Sunday, January 31, 2016
MY MORNING ROUTINE
Fitting it in
I touched on the issue of time pressure in my last post; life can just get in the way sometimes, which can result in you feeling the need to make sacrifices in other areas of your day-to-day routine. What are some of the sacrifices you make when time is not on your side? Do you skip the exercise session, miss meals, decline invites to go somewhere, forgo the extra hours of sleep, or carry out tasks half-heartedly? One of the areas of my life which I don’t like to skimp on is my morning routine because if I don’t start my day mentally and physically prepared, I may as well go back to bed! It doesn’t matter how busy or what sort of day I have in store, I make a conscious effort to ensure my morning routine remains more of a daily ritual so that I’m set up for a good day, every day!
I’m definitely not a morning person, and if I had the choice, I’d rather see clients at 9.00 at night, rather than 9.00 in the morning but, wrongly or rightly, I work around the needs of my clients not the other way round. So, how do I kick-start myself once the alarm’s snooze tone sounds - it actually starts from the night before and definitely involves a good breakfast.
I love to indulge in as much sleep as possible; if I can press the snooze button more than once it’s a definite bonus for me. Preparing as much as you can the night before will free up time to do other things in the morning, such as exercising, meditating, getting the kids ready or even having an extra snooze! In particular, I tend to prepare my lunch and choose and iron my clothes the night before, which easily shaves off 15-20 minutes from my morning routine.
I’m quite fortunate that my diary doesn’t fluctuate too significantly over the course of the week, therefore I can plan my exercise routines. Getting a bit of a sweat on definitely reverses my initial morning sluggishness - it gives me a physical and psychological boost so I will always make time for it. I’ll diarise the days and timings of my workouts, whether it’s a 10 minute or 45 minutes session, just like I would with any other important appointment, and let’s face it, your health and fitness is pretty important; by scheduling your exercise sessions, you can plan accordingly what time to set the alarm for and you are likely to be more motivated to get up and go rather than it being an impromptu effort.
When I get up, I have a glass of lemon water (squeeze a fresh lemon into some water) as the first of my many drinks I have throughout the day to stay hydrated. You might notice that your urine colour is slightly darker in the morning, after several hours without having a drink, so it makes sense to rehydrate when you wake up – it’s like oil for the tin man. For some it’s coffee, but I find lemon water (and I actually prefer mine chilled) helps to wake me up and prepares my palate for breakfast.
After fasting for 7 – 8 hours whilst asleep, why wouldn’t I break the fast and replenish my stores. When determining what to have for breakfast, consider what time you have available in the mornings. If I’m a little rushed it might just be sprinkling some granola and fruit on yoghurt which takes literally 1 minute to prepare. If I have a little extra time to stand over a stove stirring the contents of a saucepan, I’ll have some porridge, and at weekends where time is less pressured I might have a couple of eggs on toast with sliced avocado. Whatever you choose, be prepared by ensuring you have the ingredients in the fridge and cupboard.
Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep each night to ensure your brain and body is well rested for the day ahead. Sleep is just as important as good nutrition and exercise for general wellbeing. Sleep deprivation can leave us sluggish and affect our ability to concentrate and be productive; it can also lead to overeating as our brains and body crave energy. Decide the night before what time you will need to get up to fulfil your morning ritual, and then work out what time you need to be in bed to get the appropriate and recommended night’s rest.
Good morning to ya!
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