Do you struggle with mornings? Your alarm goes off and you lie there for a bit, in denial about the fact that you have to get up, then reluctantly roll out of bed….My husband shares your pain (whereas I am one of those annoying people who wakes up naturally at about the same time every day and springs out of bed, ready to get on with whatever the day brings). In a quest to increase his morning energy, my husband has recently started adopting a few of my morning rituals and whilst he’s not exactly bouncing out of bed yet, he’s definitely a lot cheerier and more energised in the morning.
My 7 morning rituals….
- Wake up at the same time every day. Having a regular waking up time programmes your brain and internal body clock to get used to a set routine. Ideally, you should also go to bed at the same time every day so your body gets used to having a set amount of sleep. Avoid lie-ins, even at the weekend. If you’ve had a late night, you are better off having a short nap during the day to catch up on sleep.
- Open a window as soon as you wake up so you start to absorb sunlight straight away (challenging in winter months, I know, when the sun doesn’t come up till late…if at all). The receptors in your eyes send signals to your brain that it’s time to wake up. In the winter months or if you have a really dark bedroom, you might consider getting an alarm clock which gradually lights up.
- Drink some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (about 1 tablespoon) in warm water. Have it before breakfast to stimulate your digestive system and to balance the pH levels in your body. Make sure you use a straw to protect the enamel on your teeth.
- Eat a good breakfast, ideally with some slow release carbs, protein, healthy fat and fibre. A poached egg with avocado on rye bread is a great combination. If you are pushed for time, try adding a tablespoon or 2 of Greek yoghurt and a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or sunflower or pumpkin seeds to your porridge or breakfast cereal.
- Make your shower an invigorating experience. A few drops of peppermint oil in the bottom of your shower tray creates a wonderfully minty aroma once the shower gets going. Or use a peppermint shower gel.
- Get outdoors if you can. Go out for a short walk or just step out into your garden or on your balcony for a few minutes. Even if you have to bundle yourself up in a warm jumper! Do some deep breathing or mindfulness while you are outdoors.
And the last one, while it doesn’t really impact on your mood first thing, it can definitely help keep you on track with healthy eating throughout the day…
- Know what you are going to eat during the day. It is so much easier to stick to make healthy food choices if you have an idea of what you are going to eat. If you work in an office, take a healthy packed lunch. If you don’t have time to make things, decide where you are going to buy your lunch and what you’re going to have. It’s all too easy during a stressful day to end up have a carb-loaded, vegetable deficient lunch or worse, skipping lunch entirely and feeling ravenous mid afternoon. Decide on your snacks too – take some fruit and nuts to work to keep your energy levels up during the day.
And, if you are planning a work-out, don’t forget your gym clothes!!