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8 Energy-Boosting Habits to Kickstart Your Morning Routine source: andressa voltolini on unsplash.com

8 Energy-Boosting Habits to Kickstart Your Morning Routine

 

Written by Jessica Moore

 

2018 is all about self-care and self-love. Self-care is so important–feeling right, eating right, moving to be moved–these things lead to self-love and positivity that can be wonderfully infectious.

Incorporating self-care habits, especially in the morning, can admittedly be quite challenging. We’re all a little groggy and sluggish in the morning, and most of us are pretty much set in our ways. We get up, shower, get dressed, eat (or forget to eat), and that’s that.

Investing more thought and time into morning routines can single-handedly change how the rest of the day unfolds.

Imagine waking up with more energy, more flexibility, with less stress and fewer instances of anxiously rushing out the door.

By adding these simple energy-boosting healthy habits to your daily routine, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and productivity before 9 o’clock hits (which is honestly the best feeling in the world). You’ll feel more positive throughout the day, improve your mood and your relationships with others, and you’ll be able to sustain your energy for everything on your to-do list.

Imagine waking up with more energy, more flexibility, with less stress and fewer instances of anxiously rushing out the door.

Go to sleep at a reasonable hour.

waking up morning routine source: asdrubal luna on unsplash.com

The first step to a more energizing morning starts before your morning begins. It seems like a no-brainer, but sleeping early is the most productive step to getting the most out of tomorrow.

Keeping work/school obligations, household chores, social commitments, and Netflix addictions in mind, this step is easier said than done. But there are ways to ensure you’re on the right path to giving your body the consistent rest it desperately needs.

Adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep. Setting a bedtime reminder on your phone is the tiny effort you can make to remind yourself it’s time to catch some z’s.

Select a gentle alarm clock effect. Some alarm notifications are blaring and unpleasant, so pick one that easily welcomes you awake.

After you set your alarm, place your phone far enough from your bed but within earshot so you still wake up. Do this to avoid involuntarily reaching for your phone to peruse Instagram, Facebook, and news stories that may stall or negatively affect your morning.

Drink a glass of warm water.

warm glass of water morning routine source: daria nepriakhina on unsplash.com

This is the simplest yet possibly most powerful thing to do first thing in the morning! If you really think about it, you’re fasting while you sleep, and after 7-9 hours of zero water, your body craves and needs it.

Drink a tall glass of warm water first thing in the morning to rehydrate your body and activate your gut.

DO NOT drink cold water. Drinking cold water, especially if your immune system isn’t 100%, can actually slow down your digestion, forcing your body to work harder to keep its core temperature.

Warm water, on the other hand, can help rid your body of toxins and free radicals, reduce menstrual cramp pain, reduce the risk of premature aging, and help with weight loss.

Maybe you’re into drinking collagen for its age-defying and gut healing properties (like this brand). Add a scoop of collagen to your water and mix well!

Or perhaps you’re on an apple cider vinegar kick and you’re looking for a quick detox and smoother digestion throughout the day. Add 1 TBSP ACV to your warm water for an extra energy boost!

Dilute your obsession of choice, whether it’s collagen, ACV, or even lemon juice, in your tall glass of warm water for a powerful start to your morning. But make sure to put a hold on consuming caffeinated beverages for now–we’ll get to that later.

Stretch Your Bones

morning stretch routine source: nilton oliveira on unsplash.com

Practicing yoga at home is a great start to the day. Not only are you stretching out those static muscles from hours of sleep, but you’re actively signaling to your body to wake up and get active.

Spend 10 minutes breathing and stretching to awaken your body. This activity is a great energy boost and great for circulation. Don’t worry about achieving the perfect down-dog or tree pose (it’s too damn early for a serious workout). Instead, just listen to your body. Find tight spots that are sore or tender and focus on those areas while also paying close attention to your breathing.

If you’re looking for extra energy, try a 30-second plank to engage those muscles early. A little exercise goes a long way. Planking for 30 seconds and gradually building up your time will help your core and your back, especially if you find yourself constantly sitting throughout the day at school or at the office.

If you’ve managed your time well and have 40 minutes of free time in the morning, Yoga with Adriene’s Morning Fresh video is a peaceful yoga sequence and meditation to start the day.

 

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Dry Brush Your Body

dry brush morning routine source: ideahacks.com

Dry brushing sounds like new-age pampered luxury at an expensive spa, but this self-care practice has been a focal point for holistic health for centuries. It’s so much more than just an effective way to exfoliate and get rid of dead skin cells.

When you dry brush, you’re actually increasing circulation to your body and stimulating your lymphatic system, the system in your body that removes metabolic waste out of your body.

So not only is your skin going to be the softest it’s ever been once you start regularly dry brushing (it’s also an effective way to help reduce cellulite!), but you’re also detoxing your body as you brush away at your clogged pores. The sensation of the thick bristles will wake you up in no time.

Here how to do it:

  • Dry brush in the shower before showering. That way your floor isn’t covered in dead skin cells.
  • Start at your toes and work your way up to your legs.
  • When you get to your stomach, brush in a clockwise motion to stimulate your metabolism. Brush your stomach for 1 minute.
  • Brush your arms up towards your heart.
  • Do NOT brush your face. Your face is too sensitive for the dry brush.
  • Dry brush before every shower, if possible.

