*before you leave your house
Having a difficult and taxing day? Chances are it started that way. When we drag ourselves out of bed feeling stressed and tired, then skip breakfast and rush about in order to get out the door and to work on time, it’s more than a little likely to have repercussions on how we handle the rest of the day. Creating a health- and happiness-boosting morning routine can go a long way towards smoothing the path ahead and helping us feel our best. And while our tips may not instantly transform you into a morning person, we’d bet that making the first moments of your day a time to nourish your body and mind will help you feel more grounded, calm and productive – and you never know, you might just look forward to it again the next day.
Make time for self-care
Habitual snooze-button presser? Barely manage to get dressed before running out of the house? We know dedicating some time for building healthy habits and getting into a positive headspace first thing in the morning can seem like an insurmountable task. Yet creating a morning routine just for you could be your ticket to a more relaxing start to the day. Begin by setting your alarm for just 10 minutes earlier and increase the time gradually. Sounds unlikely? If you’re getting enough sleep but still struggling to get out of bed, try waking up to a dawn-simulating alarm clock. Research shows that by balancing the hormones that control our circadian rhythm, wake-up lights can help us emerge from our slumber feeling more refreshed and alert.
You can also create more space for a nurturing self-care practice by prepping for a more efficient morning the night before: pick your outfit, pack your lunch if you’re going to be eating on the go and put anything you need to take with you somewhere visible by the door.
Set the tone for a brighter day
Now that you’ve made that extra time for yourself, ease yourself gently into the morning by taking a few moments to start your day mindfully. Focus on your breath for 5-10 minutes, follow a guided meditation or tune into your body by noticing any physical sensations, such as the way the texture of the bed sheets feels against your skin. If time is of the essence then the shower can be the most magical mindful wake-up, just focus on how the water sounds and feels on your skin.
Then, before the habitual thought patterns get a chance to carry you away (we recommend ignoring the notifications on your smart phone too – Facebook, emails and depressing news can wait), outsmart any anxious and worrisome thoughts by putting your focus firmly on something positive. Try reading your favourite motivational quote (you could put up a post-it note beside your bed), make a mental list of things you’re grateful for or look forward to, listen to an episode of an inspirational podcast, put on some uplifting tunes or give your loved ones or pet a cuddle. It’s your routine, so do the thing you enjoy the most and know will help you get into a happier state of mind!
Feeling more calm and optimistic? Brilliant. It’s time to give your body a morning lift too. A brief burst of exercise early in the day is one of the best ways to help you feel more invigorated and motivated to tackle the tasks ahead. Just 10 minutes engaged in a physical activity you love, from bouncing on a rebounder to hitting the yoga mat to ‘salute the sun’ (find a beginners’ guide here), will get your blood flowing, energising your brain as well as your body.
And if you can bear it, end your morning shower by turning the temperature of the water to its coldest setting for 30 seconds or so. Cold water not only refreshes like nothing else, but studies indicate that it can also banish stress, support the immune system, provide pain relief pain and help us shed extra weight.
Pamper your skin
Having a beautiful glow can do wonders for our confidence and mood as we get ready to step out into the world. So while you’re in the bathroom (no doubt raring to go after your cold shower!), show your skin some love and take a moment to cleanse, tone and moisturise for a fresh and nourished complexion. Our Morning Beauty skincare routine is ritual designed to renew, rebalance and replenish your skin with our award-winning formulations. All you need to do is follow the steps in order for the best results!
Hydrate and nourish your body
It’s no secret that giving our bodies proper fuel helps us get the most out of our day. If you’re already clued up on healthy morning eats – bravo! However, if the sum total of your morning sustenance is reaching for a shot of espresso or a mug of tea, it may be time to make some changes. Try switching your caffeinated beverage of choice with hot lemon water, or at least down a glass of it before you have your caffeine fix. Why lemon water? We’ve all heard of the importance of hydration – getting enough water keeps our digestive system operating smoothly to name just one benefit – but chucking plain old water can feel like a chore sometimes. A refreshing lemony flavour can make downing a glass a lot more enticing. Lemon also provides an added dose of vitamin C which can help us dodge infections as well as stimulating our collagen production for a more youthful complexion. Making lemon water couldn’t be easier: squeeze half an organic lemon into a mug of hot water and sip away. (If you’re worried about the acid damaging the enamel of your teeth, use a straw.)
In the spirit of switching things up, try a green smoothie instead of or in addition to your usual brekkie and you’ll be well on your way to getting your five-a-day in one delicious serving. By blending mineral-packed leafy greens like kale and spinach with fruit and berries for sweetness and added vitamins, you’ll also be upping your intake of antioxidants and fibre. For an extra nutritional boost, try adding a pinch of powdered superfood like maca, acai berry or hemp protein into your smoothie. (You can find more detailed advice on how to make a perfect green smoothie on this blog post.)2