• Marissa Aiuto

Why Morning Routines Are MAGIC For Achieving Your Wellness Goals

I’ve been a morning person my entire life.

My morning routine as a kid consisted of getting up hours before the school bus arrived, getting dressed while watching the Traffic and Weather channel, dancing around to Clay Aiken songs (yup), and eating a full breakfast.

I was never in a rush or running out the door to school, and I think this helped me feel more grounded and ready for my day.

I’ve carried morning routines with me throughout every phase of my life.

In college, I didn’t roll out of bed 10 minutes before class. I always gave myself time to ease into the day with some movement, breakfast/nourishment, and “me time”.

Although I’ve adjusted my schedule and morning activities through different stages of my life, I’ve realized what a beautiful practice it is to have a morning routine.

Having a morning routine is an amazing way to take care of yourself. It’s a great practice to cultivate self love, and find confidence in yourself.

One of the first steps I like to take with clients is finding small ways to start incorporating a morning routine or ritual into their day so they can reap all of the benefits and start achieving the rest of their goals around food and body freedom, and wellness.

Here are just a few ways morning routines are magic:

  1. Reduced Decision Fatigue - Decision fatigue is the time and effort and confusion around having to choose what to do. Having a plan, routine or ritual in place eliminates the “guessing” and “deciding” in the morning, so you can dive right into it without thinking! This is why people love ‘meal prepping’, because it takes the guesswork out of meals when you have food ready-to-go and ready-to-eat!

  2. Increases Productivity - Starting your morning with a ‘check’ off your to do list will make you more productive throughout the day. Have you ever said to yourself “I’ll workout after work” or “I’ll get this done after dinner”. So, you put the workout (or whatever the 'thing' is for you) off for the end of the day and then after-work and after-dinner time rolls around and you just DON’T feel up to it, and end up not doing the workout or the thing you wanted to get done? When you first wake up in the morning, the craziness, the distractions, and the overwhelm of the day’, hasn’t set in yet, so it’s a great time to get things done, and feel productive first thing in the morning.

  3. Strengthens Relationships - Giving space and time to yourself allows you to give more to the people you love. I see this with my clients who are moms the most. I see these moms always putting everyone ahead of themselves. Why? Because a lot of moms think that taking time for themselves in the morning is selfish. Moms are praised for being selfless, and it's admirable. But, what I lovingly tell these clients is that giving yourself some "me time" is the opposite of selfish, because it allows you time to refresh, and feel more open, available, and alert for your kids, significant others, friends, coworkers, etc. You know on a plane they say take care of yourself first before you take care of those around you. Same thing here. My mom clients have found waking up just 15 minutes earlier, or having a small morning routine or ritual gives them that few minutes to themselves to makes them feel organized, calm, and energized to take on the craziness of when everyone else wakes up!

  4. Feel Grounded and Calm - Rushing through your morning is sure to make you feel frazzled. That’s why having some sort of routine or ritual in place will start your day on a calm, focused, and positive note. Think about a time when you overslept, and felt rushed trying to make it to work. You probably found that one bad thing after another started happening: your hair is a mess, your shirt is on backwards, you spill your coffee on your lap, you get stuck in traffic… and so on. That ‘rushed’ feeling finds a way to trickle into every part of your day, and the opposite is true for morning routines. If you start your day calm and organized, the rest of your day will likely follow suit.

  5. Gives You Confidence - Reduced decision fatigue, the ability to give more to your relationships, feeling productive, feeling grounded and calm every morning all cultivates into confidence! Having a taste of these positive things right at the start to your day motivates you to keep that positive and productive ball rolling! I see this all the time with clients. Once they establish a morning routine that works for them, they just thrive. The confidence and motivation starts seeping into other parts of their day and other parts of their lives. Having built a morning habit gives my clients clear evidence that they can be efficient and they can accomplish goals.

Disclaimer: If you don’t think you’re a morning person, I hear you! I have clients who have pushed back saying they’re not a morning person. I’ll tell you what I tell my clients: I encourage you to start small.Try waking up just 10 minutes earlier and adding in one morning ritual. It can be so simple, and if that’s all you can do - great! If you feel like you can build off of it down the line - also great!

Disclaimer 2: Please note that having a morning routine doesn't mean you have to do every step and every ritual every single day. Similar to intuitive eating and mindful movement, it’s not what you do everyday, it’s what you do most days that makes you feel your best. Skipping your morning routine or part of your morning routine doesn’t mean you’re doing it wrong, it just means you’re human, and you can get back to it tomorrow.

