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How Can A Morning Routine Change My Day?

Updated: Feb 6

Ever wonder why you are constantly waking up tired, brain fog clouds your day, random mood swings happen, you need and afternoon sugary pick-me up or coffee run to keep going?

Let me ask you this, how did you start your day?

grumpy dog in the morning wrapped in a blanket

I used to drag myself out of bed after about the 3rd or 4th alarm had gone off, rush around my house, throw the dog outside to do his business, grab myself a coffee a slice of toast and rush out the door to work. By the time I got to work the caffeine had kicked in and I was bouncing off the walls. Fast forward to after lunch I usually felt like the weight of the day was on my shoulders, I was starting to get sloppy with work, scouring the snack cupboard for sweets or making a coffee run (let's be honest, I was doing both!) When I'd get home, I would have no energy or motivation to do much, eventually make it to bed where I would toss and turn before falling asleep only to wake up and do the same thing all over again the next day, sound familiar?

“Oh great, this is where she's going to tell us to get up at 5am, meditate and do yoga before going for a run and that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!”

You can relax because that is not my intention here. I simple want to share with you the value of setting yourself up for the day through a morning routine that works for you!

A Few Facts First

Our bodies sleep cycle is controlled by two main hormones. Melatonin (that helps us at night) and Cortisol (that helps our body wake up). In the mornings when our bodies are waking up and cortisol is being produced it is also sending the message around that it needs energy which in turn tells the body to send out glucose (our cells fuel for energy)

Cortisol is an important hormone in our body, but too much of it can also act as a stressor on our nervous system and kick our bodies into "fight or flight" mode, keeping us in a constant state of GO, GO, GO!

To briefly sum up here, cortisol is good but too much of it can keep our bodies to be in a "stressed" state or continue to spike our blood glucose levels that may result in those energy highs and crashes and all the other fun stuff that comes with it.

"What does any of that have to do with my morning routine and how I feel throughout the day and how can what you're talking about help me?"

After what you've just read about cortisol and how it affects your body in the morning, think about your morning routine. Are you rushing around, fueling yourself with caffeine, skipping or having a high carb breakfast (and no carbs aren't bad for you! - please continue to read), eating as you're running out the door or once you get to work at are busy starting your day?

If you're body is in a #stressout state, it's not going to be in a proper "rest and digest" allowing your body to absorb the nutrients it needs to feel fuel for the day. High caffeine, high carb meal just increases cortisol. If it's in the GO, GO, GO mode it's eventually going to have to come to a crashing halt!

A few things you can try in the morning......

1. Have a balanced breakfast - meaning protein, healthy fats, carbs, and fiber (ex: whole wheat toast, avocado and an egg, chia pudding - made with berries and greek yogurt) - the fiber and fats help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates (which are great fuel for the body) and protein will help you feel full for longer

2. Take the time to sit down and eat- our bodies need to be in a calm state to properly digest our food to deliver the nutrients and energy to fuel us for the day

3. Try and get outside in the morning for a little exercise and natural light - go for a walk around the block, if you don't have time before you leave for work, park a little further away

4. Hydrate yourself- before you have your coffee in the morning start with a glass of water - every cell in our body needs water to keep going

5. Try a mindful practice - yes, I'm sure some of you are now rolling your eyes! But seriously this can help you set your mindset for the day. Hop on YouTube and do a 5-minute morning meditation, pick an intention to focus on for the day (ex: Patience, humility)

6. Try to avoid jumping on your phone before you even get out of bed. Stay off social media, emails or work calls before your day even starts. Let your brain and your body wake up and get grounded before you let something or someone else decide your mood for the morning. Ideally leave your phone for the first hour, I know this may be unrealistic for many so try starting with 10 minutes and go up from there.

The most important thing to remember when starting to make changes in your life and building new habits is to start simple and be kind to yourself! No one is going to get it perfect; we are working on progress not perfection!



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