10 HEALTHY MORNING HABITS THAT WILL TRANSFORM YOUR DAY
Mornings. They're a time of day that a lot of us dread. I used to be somebody who absolutely hated waking up in the morning. I always felt tired and groggy. I would never give myself any time to get ready, or even eat breakfast before heading out the door. I got into a routine of rushing out of bed, eating my breakfast on the go and doing my makeup on the train.
I slowly started to realise that if I gave myself more time, stopped snoozing the alarm, actually woke up a bit earlier, and started to do things that made me feel good after I woke up, then I might actually start to enjoy my mornings.
So I wanted to share some of the habits that I started to incorporate to get me started on the right foot for a positive day ahead. I noticed that my days were more productive, I was happy when I woke up, and the extra time I had given myself in the mornings made the day ahead a lot easier to handle.
Now I definitely don't do all of these things every single morning, but I try my best. It isn't about maintaining a perfect routine every day, or else the rest of the day is going to be ruined. Instead, it's about putting these habits in place so that they come naturally to you, and most of the time you're doing them. When I can't make it to the gym, when I have a bit of a lie in, or when I don't write a to-do list, I still doing strive to do some of the other things to make up for what I wasn't able to do. I find then that it doesn't really matter how my mornings go, because there is always something I am doing that will make me feel good and get my started on a positive note.
1. wake up early
Waking up early is always going to be a top priority on a morning healthy habits list. Being an early riser will have a big impact on the rest of your day. You're literally giving yourself extra hours to use! I therefore try my hardest to go to bed early most nights, aiming to be asleep before midnight, ideally around 10-11pm. When I wake up the next day I therefore don't feel grotty and tired when I eventually make it out of bed.
2. leave your phone out of the bedroom
I have made it a habit to put my phone on charge in the other room before I go to bed at night, so that when I wake up in the morning I don't immediately reach for my phone. It's also been a life changer to my sleeping patterns, as I am falling asleep reading a book or chatting to my boyfriend, rather than keeping myself awake by mindlessly scrolling on social media. It's crazy the difference looking at your phone before bed can have on how you feel the next day. I used to use my phone as an alarm clock, so I got myself an actual alarm clock to wake myself in the morning, rather than relying on my phone! I then roll out of bed and don't look at my phone until later on when I am actually awake!
3. drink water
The first thing I do when I open my eyes, is reach for my water bottle. I just fill it up before bed, and in the mornings take a big gulp. Its important to stay hydrated, and I find its a gentle way to wake up my digestive system and start the day.
4. take supplements
Supplements are really important to make sure you're getting everything your body needs. As a vegan, I make sure to supplement with vitamin B12 (I use this one from iHerb), as well as a vitamin D in the winter (due to the major lack of sun here in England). I therefore make it a habit to take my supplements first thing in the morning, alongside my breakfast, to make sure my body is functioning the best it can.
5. healthy breakfast
Which leads me on to having a healthy breakfast. I cannot compromise on a hearty and nourishing breakfast as it is my absolute favourite meal of the day. I go to bed looking forward to breakfast! Sleep is a time machine to breakfast right? Currently I am really enjoying smoothies, as you can pack lots of delicious and nutritious ingredients in there. I'll always use 1 or 2 bananas, some frozen berries or fruit, topping it off with some supplements and superfoods. I love this vegan chocolate protein powder, as it contains probiotics, as well as BCAAs, and is perfect post-workout. I also love to use maca powder, as it's super good for you (as well as tasting like salted caramel), and always add a tablespoon of flaxmeal to get those important omega 3s. I'll top it off with some soy milk, water, spinach and blend! It tastes like a delicious chocolate shake and makes me feel energised and ready for the day. Having a healthy breakfast that makes you feel good first thing will not only improve your mood, but keep you energised for the day ahead.
6. go outside
Another thing I always try and prioritise is going outside in the morning. Its natural for humans to crave sunshine, sea and trees, because it always makes us feel so good! Being outdoors in nature grounds me, makes me feel happier and puts my problems into perspective. It can be easy for us to spend less and less time in nature the harder we work and the more fast-paced our lives become, so making it a habit first thing will really change how we feel day-to-day.
7. listen to something inspiring
I live for music, like so many of us out there! Not a morning will go by where I'm not pumping out the tunes in my headphones at the gym or out of the speaker while I'm in the shower. Whatever mood I'm feeling, music will help me to feel that emotion and process it. I also really enjoy listening to podcasts as an inspirational start to the day. Hearing other people's stories and learning about something new inspires and motivates me to work harder that day.
