When you’re working so hard to create your dream life, there is almost nothing more deflating than a bad start to the day.
I remember when I was first starting this journey of living on purpose and entrepreneurship. I read so many articles about the perks of having a solid morning routine. Every personal growth book I can recall suggested this as the most powerful habit we can adopt to reach our goals. The promise of having more energy to manage all the things I needed and aspired to do each day was enticing.
At the time, my youngest was a toddler (a tornado of busyness by day, bedtime battler by night). My husband was away for months at a time due to his military career – leaving me as sole caretaker for our two kids. Most mornings, I literally had to force myself out of bed. Jumping straight into a workout, journaling, or anything ‘extra’ felt impossible.
Despite knowing I ‘should’ have a success-oriented morning routine, mine remained the same as it had for years: bathroom – coffee – desk. Unfortunately, this did not create the most empowering segue into each day. Instead, it seemed to trigger a domino effect that lasted until bedtime. I felt behind before I even got started, then spent most of the day in an exhausted frenzy trying to catch up.
My productivity suffered, as did my mood and sense of control over my quality of life.
If you can relate, I’m so glad you’re here. Maybe your obstacle is something other than a demanding toddler or sporadic partner support, and that’s okay. My own hurdles have shapeshifted over the 8 years since then. The women I work with come to me with a kaleidoscope of challenges. I want you to know what I have learned along this journey to personal growth:
It is actually possible to start our days feeling energized and positive without an elaborate morning routine.
Whether it’s a life season or simply an ‘off’ day, sometimes we need a quick, bare minimum approach to help get us going.
That is why I developed this simple 3-step process. It gives me (and my clients) exactly the boost needed to launch into a ‘power hour’ morning routine. Some days, though, that’s not possible. Life happens to us all.
Whichever kind of day you’re having, these steps are key to starting it feeling like the powerhouse you are.
1. B Vitamin complex sublingual drops.
B vitamins are essential for converting the food we eat into the energy that fuels our bodies and brains. B complex is a combination of the six B vitamins. If you’re not getting enough of this vital compound, you may experience a variety of symptoms. A few include fatigue, difficulty sleeping, nervous system problems, headaches, irritability/mood swings.
People at higher risk of B vitamin deficiency include those who: eat a vegetarian/vegan diet; choose white/enriched vs. whole grain bread, rice, pasta, etc.; don’t eat many green vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and leafy greens.
Drinking alcohol also depletes this nutrient from our systems. Part of the reason we feel so sluggish and cranky after a night of winding down over cocktails is linked back to this. (Reference)
For an almost instant energy boost, supplement under the tongue, first thing in the morning. Follow dosing directions on the bottle. Drop the liquid under your tongue and hold it there for 30 seconds, while you prepare for the next step. Pro tip: This stuff does not have an especially appealing flavor! You will not taste it until you swallow (because there are no tastebuds on the underside of our tongues). Have your water ready to gulp immediately!
2. Room-temperature lemon water.
This sounds simple enough. Maybe you’ve heard people rave about drinking lemon water first thing in the morning. There are some little known extra benefits I want to share. Knowing why it’s important will keep you motivated to do it on a regular basis!
First, the lemon juice provides vitamin C, which helps our bodies efficiently absorb the B vitamins we just took.
Second, our bodies are naturally lacking in hydration after hours of sleep. Water rehydrates, whereas coffee is a diuretic (meaning it dehydrates). It’s not my style to put out blanket recommendations, so I will not say to avoid coffee altogether. Coffee is an indulgence that isn’t harmful to most people when enjoyed in moderation. By this, I mean one or two cups a day, not within 8 hours of bedtime. Yet, please note that water is a more natural and effective energy booster than coffee.
(Insider tip: I do this 3-step jumpstart every morning while waiting for my coffee to brew.)
Third, as this article in Medical News Today explains, the body has a core temperature of around 98.6°F and Ayurvedic practitioners reason that the body needs to expend extra energy to restore this temperature after drinking cold water. So drinking room-temperature or hot water can allow our bodies to conserve that energy to spend on other things.
3. Quick chest & shoulder opener.
Exercise is well documented to boost our energy, (References 1, 2, 3) especially in the morning, according to this study published by the National Institutes of Health. Our brains rely on oxygen as a main fuel source (as well as glucose from our food and hydration via water intake). Physical activity increases the intake of oxygen and speeds up the flow of oxygen-rich blood to our brains.
Some days, we just don’t have the time, motivation (or energy!) to kick off our day with a workout. Instead of slogging through the day, try this quick energy-booster. You can add a workout later in the morning or even later in the day without missing out on the early-morning benefits of movement.
Pro Tip: Do this any time of day to refresh your energy fast!
Sit or stand with your back straight, core engaged. Hold your hands to your shoulders, with elbows at shoulder height. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you move your elbows away from each other. Move as far out to the sides as you’re able, then spread your shoulder blades apart, squeezing your elbows together at the front of your body. Repeat 5 times.
Next, with your hands in the same position, move your elbows in a circular motion. Bring them together in front of you, up and around, down to your sides, then inward and upward again. Repeat 5 times in this direction, then 5 times in the opposite direction.
The main purpose of having a morning routine is to start the day with amplified energy and a positive mindset.
How many times have you beat yourself up for skipping your morning routine? How often have you felt like you’re failing because you struggle to conquer this thing so many of us believe we NEED in our life? These internal grapples just add unnecessary stress and often prevent us from the end result we’re seeking – successful and happy lives.
Letting go of SHOULDs is a powerful productivity booster and growth driver too.
I want you to start your morning feeling like you can achieve anything! I need you to know that there is more than one way to get yourself there. This quick morning jumpstart is enough if you need it to be. When you’re ready to build in more, you will have the energy and confidence to do it!