7 morning habits that will change your life

morning ritualsWhat do you feel right after you open your eyes in the morning?  Chances are, all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep. In today’s post I’ll talk about few of my daily habits that make me feel excited for each morning.

1. Get an early start.

How many of you can say that you’re a morning person? Can you imagine having an extra hour and a half in the morning, just for yourself? Get an early start each day and you’ll get to drink your cup of tea and watch the sun rise, take your dog for a quick, refreshing walk, read a few chapters of a book or catch up on reading your magazines or favorite blogs, all before your day “officially” starts. Your mornings don’t need to stressful, you don’t need to skip breakfast or run out of the house half-dressed because you’re running out of time.  Early bird gets the worm, ya know?

hot lemon water

 

2. Have a glass of warm water with fresh lemon.

First thing in the morning, drink a cup of warm water with fresh, organic lemon. I’ve been doing this ever since I can remember and it really lets my body “know” that the day has started. Lemon juice flushes out toxins and other unwanted materials from your body and boosts your immune system. It also aids digestion and helps with bloating-big time. If you have problems with indigestion, you must try drinking this on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you can add some honey and ginger to it, if you don’t like the taste of lemon, or you can also drink a glass or two of purified water. Sometimes I drink as much as 1 liter on an empty stomach and like to keep a big jug of water next to my bed so it’s the first thing I reach for, almost as soon as I wake up. When you think about it, your body just went an entire night without water, so it’s important to replenish those fluids and let your body rehydrate itself.

body brushing

3. Dry brush your body.

Did you know that dry brushing your skin can help detoxify your body? Skin is the largest organ in the human body and a pretty awesome one at that. It helps us stay warm when it’s cold, helps us stay cool when it’s hot and its primary purpose is to protect our inner organs from outer elements. You may not have known that, but your skin also plays an important role in detoxification and if it’s invaded with toxins and dead skin cells, it can’t do its job properly. This is where dry brushing comes in handy. It stimulates your lymphatic system, which in turn helps release toxins. It removes dead skin cells, stimulates blood flow and helps cell regeneration. You can dry brush your body right before you hop in the shower, when doing so, always dry brush your skin starting at your feet and always brush toward your heart. Bonus here is the fact that dry brushing also helps improve the appearance of cellulite, smooths your skin and allows your lotion to absorb A LOT better.

Gluten free overnight oats recipe

4. Have a hearty breakfast.

Yeah, yeah, yeah… breakfast is the most important meal of the day.. how many times did you hear your parents say that? Breakfast usually affects your eating habits for the rest of the day. If you eat a wholesome, well-balanced breakfast, it will fuel you up and you’ll also be less likely to binge on some of that naughty office food (does anyone else work with that one person who always insist on bringing in donuts for everyone?). I’m also a true foodie at heart, and love to make breakfast as pleasurable as possible; I listen to my favorite morning show on the radio, bust a couple dance moves here and there while my tea is brewing and I chop some fruit and veggies for my breakfast smoothie. This little ritual always makes me happy and it’s something that I look forward to. Alternatively, I grab some overnight oats that I prepared the night before. Sounds much better than that store bought bagel or a granola bar from a vending machine, don’t you think?

Coconut flour banana pancakesAnother idea for a wholesome breakfast: Coconut flour banana pancakes.

5. Light stretch.

If I don’t have enough time to squeeze in my workout in the morning (which, I usually don’t since my routine is almost an hour long) I at least do some light stretching. Sometimes I grab my yoga mat and put on my favorite Yoga DVD on, other times you can find me stretching while I brush my teeth; I like to do neck lateral flexion stretch (stretching your neck one side, then the other), triceps stretches (pulling your elbow across and down your back) and my favorite: a hip flexor stretch (lunging forward on front leg while keeping your back straight, making sure your butt is down). You can also follow my Fitness Board on Pinterest for some stretching exercise ideas.

morning routine blog

6. Give your skin a glow.

I recently made it a habit to not use too much makeup during my work week and I can tell that my skin is loving it. Rather than using heavy foundations and powders, try to opt out for for lighter, multitasking products: BB creams or tinted moisturizers, both of which usually also contain SPF. A cool beauty tip is to add some of your highlighting powder to your tinted moisturizer for an all-over glow. Be careful not to overdo it though, you want to look like your skin has just a subtle glow.  I  also love to use a brightening eye cream that helps me look more awake, even if I didn’t get my 8 hours of sleep. One of my favorite day eye creams is Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream that acts almost like a concealer/highlighter for my eyes, leaving the skin around them looking bright and beautiful.

pretty pencils

7. Gratitude journal.

Some of you may think that this last point is silly, but that’s okay. We find ourselves complaining quite a bit during the day; whether it be traffic, a difficult client at work, a big bill that you got in the mail, bad weather, lack of time, etc. But when was the last time you said that you were thankful for something? You can’t expect to have better things in your life, if you’re not grateful for what you already have. Few years a go I read “The Magic” by Rhonda Byrne and I can honestly say that my outlook on life has changed drastically since then. When you fill your life with gratitude, you only start to notice “the good” in your life. Every day, as I eat my breakfast and get ready to start the day, I list 10 things in my life that I feel grateful for. When you’re constantly busy and have a lot on your mind, you don’t always take time to appreciate all you have, but once you take the time out of your day to say “thank you” for things like the roof over your head, a loving partner, your health, a job that pays your bills, your friends, your car that gets you from point A to point B, your dog who’s always happy to see you and greets you with kisses when you get home after a long day at work, even things as small as running water or electricity… When you feel grateful for those things, you can’t help but feel happy, you can’t help but have a good day. Make this a daily habit, and watch your life change.