If you aren't exercising in the morning, then this point might be an annoying one to hear. And I can totally relate as I never used to exercise in the mornings! It can seem really difficult to find the time or the motivation to move your body first thing. But I cannot emphasis enough how much exercise transforms and improves my day. It is like meditation for me. I switch off and focus entirely on the exercise I am doing. It is dedicated time I have allocated during my mornings to do something just for me. Time to improve my fitness, my strength and my abilities. And I walk out of the gym feeling on top of the world! Don't overcomplicate it, just do something you enjoy to get your heart pumping and your body sweating.
After many hours in bed, it feels really good to stretch out your muscles, especially if you're going to be sitting at your desk all day long. Not only that, but stretching is a really calming activity to do in the mornings to wake your body up. I never used to bother stretching, but since doing it on a regular basis after my work outs, I really notice the difference it has made on my flexibility, stress levels and how I feel about my body.
10. be still
Many of us are constantly on the go. We are never just still. The idea of doing absolutely nothing is unimaginable. How could I ever find the time to just do nothing? But the funny thing is, when you give it a go, and spend just a few minutes in the mornings meditating, or even just sitting down to chill out, you'll start to feel like there is more time in the day. Your head becomes clearer, stressful thoughts can subside, and you can start to appreciate the present moment. If we start our days giving ourself time to just be still, the rest of the day won't seem like such a challenge.
11. Pamper yourself
Give yourself a mini pamper session in the mornings! And I don't mean running yourself a long bath or applying a face mask, but doing something simple like taking time for your skincare or slowing down while you brush your hair. Showing your body some love will make you feel beautiful, loved and appreciated, before you've even left the house! I am currently loving this African Black Soap, as it smells so beautiful and has such amazing properties that are so good for your skin. And because I don't typically wear a lot of makeup during the week, I always like to use some lip balm in the mornings to add some colour to my lips. My favourite is this Hurraw! lip balm as it is slightly tinted and tastes amazing.
12. gratitude journal
I highly recommend everyone to start a gratitude journal. It really has made a difference to how I feel day-to-day, switching my focus from negative emotions or worrying feelings, to feelings of gratitude for all that I have in my life. Even though it only takes me about 30 seconds to one minute each day, if you feel you don't have the time, try journalling on your commute on the train, or just before you start work. Alternatively, simply take a minute or two to sit and think about what you're grateful for in the mornings, maybe while you're eating breakfast. It's easy to get caught up focussing on all of the little things that are bothering us, or getting wound up by things we shouldn't be so wound up by. Writing down what we're grateful for first thing will therefore help to push those negative thoughts to the sidelines. The more I write what I am grateful for, the more it becomes a natural feeling for me. I am so grateful and lucky every day for all that I have in my life, making the hard times a lot easier to deal with.
13. to do list
I love a good to-do list, and I love them even more ever since I got myself a bullet journal. I have a weekly to-do list that I reference every day to write up my daily to-do's to keep me on track. I don't make it an exhaustive or extensive list, just the things I need to be doing and prioritising each day. I highly recommend you try writing a to-do list each morning and tackling the most daunting thing on that list first to get it over and done with.
14. drink tea
I adore tea. I drink it all day long. But I especially need my tea in the mornings. It is comforting, hydrating and wakes me up! I recently switched from teabags to loose leaf tea because it's so much better for the environment, as tea bags (annoyingly) have plastic in them! I therefore got a huge bag of raspberry loose leaf recently from iHerb, as well as this tea infuser to use in my mug. Raspberry leaf tea is amazing for menstrual cramps, as well as a myriad of other things, so I've really enjoyed adding it to my daily routine. A cup of tea is relaxing and comforting when I get started with work.
15. get off social media
Finally, try and reduce the time that you spend on social media in the morning. Like I mentioned earlier about leaving your phone out of the bedroom, it is so important to not allow lots of time on social media to make its way into your morning routine. We don't need to be bombarding ourselves with what every one else is doing first thing in the morning. The morning is a time for you, to be doing what you need to be doing, not focussing on other people's lives in the online world. Try and reduce the amount of time you spend on your phone flicking mindlessly on your social media apps, saving it for allocated spots at lunch time when you're having some food, or later on in the day.
I hope that this inspired you to incorporate some more healthy habits into your mornings! Fingers crossed it will improve your day and make a difference to how you feel on a day-to-day basis. Let me know in the comments what healthy habits you do every morning to make your day a good one.