How we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. By creating a mindful and balanced morning routine you're more likely to find success in the day that lies ahead. Living life to its fullest potential requires energy and planning. Our mornings are the platform from which we launch into the rest of the day. By creating good morning habits we are able to use our precious time more efficiently allowing us to meet our daily commitments with less stress, and more joy so we can prioritize better and set aside time for family, work and self. Don’t we all need that? So go ahead and try these morning steps to help you feel happier and calmer. Set yourself up for the best day ever!!!
My Favorite morning routine:
1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier
I set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier so I have quiet time to myself before my husband and kids wake up. Be sure to put your alarm away from your bed so you have to get up and turn it off. No snooze button. Avoid checking your phone. This first 15 minutes of your day is the most important so be sure not to inundate yourself with texts and emails till after you’ve finished your morning rituals.
2. Let the sunlight in!!!
I open my blinds to let the sunlight in. Sunlight is a great mood lift and studies show that sunlight signals the increase of seratonin in our bodies, which is proven to make us happier. it also reminds me that the day has begun and people everywhere are up and buzzing around.
3. Wash my face
I wash my face with a hot wash cloth to help me clear away the sleep and invigorate me.
4. Drink a mug of warm lemon water.
Resist the temptation to go straight to your cup of coffee and instead start with a mug of warm lemon water. It has amazing health benefits. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my morning cup of coffee but lately I’ve been starting off first with the lemon water. On an empty stomach, it helps aid in digestion, boosts the immune system, reduces body acidity, naturally lowers blood pressure, improves liver function, reduces inflammation, reduces heartburn, helps create clear glowing skin and aids in weight loss just to name a few. The list goes on!!! So, need I say more? I’ve started adding warm lemon water to my morning ritual. I’ll put the recipe at the end of the article!
5. Play Music
I put on some quiet music depending on how I feel. If I’m cultivating calmness for the day I might play some jazz, if I’m feeling like getting energized I’ll put on Bob Marley or some Jack Johnson to start my day. My kids love waking up to music and it really helps the morning feel happy and light.
6. Stretch and go upside down!
I always try to squeeze in 5 minutes to stretch my body or use my foam roller (see my favorite foam rolling exercises on the blog or take my foam roller class!) to roll out my spine and hips. Keep the stretches basic. Whatever feels gentle and good for your body. I always finish with a downward dog stretch or headstand to increase circulation and it really helps me energize and wake up. These 5 minutes of stretching don’t count as my workout
7. Visualization and Gratitude
I have a small alter made up of items that have deep meaning to me. An alter doesn’t have to be religious. The intention is to make a sacred spot full of things that have meaning to you and spark good memories and gratitude. It can have photos, flowers, quotes, crystals, candles. Whatever brings you JOY! My alter has crystals and sea shells that I have either collected over the years or received as gifts. Each one reminds me of all the good people and times in my life. I also have two candles which I light every morning as I give thanks for my family, friends and health. Finding gratitude in what we already have is a key part of finding happiness in our everyday life.
Next, take 5 minutes to sit and visualize your day. Find a comfortable place to sit down and relax, close your eyes, let your breathe be slow and effortless. Find a feeling of calm within and slowly start to visualize the type of day you want to have. what kind of energy do you want to put forward? Maybe you have a busy day ahead of you. Try and picture yourself handling it with ease and grace. Or if you have a big meeting scheduled, see yourself nailing it! Visualization is a powerful tool that can help manifest positive change in your life. Learn to tap into that power every day.
8. Fuel your body
Finally it’s time for breakfast! Go ahead and make your coffee if that’s your go to morning drink. You deserve it! Fuel your body with a meal that is packed with nutrients. go to my favorite Diabetic friendly recipes if you need some good ideas of how to make a low sugar breakfast with a balanced amount of protein and complex carbohydrates. I love to make my boys Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowls (recipe is at the end of the article). They provide a ton of energy, are easy to make and taste great. My oldest son in a Type 1 Diabetic so food choices in our house are extremely important. We skip surgery foods and stick to fresh, whole foods with a low glycemic index.
OK, YOU DID IT! You’re prepared to go out and handle whatever comes your way. You’ve got this. Have a GREAT DAY! PS. Don’t forget to workout ;-)
Andrea Neu Health
Warm lemon water -
boil one cup of filtered water, squeeze in one whole fresh lemon. Stir and drink! If you want to add variety you can add a tsp. of fresh grated ginger and a teaspoon of honey. Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl-
1.5 cups organic quinoa rinsed well
1 13.5 oz. can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 small handful fresh blueberries
1 small handful fresh strawberries
1 small handful Fresh blackberries
Bananas (optional but bananas have a lot of natural sugars so best to not add bananas if your looking for the diabetic low sugar version of this recipe) sliced almonds cashews
unsweetened shredded coconut Hemp seeds (for added omegas)
Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add rinsed quinoa and cook till toasted golden, about 5 minutes. Add can of coconut milk and 1.5 cups water. Stir and bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the quinoa is tender and all the liquid is gone. About 20 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes and fluff with fork.
Put one cup quinoa in a bowl and sprinkle on the fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, almonds, cashews, hemp seeds and shredded coconut.
Serve and enjoy! You have a high nutrient breakfast packed with protein and complex carbohydrates to fuel your morning.