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Posted on by Amber Merton
Mornings are important. They set the tone for your entire day. The better your morning goes, the more smoothly your entire day seems to flow. While it is essential to create an effective morning routine that works for your lifestyle and family, did you know that you can also create a healthy morning routine that sets the tone for wiser health choices throughout the day? It’s true!
These are a few steps you can take to create a healthy morning routine that carries lasting results throughout your entire day.
Wake up Earlier
Setting your clock for one hour earlier allows you extra time to make wiser choices in the morning. This means you’re not rushing through the morning routine trying to get everyone out the door at the risk of unwise morning choices like neglecting the need for a healthy breakfast and getting in a little bit of exercise.
The key is to use this early morning time wisely to promote better health. Some of the things you may consider doing during that extra hour of your morning include:
- Prepare and eat a healthy breakfast. Not only is this excellent for better overall health, it also helps you get the fuel you need to get your day started right.
- Spend time journaling. Ideal for relaxation and improved mental health, journaling also boosts creative energy you can draw from throughout the day.
- Exercise. Even if you only exercise a few minutes in the morning, it can get the blood flowing throughout your body, generating energy and vigor while ensuring the right amount of blood is flowing to your brain to promote clear thought all day long.
- Meditate. Especially useful for people who work in high-stress industries, and need a way to enhance mood and calm before getting the day started. Meditation is not only beneficial for unwinding at night, it can also be a secret weapon in helping you maintain a consistent calm mood state of mind throughout the day.
Just think of what you can accomplish for your health with an extra hour every morning. The first week or two might be difficult. However, once you create a consistent habit, it will become second nature.
Stop Hitting the Snooze Button
According to Cleveland Clinic, hitting the snooze button may be bad for your health. The reason is that most people are hitting the snooze button during REM sleep, which is the deep restorative sleep.
Interrupting late stage REM sleep places the body in a high anxiety state, sometimes referred to as “fight or flight,” that leads to rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure.
Rather than pushing the snooze button, it may be wise to consider making other plans instead, such as:
- Go to bed earlier at night to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep.
- Set your clock 30 minutes later, and commit to getting up rather than hitting the snooze.
- Get a minimum of eight hours of sleep each night.
- Remove digital distractions (cell phones, laptops, televisions, etc.) from the bedroom.
If you’ve done all these things, and are continue having difficulty getting up without hitting the snooze, consider talking to your doctor about the possibility of an undiagnosed sleep disorder.
Sleep needs to be a priority. Failing to get enough sleep can lead to significant health problems including:
- Higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Weight gain, obesity, and metabolic disorders
- Cardiovascular complications
- Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders
- Increased risk of pain and disability
Even though you are no longer hitting the snooze button, don’t make the mistake of getting too little sleep. In fact, getting the right amount of sleep is instrumental in maintaining good health, and giving your mornings a healthy start. And, your PlushBeds natural latex mattress can help you get a great night sleep, each and every night.
Make Your Bed
In a now infamous graduation address delivered to the students at The University of Texas at Austin, Naval Admiral William H. McRaven urged graduating seniors to make their beds every day. He gave many reasons for doing so, but all seem to focus on one underlying issue. Accomplishment breeds accomplishment. It’s a small accomplishment you can start your day with that feeds other accomplishments throughout the day.
Then, on the off chance that things do go completely sideways during the course of your day, at least you’re coming home to a tidily made bed. While this doesn’t affect your ability to perform tasks throughout the day, this one small accomplishment can have a snowball effect of positivity on your entire day because it helps to increase your confidence you can tackle tougher tasks as the day progresses. It clears out the clutter and cobwebs of sleep. And, it gets you moving bright and early in the morning.
Plan Ahead at Night
Taking care of as many aspects of your morning routine as possible before the day is done is one of the best gifts you can give yourself for the next morning. It does require planning, and may take more than a little time to create the perfect nighttime routine to transform your morning routine into one that is healthy for your body, your mind, and your spirit.
Some of the things you can do at night to ease your morning routine include:
- Prepare a healthy breakfast. Whether you do a once-a-week marathon cooking session for healthy breakfast choices, and just heat and eat in the morning, or you fill your crockpot with healthy foods like overnight oatmeal and enjoy a nice warm, energy-generating breakfast the following day, having healthy choices that are practically ready to eat can be a morning routine game changer.
- Pack your lunch the night before. The other thing you can do to remove chaos and stress from your morning routine is pack your lunch (and your kids’ lunches) the night before. This helps you resist the temptation to make expedient and less-healthy choices, and frees up more time in the morning for more healthful pursuits.
- Charge your devices. Getting in a habit of putting mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other essential devices on the charger each night before going to bed ensures they are all charged and ready to go when morning comes. It also reduces the likelihood of you using them throughout the night, and disrupting essential sleep to do so.
- Lay out your clothes. Do this for your children also. Getting in the habit eliminates the endless search for socks, matching shoes, winter accessories; etc., and helps you focus on a smooth and healthy start to your day instead of one that is hectic and filled with stress and chaos.
- Have all bags packed. Different people need different things in their bags to be ready to go. While the lunches need to remain refrigerated overnight, work papers (and homework papers for the kids), notes to the teacher, notes for your presentation, and other essentials can be packed the night before providing “grab and go” ease in the morning. It’s all about removing the stress from your morning routine to promote better overall health and wellbeing.
Little things like these make your mornings flow more smoothly than ever, and give you the healthy start to your day you need for greater success. It may take time to create these positive habits, but the effort pays off well for your entire family.
Creating the Habit
The biggest challenge most people face when making fundamental changes to your routine is making the changes. While some people start with one or two small changes, others prefer to feel the full effect by going “all in” on the changes they intend to make. Either way, there are some things you can do that will make it easier.
- Write out your ideal morning routine.
- Prioritize the changes you must make first to make it happen.
- Identify things you can do that will make each step easier.
- Create a “to do” list for nights and mornings to help you accomplish your goals.
- Commit to the process for at least a month before giving up on it.
Some might say that 14 days is long enough to create a routine. However, when making bigger changes to your routine, some that might even go against your normal grain, it takes a little longer to see if it’s really working for you.
The other thing to remember is to cut yourself a little slack when your morning doesn’t go according to plan. This is especially important if you’re working with other people to try to get them on board with healthier mornings to start the day.
Making Incremental Changes
In fact, the more people you’re working with, the more important it becomes to start small. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. Make one small change at a time when trying to get your family on board, and up the ante after everyone has an opportunity to adjust.
Incremental changes over time are better than stagnation or returning to a morning routine that was unhealthy and ineffective. Other great advice to remember is to keep the changes simple, so that everyone is capable of doing them, and to be flexible. If something doesn’t work for you or your family, go back to the drawing board, and seek a new solution.
Finally, don’t be afraid to mix things up, as needed, to address changes in seasons or circumstances – not to mention keeping it fresh. Doing this can create a morning routine that will keep your entire family healthy and happy.
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