By Jennifer Smith, Natural Medicine Practitioner and Certified in Holistic Nutrition
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You may be surprised that changing your morning habits can have such a profound impact on your day. While you might like to stay in bed under the covers in the winter, the morning is actually an important time of the day. During these hours, you set the precedent for the upcoming hours. This time is also one in which you can integrate healthier habits to have a healthier existence.
With three little ones running around our house, my morning can be downright crazy. That's why I get up between 5 and 6 everyday so that I can have my morning cup of coffee, prepare our homeschool materials and plan what household tasks need to be completed for the day.
Waking up at the same time each day can seem difficult when you have differing weekend and weekdays schedules. However, setting the alarm consistently can help you to get a better night's sleep. Instead of constantly going back and forth between a weekend and weekdays schedule, your body can start to better know when it's time for bed and when it's time to arise. You may one day find that the alarm clock is no longer needed. I haven't used an alarm clock in 7 years. If I go to bed at a reasonable time, I always wake up around 5 am.
You may feel you can't possibly start your day even earlier than you already do, yet consider the constant morning rush. Whether you're often running out of the house with wet hair or the kids are racing to their bus stop, adding some more time to the morning routines can help you to feel less stressed. High levels of stress can negatively affect your daily routine and even your health. Try waking up five minutes earlier every day until you reach your ideal time. It's the small habits which end up lasting the longest.
After a long day at work, you probably don't feel terribly inclined to go to the gym or to take a run around the block. Instead of completely giving up exercise, move your routine to the mornings. If you're worried about having to come home between exercising and work to shower, look for a gym that provides these facilities so that you can minimize the time this new routine takes. If you haven't exercised in a while, start with small morning habits.
For the first week, focus on making a habit to get up and workout for just 5 minutes each day. When you keep your goals small, you will find that you can accomplish some quick wins that propel you further in the long run.
Don't skip breakfast! Having enough energy to get through the day is often connected to whether or not you eat breakfast. You also want to make sure you have healthy meals. Instead of grabbing fast food on your way to work, prepare some meals on weekends when you have the time to do so. For example, you could make a casserole of eggs and vegetables and cut the casserole into portions.
When you eat breakfast, you'll find that you eat less through-out the day, snack less, and maintain a more balanced energy level into the afternoon and evening.
With all of the tasks that you have to complete in the morning, you might think this suggestion is a joke. Consider how even five minutes to yourself could provide you with a fresh perspective on the day. Even sitting down to meditate on the Word of God, or to read a few pages of the Bible can give you some space from the chaos of the day.
You might not currently think too much about your morning routine. Changing some of your habits can help you to feel better overall and accomplish more through-out your day.
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Jennifer Smith, NMP, CHN, FBCC , BHC
Jennifer Smith is a Natural Medicine Practitioner, Certified in Holistic Nutrition, Faith-Based Clinical Counselor and Biblical Health Coach. She has completed advanced certificates in Functional Nutrition, Functional Medicine, Natural Health Consultant diploma, Biblical Natural Medicine and Biblical Eating and Clinical Nutrition.
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