I’ve had a long stretch where I was just feeling depleted even though I had made it only halfway through the day. No matter how health-conscious I was trying to be, the afternoons only advanced at the oh-so-gruelling sloow pace.
Clearly, things could not go on that way. But then, implementing a healthy morning routine that gives energy for the entire day (and, if needed, night!) just seemed very daunting. How was I supposed to make time for an additional routine if my mornings were already packed with duties?
So here’s what I’ve worked out (over months, by trial and error!), realising that actually all that’s needed is to reverse the order of a few things that were part of my morning already. I’ve also added one or two routines that – literally! – take a few seconds.
Here’s my step-by-step guide to an easy, more energising morning (please share your ideas in the comments!):
- Start breathing consciously right when the alarm rings. Of course you are breathing anyway, but chances are you’re not paying attention to how your breath flows. Is it flowing in and out in an unrestricted, effortless motion? Are you using the depth of your lungs, inhaling fully, and making space for the next fresh breath by exhaling fully? If your breathing is compressed right from the start, you’ll be running out of steam before lunchtime.
- Don’t open your eyes right away. Most of us yield to the urge to be up and running right away. After all, there’s so much to do, and our days are already jam-packed. So better get started right away, no? Well, maybe not. You can be more efficient if you allow yourself to slide into a positive frame of mind right from waking up. Keep your eyes closed for another ten seconds (everyone has ten more seconds, right?) and set a positive intention for the day. Remember, the days are long, but the years are short – so aim at really making today count.
- Don’t go for something that seems unachievable, but rather something that you know will be feasible to implement. How about buying a healthy lunch? Having a ten minutes walk over lunch or after work? Remaining calm no matter how strenuous is the work environment? Remaining kind in situations where others aren’t necessarily extending kindness towards us? Keeping up a regular, easy breath throughout the day?
- Brush your teeth before eating. I know it sounds strange. For years, we’ve been told about the importance of brushing our teeth after food. Well, this is what Ayurveda, the ancient Indian Science of Life, has to say about it: Over night debris keeps on accumulating in our mouth because we don’t swallow while sleeping. If we eat or drink (think: coffee) before mouth hygiene, we start the day by washing down last night’s waste matter. Appealing, isn’t it? Make the simple change of brushing your teeth first. It won’t take more time; it’s all just a matter of reversing the order of things you’re doing anyway.
- Scrape your tongue. Now that your teeth are sparkling and fresh, take two seconds to take care of your tongue. This is where most bacteria reside, and it’s also a part of the body that’s really easy to clean. You can buy tongue scrapers for less than $5 and using them will take literally two seconds. You’ll be amazed by what comes off your tongue and will never look back!
- Have a warm drink. You just woke up and your digestive system is still in sleep mode. While the coffee water is running through the filter, have a warm drink. Warm water, straight from the tab, and a dash of lemon would be perfect. A few sips will prepare your body for food and drink, making digestion oh so much easier. You’ll notice the difference: No feeling of sluggishness when arriving at work because your body is perfectly capable of handling your breakfast while you can focus on your email inbox.
- Go for an easy brekkie. Are you a fussy eater and don’t seem to have any appetite for anything in the morning? Try oats. Pouring them into a bowl and top them up with the milk of your choice takes seconds, and literally no preparation. Oats are a perfectly balancing grain that is great for all body types and will keep you full until lunch (no dangerous 11am-snacking!). Keep it interesting by adding different milk types, from dairy to soy, almond, rice and coconut milk. Sprinkle nuts on top or add a spoon of honey if you feel peckish.
Keep going and be patient – bear in mind that it takes 30 days to create a habit. But once it’s done, people will ask what’s the secret to your fresh and energetic look!
What’s your recipe for a healthy start in the day?
Featured image credit.