Mornings are the most challenging time of day for me. I usually wake up feeling just as exhausted as I did when I went to sleep and have no choice but to get ready for my day. During my time away from work, I’ve adopted this routine that I plan on continuing upon my return. Doing each of these things in the morning has set me up for success thus far and I hope that it continues to when my daily physical demands are higher. Try it out for a week or so and let me know if it works for you!
Wake Up Early
I know how challenging it is to wake up early in the morning, but I honestly believe that it is best, especially when battling Lupus. I personally wake up at 5:30 am daily. My body is so used to it now so I rarely even need an alarm clock! To ensure that the next 6 parts of my routine are successful, I try to do these three things as soon as I open my eyes: Take my medication, brush my teeth, and wash my face. Taking my medication as soon as I wake up provides my body with ample time to prepare for the day. By the time I need to exert more physical energy, I am usually physically ready. Brushing my teeth and washing my face help me wake up on those days when all I want to do is crawl back into bed!
Allotted “Quiet Time”
One of the most important parts of my morning routine happens next! I walk into my living room, turn on my reading lamp, lay across my chaise, and read! My quiet time consists of me reading my daily devotional, additional scriptures from the Bible, reflecting on my reading, and praying. Your quiet time may look different–maybe you’d prefer to meditate! Regardless of your preference, taking time to read your Bible, say your prayers, or meditate will not only rejuvenate you, but it will also fill you with the positive energy that you need to make it through the day! “90% of illnesses are stress-related” (Maiquez) so it is crucial that we learn to stop rushing, slow down, and enjoy quiet moments alone. Maybe even consider reciting a mantra!
I am having a very difficult time with consistently burning calories in the morning. It’s a challenging habit to maintain, but also a necessary one. I am not suggesting that you jog to the gym, do a 1 1/2 hour workout, and then get ready for work (kudos to you if you’re able to do that)–a little yoga is just fine! Running, dancing, or walking around your neighborhood for a minimum of 10 minutes are also great ways to burn calories in the morning. If you have a dog, an extended walk can do the trick as well–that’s what I do! Making time for exercise will help you think clearer throughout the day and improve your overall health, allowing you to combat stress and live happier!
Eat Your “Frog”
Ah….the “frog”– We all have it! That thing that we all have to do, that we all dread doing, that’s so difficult to do. Willpower and productivity are fresh and ready to go in the morning, so it only makes sense to use this time to complete those undesirable and challenging tasks first! Deciding to “eat your frog” in the morning makes you more likely to complete the challenging task without getting distracted by others or feeling the need to postpone it. I tend to use this time to send emails, get lesson planning done, or straighten out my calendar for the week. Choose your “frog” of the day, just one, and stick to completing it before you even get to eat breakfast!
Use your morning hours to reconnect with your partner, family, and friends. Talk about your plans, your hobbies, and things that are going on in your life. Something as small as a text message, email, or really quick phone call to let the important people in your life know that you are thinking of them, can further strengthen your relationships and overall outlook on life. In the morning we have more energy and more focus, so making this a ritual is important!
Plan and Strategize
Since I’m often rushing in the morning, this proves to be challenging for me as well! Taking a moment to go over plans for the day truly makes a difference in my readiness for what’s to come. If you choose to jump into your day without taking a few minutes to map out the direction that you’re going in, how will you know if you’re actually headed towards the right direction?! Practice taking at least 10 minutes of your morning to envision your life goals, review your tasks for the day, and allot scheduled breaks when you can escape. It’ll help your day be more manageable and less stressful!
Finally! What we’ve all been waiting for–food! We all know that eating a solid and healthy breakfast is imperative for optimal health. Skip the donut and try grabbing one of the following healthy options to give your body the nutrients it needs to tackle the day:
- Eggs (increases feelings of fullness, reduces calorie intake at the next meal and helps maintain steady blood sugar and insulin levels)
- Greek Yogurt (reduces feelings of hunger and is a great probiotic)
- Coffee (improves mood, alertness, and mental performance)
- Oatmeal (high in fiber, reduces cholesterol, and rich in antioxidants)
- Chia Seeds (great source of fiber and high in antioxidants)
- Berries (packed with antioxidants and known to reduce inflammation)
- Nuts (high in magnesium, potassium, and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats; Decreases inflammation; Improves heart disease risk factors)
- Green Tea (contains antioxidants and benefits brain and nervous system)
- Protein Shake/Smoothie (high in protein, promotes fullness, and stabilizes blood sugar levels)
- Fruit (contains various vitamins, potassium, and fiber; Low in calories, High in antioxidants; Reduces risk of heart disease)
- Flaxseed (high in viscous fiber, promotes fullness, improves insulin sensitivity, and reduces blood sugar levels)
- Cottage Cheese (high in protein, promotes fullness, increases metabolic rate)
“It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck. Do better.” -Alex Elle
Credit: Maiquez, L.M. Laroya. “10 Morning Habits of Highly Successful People That Make Them Extraordinary.” Lifehack.org.
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Copyright ©2017 Joezette Joseph. All Rights Reserved.