We love this dry brush! Olivia Budgen gives an excellent tutorial on dry brushing:

 

Tongue Scraping

tongue scraper morning routine source: amazon.com

Now before you go “WTF?!” here’s the thing about tongue scraping: it sounds gross, but actually, what’s gross is your tongue.

That’s right: your tongue is currently carrying bacteria, food debris, dead skin cells, and even toxins that are removed by our bodies during sleep that are then deposited on our tongues.

While all this tongue talk is pretty unnerving, adding tongue scraping to your routine can dramatically improve your dental hygiene, breath, and taste.

Tongue scraping has been an Ayurvedic practice for thousands of years, and this practice has survived for a reason. The coating on your tongue can indicate health issues and imbalances within your body.

As you scrape your tongue, you’re literally cleaning your taste buds so you’ll experience a heightened sense of taste.

Purchase an affordable stainless steel tongue scraper like this to ensure a fresher mouth. Or if you can’t buy a tongue scraper, a stainless steel spoon will work just fine. Scrape about 10 times from the back of your tongue to the front before brushing and flossing. You’ll feel better, you’ll look better, you’ll smell better, and that alone is incredibly energizing.

Reciting positive affirmations

we like you too postive affirmations morning routine source: adam jang on unsplash.com

No, this isn’t just wellness BS. Positive affirmations can change how we think and break self-destructive patterns of thought.

Mental health is something we need to take seriously more than ever. It’s an issue everyone struggles in their lifetime in one form or another.

All day long, we remain our biggest critics: we’re not skinny enough, smart enough, funny enough, we’re not good enough, we didn’t say the right thing 5 years ago and it’s resurfacing like it was yesterday. And we cycle through the same story we tell ourselves every day.

It’s an awful habit that has consciously or unconsciously developed, but it’s time to break that habit. It’s time to rewire your brain!

What if your mornings were filled with positive messages about your worth? What if they were filled with expressions of gratitude for being alive, for waking up to a new day? Reciting positive affirmations to yourself can set the tone for the week.

Many people like reciting positive affirmations in the shower or in front of the mirror, but I like repeating my daily affirmations in the car on my way to work. Sounds like an unconventional place, but that’s where I enjoy my solitary moments best.

Here are a few affirmations to get you started:

  • I am grateful for today
  • I breathe in love. I exhale love
  • My body is healthy, my mind is calm
  • I am worthy of everything good
  • I don’t sweat the small stuff

In the end, you’re in control of your perspective. Recite these self-affirmations for a few minutes or as many times it feels natural to you.

Make a simple, nutritious breakfast

breakfast morning routine source: jennifer pallian on unsplash.com

It’s debatable if breakfast is truly the most important meal of the day. Some people practice intermittent fasting and swear by its benefits, some get hangry and need breakfast before leaving the house, others forget about breakfast altogether.

I’m not a nutritionist and can only speak from experience, but I know having a small nutritious breakfast is one great way to kickstart your day. Breakfast during the week doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some ideas for a simple nutritious breakfast you can make in under 10 minutes.

  • Whole grain toast with mashed avocado and chopped hard-boiled eggs
  • Oatmeal with mixed berries, nuts, and seeds, lightly drizzled with local honey (you can warm up frozen berries in your skillet  to feel extra fancy)
  • Superfood overnight oats with chia seeds, goji berries, and cacao nibs
  • Whole avocado topped with smoked salmon and goat cheese
  • Room temperature breakfast smoothie with your favorite fruit, your choice of protein powder, leafy greens, yogurt, or milk of your choice

Try swapping your morning coffee with matcha or warm adaptogenic drinks instead

lion's mane adaptogenic drink morning routine source: foursigmatic.com

Coffee addicts, don’t panic. There are other natural beverages that will give you an even bigger boost in energy–without the midday crash!

Matcha is a great substitute for coffee. It’s made from green tea leaves and tastes like heaven. You won’t experience a sudden crash as you do with coffee, and it’s gentler on your stomach.

Another great alternative is adaptogenic mushrooms. Now I know what you’re thinking: people are drinking mushrooms now? YES. Adaptogens are non-toxic plants and herbs that help your body protect itself from and adapt to stress.

Some adaptogens can help with waking up and increasing your focus. I have totally quit coffee and now alternate between cordyceps and chaga, both mushrooms, and I am blown away not only by the amount of energy I have every day but also how calm the energy is. You won’t experience jitters, fluctuating moods, or intense spikes.

Four Sigmatic has a delicious line of organic single-serve adaptogenic mushroom packets, including a few that mix mushrooms and coffee! It’s cheaper than a cup of coffee! Just mix with hot water and you’re ready to go.

Stick with what makes you feel good

Try integrating these simple habits for a couple weeks. When starting new habits, it’s important to realize that taking it slow leads to success. It’s challenging to adopt all of these practices, so try adding one each week and see where it takes you. Then take what you like and leave the rest. The important thing is to create a morning ritual that makes you feel good about yourself.

To quote the great Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye: “How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you…It’s OK to have a relationship with yourself.”

Image result for jonathan van ness gifs source: giphy.com

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

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