A Fashion & Lifestyle blog by Tobi.com, featuring fashion inspiration, beauty tips & tricks, travel guides, delicious recipes, fitness & health routines and more!
Written by Jessica Moore
It’s 2019 and we’re calling it: this year is all about self-care. Self-care is so important–feeling right, eating right, moving to be moved–these healthy habits lead to self-love and positivity that can set you up for success.
Incorporating self-care practices, especially in the morning, can be challenging. We’re all a little groggy and sluggish, 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 morning 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.
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 softly wakes you.
After you set your alarm, place your phone far enough from your bed but still within earshot so you can 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.
This is a very simple yet powerful practice 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 maintain 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.
Or perhaps you’re on an apple cider vinegar or lemon kick and you’re looking for a quick detox and smoother digestion throughout the day. Add 1 TBSP ACV or the juice of half a lemon to your warm water for an extra energy boost!
Dilute your obsession of choice 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.
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 moving.
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. 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 your muscles early. Planking for 30 seconds and gradually building up your time will help your core and your back, especially if you’re 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.
Dry brushing sounds like a 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.
Once you start regularly dry brushing, you start to notice softer skin. The best part? When you dry brush, your body is detoxing as you brush away at your clogged pores. Plus, the invigorating sensation of the brush’s thick bristles will wake you up in no time.
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 toxins that are removed by your body 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 it’s still around today for a reason. Did you know the coating on your tongue can indicate health issues and imbalances within your body?
Here’s an added bonus: as you scrape your tongue, you’re 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. If you can’t buy a tongue scraper, a stainless steel spoon will work, too. Softly apply pressure (don’t hurt yourself!) as you 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, and you’ll smell better, too. What’s more energizing than that?
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 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 your 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.
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.
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 absolutely need breakfast before leaving the house, and 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 personally kickstart my day. Breakfast during the week doesn’t have to be complicated.
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 earthy. 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 increasing your focus. I have totally quit coffee and now alternate between cordyceps and chaga and I am blown away not only by the amount of energy I have every day but also by the quality of the energy: it’s noticeably calmer and clearer. 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 lines that blend both mushrooms and coffee! And guess what? It’s cheaper than a cup of coffee! Just mix with hot water and you’re ready to go.
Try integrating these simple habits for a month and see the amazing results. When starting new habits, it’s important to realize that taking it slow leads to success. It can be challenging to adopt all these practices at once, so try adding one practice 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: “How you take care of yourself is how the world sees you…It’s OK to have a relationship with yourself.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.