Mornings. You either hate them or you love them. Chances are, you hate them. And I get it! They can be hectic and rushed, and they can set the stage for a bad day.
I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a morning person, but I don’t mind the early hours because it’s time for ME to get my head in a good space and set myself up for success. Of course, I am human, so I don’t wake up naturally every morning at 6 a.m. and prance gracefully around my apartment making tea, doing yoga, doodling in a coloring book, or doing an 8-step skin care routine. HA. I wish. Sometimes I hit snooze on all 5 of my alarms (yes, FIVE) and wake up 20 minutes before I have to leave. Very adult of me, I know.
But I have noticed a difference in my mood and overall stress levels when I make it a priority to have a calm, relaxing morning. However, I know many of us are busy and don’t have oodles of time in the morning for a complicated routine.
I teamed up with Quaker to give you 10 ideas to create your own healthy morning routine that is realistic, simple and nourishing. Think of this as a build-your-own morning routine: take the ones that resonate with you and try to incorporate a couple of them into each morning. Simple steps to make your morning more joyful for YOU can make all the difference in how you feel throughout the day!
1. Get enough sleep and find a wake-up time that works for you.
How many of us know how important a good night’s sleep is? But for how many of us is sleep the first thing to suffer when life gets hectic? I’m guilty of it. Sleep is incredibly important for our energy levels, healthy hormones, and overall mood. It is recommended that those aged 18-64 get 7-9 hours of sleep! Your morning self will thank you.
Don’t force yourself to wake up at 5 a.m. if you know you’re not an early riser. Find sleep and wake-up times that make you feel energized and give you enough time in the morning to practice self-care before you head out the door. I recommend using this sleep calculator to get familiar with sleep cycles.
2. Stay off your phone for at least an hour.
All who are guilty of getting on their phones first thing in the morning, say I 🙋🏼. When we wake up and check our phones immediately, we’re inundated with feelings of either I missed so much from yesterday! or I have so much to do today!… or both. We can actually feel more anxious, more stressed and less positive with constant notifications coming in. That’s no way to start the morning, folks!
I like to keep my phone in my room while I’m going about my other morning habits. You want the morning to be about YOU and how YOU feel, not about whatever @superhealthygirl100 is doing on Instagram. Without your phone for an hour or so, you’ll have more time to focus on you. and set the intention for how you want the day to go. Trust me, you’re not missing out on anything in the world.
3. Drink lots of water.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! We all know how important water is for basic human functions. But after 7-9 hours (hopefully!) of sleep, our bodies are actually dehydrated! Try to drink a cup or two (or however much feels good) of water before drinking or eating anything else. It helps keep our digestion and metabolism running smoothly so our bodies can function optimally.
I like to drink a glass of regular water, then a glass of apple cider vinegar and water. I don’t know if the ACV makes any difference, but the tartness wakes me up and keeps everything regular. Lemon water is also delicious!
4. Prep breakfast the night before.
The most important meal of the day! And the best, in my opinion. It’s important to me to give myself enough time to sit down and enjoy my breakfast, so I like to prep breakfast the night before to avoid cooking in the morning. Thankfully, there’s a new breakfast option that’s perfect for hassle-free mornings: Quaker Overnight Oats!🎉
Quaker saw the popularity of overnight oats on social media and created these nutritious blends of oats, fruit, quinoa (!!!), flaxseed and nuts to help you start your day positively. The blends are made with 100% whole grain oats and other grains (10 grams of fat or less per container), with no artificial flavors and no added colors. Oh, and they’re a good source of fiber – and you KNOW how much I love to talk about fiber!
Here’s what you do the night before: add non-dairy milk to the fill line of each single-serve container and let it cold-steep in the fridge while you’re getting your 7-9 hours of sleep (😉). Then, in the morning, you’ve got a delicious, hearty breakfast ready to go with no extra prep required!
5. Wash your face or shower in cold water.
A cold shower or face wash may not be necessarily “relaxing,” but it can give you that quick energy boost that you need in the morning! A splash of cold water wakes me up and helps me feel more refreshed after a good night’s sleep.
6. Find a warm beverage that you love.
This one’s for you, coffee lovers…even though I prefer a hot cup of matcha! No matter what your warm beverage is – coffee, matcha, black tea, lemon water – setting aside a few minutes to savor every sip can be an act of morning self-care. There’s something about drinking a hot beverage in the morning that makes me feel so cozy and calm!
7. Take time to do something creative.
Since your breakfast is taken care of thanks to Quaker Overnight Oats, you can focus on some FUN things to do in the morning. I encourage you to start your day with at least 10 minutes of a creative activity that you love – even more time would be better! This could be anything from coloring a page in your coloring book to working on that scarf you’ve been knitting to putting on some music and dancing around for a few minutes. Starting our mornings with something creative that we love to do that makes us feel good will immensely boost our mood for the rest of the day. We feel more confident in ourselves and our abilities, and we get in a nice right-brain workout.
8. Meditate, do yoga or stretch.
It’s amazing the research that is being done on the benefits of meditation! Set aside 10 minutes to sit quietly in meditation; or, if that’s not your thing, roll out your yoga mat and stretch a bit. I’m by no means a daily meditator, but after reading about its positive effects, I’d love to incorporate a regular meditation habit into my morning routine. You may also feel good stretching your limbs after a night of being curled up in your bed! Try some simple static stretches or a gentle yoga flow.
9. Write down the three big tasks that you want to get done that day.
To-To-do lists never end. They can be so overwhelming and scary that we don’t even look at them, so we never get any of the tasks done. One way to help you feel less overwhelmed is to write down three major tasks that you want to get done on that particular day. It could be something like finish my proposal at work, or something as simple as fold the laundry or prep lunches for the week. Since you’re simplifying your to-do list to a reasonable amount of tasks, you’ll feel more accomplished when you actually cross off all of your to-dos! Feeling accomplished & less overwhelmed –> happier you.
10. Write down a positive affirmation or list three things you’re grateful for.
How often do we rush through the mornings (and our whole days) without stopping to think about the beautiful things in our lives? Starting your morning full of gratitude and joy can surely make a difference in the way you approach the day!
I like to keep a notepad by my bed so I can wake up and immediately write down some positive thoughts. I either write a positive affirmation that I want to inspire day, like I will not stress over things I cannot control or you are more than your body, or I write down a few things I’m feeling grateful for, like my family, the opportunity to get an education, and of course my cat. 🐱
I hope you take from this list of ideas some habits that you can incorporate into your relaxing & healthy morning routine! It’s about less stress, so don’t feel stressed out about doing all of them every single day. Take what feels good to create your perfect morning routine!
Thanks to Quaker for sponsoring this post! I love working with brands whose products I really love and would honestly recommend. Thank you for supporting this blog that I love oh-so-much!