Ahhhh I LOVE mornings, they really are the best. Yes, sometimes we all need a little sleep-in, but if you can train yourself to be more of a morning person, I promise you won't be disappointed. The first thing you do when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day, so you want to ensure you're getting off on the right foot.
I've talked before about how "the extra 15 minutes" in the morning really go a long way in setting the stage for a good day, what you choose to do with those extra minutes is completely up to you.
Here are some of my favourite ways to start my day and the reasons behind it - just like everything else, you have to find what works best for you and what you'd like to accomplish in that day. Is it game day? Is it a work day? Are you busy? Are you grinding? Do you have a day off? Try to start each day just the same to create a habit and routine.
Starting your day with a workout or any sort of activity helps fire up your metabolism, increases blood flow which aids in circulating nutrients throughout the body, and sets the tone for productivity. If you don't have a ton of time in the morning, maybe try a short walk/ run for 20-30 minutes - that in itself will help clear your mind to begin your day.
This has been a game changer for me. I am incredibly restless and a bit scatterbrained so I steered away from meditation for a long time because I just couldn't get into it. Meditation is an excellent tool for grounding yourself for the day and there are a ton of studies that support its positive effect on the brain. I found the app HeadSpace and it lead me through a 10-day 10-minute guided meditation ... we all have 10 minutes a day to spare. From there I took pieces of the guided meditation I enjoyed, like the breathing component and I now set my timer for 10 minutes, lay on my yoga mat and practice my breathing while I hold several different stretches. Crazy how quickly the time goes and how clear my head feels after.
(3) TO DO LIST
If you're anything like me, you love 'to-do' lists too, but they are actually a great way to set an intention for your day. Small chores you have to remember? Write it down. Emails you have to send? Write them down. Errands you have to do? Add those to the list to! There's no better feeling than crossing things off your to-do list to make you feel productive throughout your day.
This is a MUST if you want to live a healthy lifestyle. It's important for our bodies to get a variety of macro and micronutrients to start the day - it gives us energy, aids our body in recovery and kickstarts our metabolism. Getting a good source of slow-digesting carbs (oatmeal) complimented with protein (eggs) and healthy fats (nut butter) will provide a ton of nutrients and energy.
My go-to's are overnight oats & stacked smoothies.
Overnight Oats = 1/2 Cup Oats + 1 Scoop Protein + 1 Cup Nut Milk + Toppings of Choice (cinnamon, fruit, crushed almonds, etc.)
Stacked Smoothies = 1 Cup Nut Milk + 1 Scoop Protein + 1/2 Cup Greens (spinach, kale, etc.) + 1/2 Cup Frozen Fruit (banana, mixed berries, etc.) + 1 Superfood
Probably one of my favourite parts of the morning (probably because I just learned how to use a French Press), but coffee is proved to increase circulation, alertness, and in some cases cognitive function. I also enjoy sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee, that in itself allows me to slow down even for just a couple minutes. Coffee conversations with friends are also the best, learned that from my pops.
Everyone is different and it's important to create a routine that works for you. These 5 things are always incorporated into my mornings in some way because I know it helps me get the best out of the remainder of my day.
Comment below with some of your favourite ways to start your morning!