Since I’ve really talked up morning routines at this point, I thought it might be helpful to share my routine with you. Maybe there’s something you haven’t thought of or something new you’d like to try out -- take it or leave it!

My magical morning routine:

  1. I wake up around the same time everyday - this creates consistency for your internal body clock. It’s important to note that even if you didn’t sleep well, sleeping in will NOT help, it’ll actually make you even more tired. It’s best to just get up, and go about your day, knowing and trusting you’ll get better rest the following night.

  2. I make my bed - You know those things we think take longer to do than they actually do? This is one of those things. Making your bed is a simple thing you can do that takes about 30 seconds to one minute, and the reward is a nice, neat, and cozy bed to return to at the end of the day. It's the simple pleasures for me.

  3. I tend to my oral hygiene - I like to brush my teeth first thing! Overnight a lot of bacteria and plaque build up in your mouth, that’s why ‘morning breath’ is a thing. I brush my teeth, then use my tongue scraper which helps scrape/remove that bacteria on the tongue! Not only does this help with that morning breath, it improves your oral hygiene and sense of taste. Sometimes I like to oil pull as well, which acts as a natural mouthwash. I spoon a couple teaspoons of coconut oil into my mouth, and swish around for 5 minutes, then spit it out in the garbage and rinse with water. This helps pull out the bacteria and toxins in your mouth.

  4. I like to move - I do my movement first the morning because I feel it wakes up my body, gets my blood flowing, pumps out some endorphins (happy hormones) and makes me feel energized and motivated for my day. My movement looks different everyday, some days it's a strength workout, sometimes a run, sometimes yoga, sometimes just simply stretching, but even moving for 5-10 min just makes me feel good!

  5. I take a quick shower - This isn’t usually a ‘mindful’, aromatherapy, musical shower. It’s just the basics, nothing too interesting. Showering whether I did an intense workout or just stretched for a few minutes always makes me feel clean and refreshed for the day.

  6. I like to hydrate - Overnight your body becomes super dehydrated. I like to kick off my morning with a big glass (or bottle) or water, or some warm lemon water. This is a great way to ensure you’ve kicked off your day on a positive, hydrated note!

  7. I eat breakfast - The most important meal of the day, right? Breakfast is non-negotiable for me. It gives me so much energy and fuel for the day. I definitely don’t wake up hungry, which is why I usually do my movement ‘fasted’ and don’t eat for about an hour or so after I wake up. My breakfast isn’t always consistent (I like to switch it up), but I recently realized that blending my plant-packed smoothies for a little bit longer, helps it get to room temp, which has been a game changer for the Vata in me (read this if you have no idea what I’m talking about). I truly think adding veggies into smoothies is one of the best ways to kick off your day with lots of nutrients. It’s like having a salad for breakfast, but it tastes like dessert.

  8. I make my coffee - This is honestly a highlight of my day. It just perks me right up! I don’t really drink coffee for the caffeine, but it’s more for the taste and the ritual that I’ve created around it. I grind my own beans, and brew my coffee in a french press (which involves boiling water, and steeping the beans for 10 minutes before pressing), I also like to froth up some oat milk and top of my coffee with a sprinkle of cinnamon!

  9. I journal - Ok, not every day is a full journal entry, but I like to do some simple gratitude. I keep it simple, and set the bar low. I write down a few things I’m grateful for. Having a gratitude practice has so many benefits, but in the morning I feel it simply puts my mind in a positive place to start the day. I also like to look over my to do list, and add anything I want to add. I keep my to do list on the Reminders App on my phone because I can schedule my to-do’s for future days and move around the flexible ones. Also, nothing feels better than checking things off a to do list (just me?)

  10. I start my day - I dive into emails, client calls, client check-ins, blog or content writing and other work. At this point I feel all of those magical morning routine benefits sink in. I feel like I’ve already accomplished so much and any more I do is such a bonus (and usually I do a lot more haha)

Like I said before, a morning routine is a beautiful way to take care of yourself. It’s a great way to add in some simple self love, self confidence, and motivation to have a calm, grounded, and productive day!

If you’re feeling stuck in creating a morning routine, and want to start reaping the benefits of all the magic, let’s chat! I offer a free 30-minute assessment call, and we can talk through simple ways to add to your morning routine as the first step to your food and body freedom!

You can book your free call here! I’d love to hear what some of your morning routines and rituals are! Share in the comments below or share with me in my Food & Body Freedom Fighters Facebook Group!

Be Well, Marissa

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