it did everything people were raving about. It gets your digestive system going, hydrates the body and jump starts your metabolism. Drinking something warm first thing in the morning is also a very comforting way to wake up the body.
If you want a little something extra, add green tea. Along with the lemon, it gives your immune system a boost with a little kick of caffeine. I prefer Yogi Tea Super Antioxidant Green Tea (it doesn’t have that bitter after taste that some green teas can have).
You don’t have to be a super flexible yogi or even own a yoga mat to do this (although, if you want to get one, I suggest the Manduka PROlite mat – it is amazing). If the idea of moving at all in the morning sounds awful to you, try this super gentle and delicious morning sequence by Yoga With Adriene. She also has an energetic morning sequence, if you’re looking to get more of a workout. And if you’re really pressed for time, she has a sweet 5 Minute Morning practice that I love!
Okay, before you roll your eyes and scroll away, hear me out. I had all sorts of weird ideas about what meditation was until I gave it a try. Taking a few minutes each morning to sit quietly and focus on my breath gives me the opportunity to really set the tone for the day. It allows me to calm any worried or anxious thoughts before they begin to dictate my attitude.
To add another layer to your morning, try Yoga With Adriene’s 10 minute guided Meditation For Inner Peace video (because who can’t use more inner peace, especially in the morning).
I don’t always have time for a big breakfast before I head off to work but I do believe what they say about breakfast being the most important meal of the day – because in my case, hunger will ruin the day in a hurry.
Much like the warm lemon water situation, I was hesitant to jump on the green smoothie bandwagon. I don’t have a million dollar blender and I wasn’t interested in buying one. I tried all sorts of greens that left chunks in my smoothie (gross) and finally stumbled upon this Moringa Leaf powder that has all the goodness of fresh spinach and kale without the unpleasant texture. The powder makes the smoothie thicker and smoother, and even has a bit of a sweetness to it. I mix it with a frozen banana, a handful of pineapple or mango (or both) and blend it with water. It’s simple, delicious, and done in less than five minutes. It’s also a great on-the-go breakfast option
Writing in a journal every morning has completely changed the game for me. And it’s different every day. Some mornings I’m feeling particularly creative and I do Morning Pages – an idea made popular by Julia Cameron, where you write three pages of longhand, stream of conscious style. Just write down whatever comes to mind and keep doing that until you fill up three pages. My Morning Pages journal looks like something out of a psych ward at times but I’ve come up with some pretty good material that way.
Another great option is The 5 Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day. It helps you focus on the positive, creating a sense of gratitude that really affects your perspective throughout the day.
These are five things that have helped me come to enjoy my mornings and to really take control of my own attitude. I have tried many other things in attempt to create a morning routine that really resonated with me and these are the ones that stuck. Give them a try and see how you feel. As always, take what you like and toss the rest. Let me know how it goes!