MORNING ROUTINE FOR A HEALTHY, BALANCED DAY!

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🌱 DON'T KEEP YOUR PHONE ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
Your cell phone is often a symbol of everything you need to get done. Instead of waking up in a more natural, Zen-like way, you grab for your phone before even opening your eyes—a stark reminder of the busy day ahead. Before even lifting your head off the pillow, you’ve read your emails, and checked Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

To start the day off a little calmer, we recommend using a good old-fashioned alarm clock instead of your phone. At the very least, switch your phone to airplane mode before going to bed to avoid temptation in the morning. Take 30 to 40 minutes after you get up just for you and your loved ones, unconcerned by your obligations or social media. You’ll soon start noticing the benefits that come from refocusing on yourself.


🌱 GET UP AS SOON AS YOUR ALARM GOES OFF
The infamous snooze button that’s loved by so many is actually one of the worst culprits when it comes to having a peaceful morning. In fact, needing an alarm in the morning means you’re probably not waking up during the right sleep cycle. You’re often in a deep sleep when the alarm goes off, which is why waking up is so painful. By hitting the snooze button, you’re giving your body permission to go back to sleep, so it immediately goes back into deep-sleep mode. BOOM! Ten minutes later, your body is subjected to the same rude awakening. Waking up isn’t any easier, and you’re no less tired.

In an ideal world, your body should be allowed to wake up on its own, during the right sleep cycle. One way to make sure this happens is to follow the same routine every morning. At first, you’ll need to set your alarm to wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. After a while, you’ll start to wake up on your own at the right time. Waking up will feel easier and you won’t waste any more time snoozing, meaning you’ll be much more productive.

You’ll also need to go to bed at a time that lets you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep, otherwise waking up naturally will be easier said than done. Sticking to the same bedtime every night will go a long way toward healthy, balanced days. For more information about sleep, see the articles Sleep habits and exercise and 7 weight loss tips.


🌱 DRINK A BIG GLASS OF WATER WITH LEMON
Think about it: You just slept for 7 to 9 hours with nothing to drink that whole time. Do you go that long without drinking during the day? Don’t wait to rehydrate: Keep a bottle of water on your nightstand or head straight to the kitchen. The water will help get your metabolism going and your organs working, and give you a clear, healthy complexion.

To kick the experience up a notch, add a squeeze of lemon to your water to help your body absorb more vitamin C, and stimulate your metabolism and digestive system. Just remember: Coffee doesn’t hydrate! In fact, it does the exact opposite.
 


🌱 WAKE UP YOUR MUSCLES
Plan ahead to give your body time to wake up. Getting up just 10 minutes earlier will make all the difference in your day. You can take your dog for a quick 10-minute walk, do a short yoga session consisting of a few sun salutations, or even a few strength training or stretching exercises. Activating your body gets it ready to face the rest of the day with vim and vigour.


🌱 MEDITATE
Whether it be 10 minutes spent reading a book about personal development or inspirational quotes, doing breathing exercises, repeating positive affirmations, listening to a guided meditation, or just meditating on your own, taking time for yourself to refocus, without thinking about your everyday concerns, will help you start your day off on the right foot.

You can do this at home, in the car, or even during your work break. If morning isn’t convenient for you, carve out another time during the day!


🌱 EAT A HEALTHY, BALANCED BREAKFAST
Never, ever skip breakfast. Take it to go, if need be, but always start your day off with a good dose of energy. Also remember to make healthy, balanced choices, and that bacon and potatoes aren’t breakfast staples! Whether you opt for a breakfast bowl, which are all the rage these days (see recipe here), egg and banana pancakes (see recipe here), or an egg sandwich on an English muffin, try to get enough protein to keep you going until snack time or your next meal.

A breakfast made up entirely of carbohydrates (sugar) will give you a quick energy boost, but you’ll soon feel tired and hungry. Aim for a rainbow of colours for maximum vitamins and minerals.


Now, don’t try and do everything all at once! As with any change, the key to long-term success is slow and steady, not sudden and drastic. Best of luck creating a healthy, balanced morning routine!

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