Rise and Shine
Reap the benefits of a morning routine.
Creating an intentional morning routine has many benefits. Rather than starting your day feeling rushed and disorganized, a simple routine can change your perspective and help you to be more energized, organized and productive.
You may find that taking the time to reflect in the quiet, before your day starts, can help put you in the right mindset to tackle the challenges of the day ahead. Not only that, but these simple, yet powerful habits done first thing in the morning, can help you to define and reach goals, live purposely, and clarify your path.
Look at the following list of suggested habits and choose the habits that make the most sense to you. Begin by getting up 20 minutes earlier. If you like what you’re experiencing, you can build from there.
- Set a positive intention for the day. Intentions are different than goals; they provide a roadmap and reminder for how to live out each day. An intention may be as simple as “Today is going to be great!” or “I intend to show acts of kindness today.” or “I am going to take good care of my body today.”
- Spend a few minutes feeling or expressing thankfulness for all of the good in your life. Many times our thoughts mainly revolve around what we need to get done for the day or worrying about the problems we are facing. Focusing on the good in your life can change your perspective.
- Read something that is inspirational to you, listen to uplifting music, or watch motivational videos—pump yourself up for the day.
- Make a list of personal affirmations. What are you strengths? What do you appreciate about yourself? What have you recently accomplished or overcome? Read that list–out loud, if you are able.
- Daily prayer will strengthen your faith and has the power to transform.
- Schedule your day or make a list of the top tasks you want to accomplish. Without a plan, it’s easy to get to the end of your day and realize that you’ve accomplished nothing of importance.
- Build your personal and professional network—make one business or personal connection each day. It may posting on the Barix Facebook Support Group, attending a local group of interest, meeting someone for lunch, writing a quick note, or expanding your LinkedIn connections.
- Put on your step tracker. You won’t get that smiling face when you’ve hit your goal or that reminder that you haven’t moved in a while if you don’t put your tracker on. Tracking your movement gives you a realistic idea of your activity level and lets you know if you’re meeting your goals or need to step it up.
- Take a few minutes to jot down your planned food intake for the day—helping to make sure you’ll meet your protein and fluid goals. It’s good reminder of what you’ll need to take with you as you head out the door too. If you have a meal out planned, take a few minutes to look up the website and decide what you’ll order.
- Complete a short workout. You can look for apps like the 7 Minute Workout, walk on your treadmill, walk outdoors, or follow an exercise show on cable. Starting your day with movement sets the stage for higher energy.
- Make a list of fun activities that you would like to partake in within the next 3 – 6 months. Any activity can go on the list as long as it is something that makes you happy. Having a fun list helps to remind you to take time out of your busy schedule for plain old fun.
- Start your day with a healthy protein-rich breakfast. You’ll get a good start on your protein goal, be more focused, and more able to deal with daily stressors.
- Write in your journal. Journaling is a great way to put your thoughts down and decrease brain clutter. Write whatever comes to mind, those people and things you are thankful for, your intentions, or your top priorities.
- Meditate or practice deep breathing. Meditation has been linked an increased ability to focus, improved memory, greater energy, increased self-awareness and improved well-being. If you’re new to meditation, try a guided meditation, widely available for free online.
- Drink a cup of green tea. It has both a calming effect and health benefits. It helps to lower blood pressure, reduces inflammation and may reduce the risk of cancer.
The key to being able to implement an effective morning routine starts in the evening. Doing as much prep as possible the evening before will help you start your morning at a slower, more relaxed pace. Make lunches and snacks for the next day, lay out clothing, and put everything you need to take with you in one spot (gym clothes, purse or wallet, cell phone, papers or laptop, etc). Try to head to bed a little earlier and set up your bedroom for a good night’s sleep. The American Academy of Sleep has the following tips for getting a good night’s sleep:
- Follow a consistent bedtime routine.
- Establish a relaxing setting at bedtime.
- Get a full night’s sleep every night.
- Avoid caffeine or any other stimulants before bedtime.
- Be worry-free at bedtime.
- Don’t go to bed hungry, or too full.
- Avoid rigorous exercise within six hours of your bedtime.
- Make your bedroom quiet, dark, and a little cool.
- Get up at the same time every morning.
No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
¾ cup rolled oats
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon walnuts, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
¼ cup almond butter
2 tablespoons sugar-free maple syrup
Mix together in a medium bowl: oats, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts and coconut.
Combine almond butter and sugar-free maple syrup in a microwavable bowl and microwave on high for 20 seconds. Stir and microwave for an additional 10 seconds, or until soft and spreadable.
Pour the almond butter mixture over the oats and stir until well mixed. Divide into 6 pieces; rolling each into a ball and then pressing into a flattened circle. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 127 calories, 4 grams protein, 8 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 11 mg sodium.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, mustard powder and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion starts to soften, 2 min. Add cauliflower florets, water and salt. Cover and cook, stirring often until tender-crisp—about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir cilantro right before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 47 calories, 2 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 178 mg sodium.