Drink a glass of hot water and lemon
I had people tell me to do this for months before I tried it. I dismissed it quickly because I couldn’t imagine that just a glass of lemon water could be that instrumental in making me feel good in the morning, and I was skeptical that it could make much of a difference for my overall health. After some research, I was shocked to find the countless benefits that such a simple drink could offer me. Ever since I added this step to my morning routine, I can’t seem to go without it. Instead of automatically reaching for that first cup of coffee, I now opt for a glass of hot water and lemon beforehand. It’s great for hydrating your body, since it went a few hours without water while sleeping. Hot water and lemon also help flush out the toxins in your digestive tract that built up overnight, as your liver is restoring itself throughout your sleep. Drinking hot water and lemon on an empty stomach is also proven to help bloating and digestion, which is something I can directly attest to. This drink has overtime greatly helped my morning stomach aches, and made me feel overall lighter. The vitamin C is also said to help freshen breath, improve your mood and stress levels, and combining lemons and hot water aids in lowering blood pressure and boosting energy levels.
Don’t check your phone right away
I hate to admit it, but usually, the first thing I reach for as soon as I’ve opened my eyes in the morning is my phone. I never used to see it as something that could be harmful to my morning—or my day—and I reasoned that it helps wake me up. Admittedly, there are countless other ways for me to wake up healthier and more productive. By waking up and immediately checking social media and any notifications that had come in overnight, I was starting a new day focusing on yesterday. Instead of spending this free time in the morning making a to-do list or checking my calendar and organizing my day, I’d find myself starting my day scrolling through Instagram and playing the comparison game first thing in the morning. An ex-design ethicist at Google, Tristan Harris, touched on this back in 2016: Harris states that starting your morning by checking your phone helps kick in the feeling of FOMO on what was happening yesterday and while you were asleep. It then makes it even harder not to go on social media as much later on in the day, since you feel like you have to keep playing catch up to find out what went down.
Furthermore, Julie Morgenstern, the author of Never Check Email In The Morning, believes that checking your phone first thing in the morning clouds your focus and makes you feel overwhelmed and directionless towards the rest of your day. Finally, in a study at the University of British Columbia, teachers and students were told to go from checking their email frequently—starting first thing in the morning—to only three times a day. When their screen time was restricted, the study’s participants reported feeling more positive and showed lowered stress levels throughout the day. So, try swapping out that morning Facebook feed for a podcast, a quick stretch on your yoga mat, or a few extra minutes of shut-eye to get you more prepared for what’s to come that day.
Have breakfast already prepared
We’re continually being told that we shouldn’t skip what’s said to be the most important meal of the day. When I have early morning classes, my laziness means I’ll often make excuses for why I can’t manage to have a quick bite before I’m out the door. Whether skipping breakfast is scientifically proven to be bad for you is a highly debated topic, but personally, if I skip breakfast, it definitely affects the rest of my day. I find that come lunchtime. I’ll eat out of impulse and grab the first thing in sight—which doesn’t always end up being the healthiest option. My eating is much more likely to stay more consistent and controlled later on in the day if I have breakfast before leaving the house. If you’re anything like me, you’d rather have a few extra minutes under the sheets than be whipping something up in the kitchen. So, lately, I’ve found that this overnight oats recipe I can prep the night before is a complete lifesaver. Having this as my breakfast takes away an entire step from my morning routine since it’s already ready to go in a Tupperware container. I can take it with me and eat it on the go if I’m running late, and it’s incredibly filling! Whether it’s just an apple with peanut butter or even a piece of toast, having something you can easily reach for and don’t have to prepare is a great way to ensure you’re not starting your day off on an empty stomach.