Do you ever feel like you run out of steam before you even leave the house in the morning? (Or maybe before you sit down to work if you’re still working at home?) Been there, felt that! Fatigue is real, and no one – aside from 5-year-olds after a cupcake binge at a birthday party – has boundless energy. We all have our limits, so we need to find ways to stretch our energy and budget for it to last all day long.
While it’s completely natural to have ebbs and flows in energy throughout the day, the goal is to keep things steady and smooth. Think of your energy levels like a gas tank in your car: You want to optimize your MPG by driving at a steady speed, with less stop-and-go driving and definitely no stalling out along the route.
Here are nine ways to establish a healthy morning routine so you can conserve your energy for later in the day. Pick and choose from these morning routine ideas to find what works for you.
1. Put down your phone.
Admit it. How often do you roll over and immediately reach for your phone in the mornings? We all do it: The alarm goes off, we grab our phone, and we start scrolling – and seeing all the notifications that came in overnight. Does anything good ever come from reading work emails at 6 a.m.? Even if you love your job, work-life balance is important – and it helps prevent burnout.
We may only have 4 to 5 hours of productivity in us each day, according to a recent Washington Post piece, so make the most of yours by waiting to peek at your notifications. While your phone can help you wind down, it can also deplete your energy, so don’t let it!
2. Start your day out more mindfully.
Instead of reaching for your phone, what should you do instead? Those first moments of your day might be the ideal time to meditate (OK, you can pick up your phone for this one if you promise to go right to your favorite app!), practice some deep breathing or read a few pages. You could also snuggle your sweetie or a pet (since hanging with your pup boosts the feel-good hormone oxytocin).
3. Set an intention.
Begin the day in the right frame of mind by setting an intention – or reinforcing one that’s linked to something big in your life. According to a 2006 meta-analysis in Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, setting an intention had “a positive effect of medium‐to‐large magnitude” on goal attainment.
Yours might be:
- I will be patient with my family today
- I will fill my own cup first so I can better serve those around me.
- I will set healthy boundaries so I can manage my energy and time.
It could also be linked to a goal, such as:
- I will ace this exam and have my MBA by this time next year.
- I will run a PR at my 10K race this weekend.
- I will not impulsively spend money so I can save for my summer vacation.
Whatever you choose, keep your eye “on the ball” so to speak, to know where your energy needs to focus.
4. Avoid decision fatigue.
What a time to be alive, when we can walk into the supermarket and choose from an entire aisle of cereal! Or we can have just about anything we want delivered within hours or days. But there can be too much of a good thing, including choices.
Every time we have to make a choice – whether it’s what to have for dinner or whether to send your children to a new school – it requires emotional energy and self-control. The more decisions we make in a day, the more we dip into our “piggy bank” of both. By the end of the day (or even earlier sometimes), we feel drained and even deciding what to eat at our favorite restaurant is a chore!
Streamline your choices in the morning and reserve that self-control for choices later in the day. Try:
- Establishing a work uniform, like black pants and a solid-colored shirt, to avoid having to choose a new outfit daily.
- Eat roughly the same thing for breakfast and lunch, so you don’t stare into the fridge wondering what to make.
- Switch to coffee pods, so your favorite brew is ready at the touch of a button.
5. Fight fatigue with more than just coffee.
Drinking too much caffeine – ahem, like the entire pot of coffee – is like paying for that summer vacation with a credit card. Eventually you’ll have to pay the bill! Energetically, you’ll end up “paying,” sometimes by lying awake late into the night or by feeling fatigue.
Instead, focus on more than just caffeine to fight fatigue. Good Morning Sunshine™ Coffee + Adaptogens is not only ready when you are, but it also contains organic red ginseng extract. Adaptogenic ginseng bolsters your body’s sleep cycles and energy levels over time, while the coffee is what you crave to get up and go.* See what it’s like to have a pod – not a pot – as a simple way to make over your healthy morning routine.
6. Drink water.
We are all mostly water, and overnight, our body uses a lot of it to carry out all those repair and recovery tasks. By morning, it has been at least seven hours (you’re getting that much sleep, right?) since you’ve hydrated, so drink up!
Water is necessary for most chemical reactions in your body, and even mild dehydration can impact your energy, mood and memory. So have your coffee, but drink some water, too.
7. Eat a solid breakfast.
While, yes, we are technically lying in bed “doing nothing” all night, our bodies are hard at work. We burn calories simply by breathing and keeping ourselves alive – and all those overnight recovery processes require energy in the form of calories. Breaking the fast with a solid, healthy breakfast is key to steady energy levels. Make breakfast part of your healthy morning routine.
Just like it’s harder on your car to let the gas tank get to “E,” letting your hunger levels reach “hangry” will also hit you harder energetically. A healthy breakfast with complex carbs (those that contain some fiber), filling protein and healthy fats will help keep you fuller longer, so you’ll have steady energy.
You might try:
- Eggs or tofu scrambled with frozen spinach (to save time) and whole-grain toast with avocado.
- Oatmeal with almond butter and berries.
- A protein smoothie with a banana and kale.
- Congee, a rice porridge that’s a staple in Traditional Chinese Medicine, topped with a poached egg and a seasonal veggie.
8. Plan tonight’s dinner.
Dinner may be the last thing on your mind in the mornings, but your future self will praise your wisdom and kindness if you at least think about what to make for your evening meal. It’s harder to make good choices (and muster the energy to cook) when you’re hungry, so decide now. And if you decide takeout or frozen pizza with a side of frozen broccoli is what’s for dinner, so be it!
You might also do a bit of prep work in the morning:
- Take the salmon out of the freezer and put it in the fridge.
- Chop some vegetables for a seasonal salad.
- Measure rice and place it in your rice cooker, so you only have to add water and turn it on.
9. Start the night before.
A healthy morning routine starts with a good night’s sleep. Keep our Hello Dreams™ sleep strips with Melatonin & Calm Down™ herbs on your bedside table so you can make them part of your pre-bedtime ritual. Slip one onto your tongue and feel the cool minty, herbal strip melt away as you drift off to sleep.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.