How to Establish a Morning Wellness Routine
The end of the summer season hints that the back-to-school rush is around the corner! Kick off a new school year with a wellness-centric morning routine that includes good nutrition to start your day. Even if you’re not a parent or student getting in the back-to-school mindset, use this month as an opportunity to refresh your mornings and set yourself up for a productive day. Here are four easy tips to help you get started!
1. ESTABLISH A REGULAR BEDTIME & WAKE-UP CALL
A healthful morning routine starts with getting adequate sleep the night before. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep, and teens get 8-10 hours of sleep each night¹. Setting a regular bedtime will help you ensure that you are catching enough Z’s at night. Work on waking up with your alarm instead of hitting snooze so you will have time to include other self-care aspects of a morning routine (we’ll talk more about this routine below…keep reading!).
2. DRINK WATER ASAP
After sleeping for (hopefully) 7-9 hours during the night, your body is running low on water and is longing for some hydration. Make it a habit to drink a tall glass or bottle of water in the morning before leaving the house for the day. Up the appeal of water by treating yourself to a new reusable water bottle or adding in fresh citrus or berries for some added flavor without the added sugar.
3. STOCK UP ON BREAKFAST FOODS
You can’t expect to consistently include a nutritious breakfast in your morning if you don’t have options on hand. When making your grocery list for the week, be sure to include a variety of foods that you have time to prepare in the morning. This may mean always keeping eggs in the fridge, a box of oatmeal or lower-sugar cereal in the pantry, and some fresh fruit on hand that you can pair with yogurt. Make it a new habit to physically sit down for breakfast in the morning. If an on-the-go breakfast is inevitable, whip up a smoothie with frozen fruit, a milk of your choice, and a scoop of protein powder or Greek yogurt. Pour into a to-go cup so you can sip on a tasty balance of protein and fiber for some morning energy.
4. PACK YOUR LUNCH THE NIGHT BEFORE
Limited time in the A.M. is the usually the reason why we eat out when lunch time rolls around. Resolve this dilemma by preparing your lunch the night before (i.e. while you are cleaning up the kitchen and packing away leftovers!) Packing the night before allows you to mindfully choose a nutritionally balanced lunch that includes lean protein and fiber-rich grains, fruits, and vegetables. Having your lunch ready to go in the morning allows you more time to sit down and eat breakfast. Also, don’t forget to pack some snacks for when your stomach starts rumbling between meals. Throw protein bars, unsalted nuts, or an additional serving of fruits or vegetables in your lunch bag so you are prepared for when hunger hits.