Having a consistent morning routine can set the tone for your entire day. Most of us consider healthier habits at the start of a new year — from establishing a daily skincare regimen to exercising more to focusing on nutrition. But sometimes, the best-laid plans, including New Year’s resolutions, fall victim to time and circumstances. So, what can we do to change that? We asked two registered dietitians and a certified life coach to weigh in.
5 Ways to Enhance Your Morning Routine
Tip #1: Get more sleep!
Aside from the obvious impacts such as improved focus and reducing stress, getting a solid night of sleep has profound health benefits that we tend to overlook — particularly when there’s a house to clean, meals to make, and life to do. And, unsurprisingly, the lack of a good night’s sleep can severely impact our morning routine. “Get adequate sleep,” advises Kristi Edwards, co-owner and registered dietitian at 901 Nutrition in Memphis. “This one thing helps your morning routine be more effective. “We truly underestimate the power of adequate and quality sleep. Aim for seven to nine hours. Our sleep impacts immune function, hormone levels, memory, and mental clarity … even food cravings.”
Lindsay Luttrell, a Professional Certified Life Coach for women, says, “Go to sleep earlier, so you can wake up earlier. That means: Turn off your phone and TV, and get to sleep! Give yourself enough time to do your morning routine without feeling rushed. When you’re low on time, your morning routine will be the first thing to go.”
If you’re at a loss for ways to improve your sleep, wearable technology like the WHOOP, FitBit, Oura Ring, or Apple Watch, can be a huge help with getting more rest by identifying patterns in your poor sleep.
Tip #2: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Now that you’ve gotten a good night’s sleep, it’s time to drink some water and other nutrient-based beverages to start your day in a healthy way.
Robbie Nowinski, Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutrition Support Clinician® and owner of Nashville’s E+Rose Wellness Company, says, “Drinking 16 ounces of water within the first 10 minutes of waking up is so important to start your day off on a path to wellness. Your body undergoes massive recovery during the night, and you go seven to eight hours with no water. Water makes up about 75 percent of the brain and around two-thirds of the body. I can’t overstate the importance of water. Drinking water first thing in the morning not only helps to hydrate and detoxify your body, but it also helps to offset hunger, so you don’t overeat. I recommend adding a squeeze of lemon juice to your hydration routine, along with a touch of Himalayan salt and cayenne pepper, for an alkalizing, metabolizing, and immune-boosting component.”
Tip #3: Get those vitamins and minerals.
If you are up for another morning drink or two, Robbie suggests getting additional nutrients through daily vitamin and mineral-heavy beverages. “In the human body, something like 37 billion chemical reactions occur every second,” explains Robbie. “That’s a number most of us cannot begin to wrap our heads around, and the sheer complexity of the interactions is a mystery we may never solve. However, vitamin, mineral, and pH levels are incredibly important for these chemical reactions to occur efficiently and effectively. To this end, I recommend adding a vitamin- and mineral-laden beverage first thing in your morning routine. I prefer 12 to 16 ounces of pure celery juice followed by 16 ounces of water with a scoop of either Amazing Grass or Athletic Greens superfood powders. This provides an abundance of vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants (which help cellular repair), and gets your body flushed with the goods it needs to operate appropriately.”
Additionally, Kristi Edwards suggests that you can insert some extra nutrition into your morning routine by way of Omega-3 fats, which she says are great for fighting inflammation. “Walnuts, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, and hemp seeds may be small, but they pack a nutritious punch!” she tells us. “Try adding them to oats, smoothies, yogurt, or cereal.”
Tip #4: Prioritize time to be still.
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but reserving sacred moments to breathe and be still is a simple way to find your center. You can find it in the form of meditation, your morning walk, or even a bath. “I wake up early to enjoy a little bit of a slower morning,” says Kristi. “It gives me an opportunity to reflect, and it allows for creativity instead of feeling rushed.”
Lindsay agrees, adding that incorporating some quiet time alone has been a game-changer. “It allows me to give my mind and body whatever I need most — meditate, yoga, stretch, breathe, sit in nature, write, etc. It grounds me in preparation to venture into a world — and schedule — that keeps my mind busy and body moving. This one thing helps me stay more present.”
Tip #5: Practice gratitude.
Taking a few minutes to practice gratitude can also set a precedent for a more positive daily outlook. “Every morning, think of three things you’re grateful for,” suggests Lindsay. “For example, your health, the sunshine, a loved one, your job, or your ability to see. Anything that makes you smile.” She tells us that whether you write your appreciation in a journal, on a to-do list, or speak them aloud, it’s all equally effective. The point is to take stock of your blessings and appreciate them. “You can do it while you’re in the shower or driving to work,” she offers. “It can even be something you do with your children or spouse while you’re together in the morning. It sets a positive tone for the day ahead.”
If you have trouble sticking to new routines and resolutions, our experts from this article also weighed in with lots of helpful advice on how to set yourself up for success in this article: 4 Ways to Stick To Your New Resolutions and Attain Your Goals!