14 Mar My Morning Routine
Self-care has been an important focus for me recently. Over the past month, my husband and I moved into a new home and the transition was more challenging than I expected! We both continued our busy work/school schedules while packing up our lives and unpacking them again….it was overwhelming!! I didn’t stick to many of my self-care routines and this started to take a toll on my body. We are finally settled into our new home and I’m re-focusing on me! My number one self-care activity is my morning routine so it seemed like the perfect blog topic for this week. I hope it will give you the inspiration you need to get back into (or continue) your favourite self-care activities!
Are you tired of hearing people tell you to focus on self-care? It can be frustrating when you’re a busy person and you feel like there isn’t an extra moment of time in your life. In my opinion, self-care is a key component of health because it allows us the time to listen to our bodies. Our bodies are intelligent and they spend every second doing what they can to keep us in homeostasis (A.K.A. in balance). When they notice something is out of balance, they send us a sign. We start to get into trouble when we aren’t listening to our bodies and miss these important signs.
Listening To Your Body
Our bodies give us certain obvious signs that we all recognize, including the urge to urinate or have a bowel movement, a dry mouth signifying thirst, a rumbling stomach indicating hunger, and more. We also experience more subtle signs of stress that tend to be slower to develop and more individualized to each person. My body tells me to slow down through my digestive system. It has always been the most sensitive part of me and I know I’m overdoing it when my digestion isn’t happy. As part of my healing process, I have learned to better listen to my body when it gives me this sign. My ongoing mindfulness practice gives me the time and space I need to listen to my mind and body. After a crazy month of moving, I realized I needed to put my focus back into self-care before I let my stress negatively affect my body. I am currently re-focusing on sleep, exercising, breathing, eating home cooked meals and resting.
I was feeling really guilty that I made a commitment to blog weekly and then I wasn’t able to keep up with the commitment. But I decided I would reframe this guilty feeling and look at it from the perspective of setting a good example for all of you 🙂 I listened to my body and recognized that I needed a couple weeks to reset after the move. Now, I’m ready to get back into blogging after a 2-week hiatus!! Writing for my blog is something I enjoy doing so my weekly goal is great but it might not always be feasible. It might be necessary for me to skip a week here and there and I apologize if that happens. I am doing it for the sake of self-care, for the health of my body, and to focus on caring for my amazing patients in my naturopathic practice.
To get back into the swing of things, I have focused strongly on my morning routine so I wanted to share it with all of you. Creating your own morning routine is a great way to prioritize self-care into your daily life.
My Morning Routine
1. Wake up between 7-7:30am.
My body needs at least 7 hours of sleep (preferably 8!) and I do my best to keep it consistent. If you struggle with getting a good sleep, one important tip is to keep your bedtime and wake time as consistent as possible, even on the weekends.
2. Drink a large glass of water.
My preference is cold water but a great alternative is to start the day with a warm cup of water with lemon juice and/or apple cider vinegar. I will sometimes choose that option when I feel like my digestion is off or if I’m coming down with a cold (then I’ll add honey and ginger too!).
3. Move my body.
Many of my patients tell me that it’s hard for them to fit a workout into their busy day. I absolutely find this to be true for myself if I try to wait until after work to do a workout. There are so many things that can get in the way! I find it much more successful if I start my day with some movement. For 3-4 days per week, I aim to do a workout and on the other days, I will do gentle stretching/yoga.
4. Practice mindfulness.
Each morning I spend at least 5-10 minutes practicing mindfulness. Sometimes it’s writing in my gratitude journal (5 minute journal), meditating with my Muse headband, doing a guided meditation with the Headspace app, or just sitting and focusing on my breath. If you don’t have 10 extra minutes in your morning, make it 1-2 minutes (or whatever you can manage).
I aim to shower mindfully. What does that mean? Focus on your thoughts, body sensations, and emotions during your shower. Choosing to mindfully do an activity that you do every day is a great way to practice mindfulness without doing a formal seated meditation.
6. Nourish my body.
I generally choose either overnight oats or a smoothie for my morning breakfast. My overnight oats recipes can be found in my recent blog post: Breakfast for a Healthy Heart. No matter what you decide, ensure you’re eating a source of protein and a healthy fat to balance your blood sugar and keep you full until lunch. Many breakfasts are heavy in carbohydrates and sugar, which doesn’t set you up for a productive and energetic day!
My Morning Smoothie
- 1 scoop protein powder (I use Genuine Health Fermented Vegan Protein)
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1 handful of berries (usually strawberries and blueberries)
- 1/4 cup avocado (I use the PC frozen avocado chunks)
- 1 tbsp collagen powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/4 cup greek yogurt or coconut yogurt (I’ve recently been using Yoso unsweetened coconut yogurt)
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
Combine, blend, and enjoy!
7. Enjoy a morning tea.
My favourite morning teas are early grey, chai, or peppermint. Starting the day with a peppermint tea is an effective way to soothe your digestive system and decrease bloating.
8. Get dressed and ready for the day.
This is the perfect time to add positive mantras/affirmations! Look at yourself in the mirror and repeat some self-love affirmations, such as “I am beautiful”, “I am confident”, “I am loved” or “My body knows how to heal itself”.