How to Create & Stick to a Morning Routine

I think everyone can relate to the chaos that comes immediately after the first alarm bell rings. If you don’t press snooze, you’re already ahead of the game. But if you’re a new mom who’s little one still isn’t sleeping through the night consistently, then my guess is you’ve hit that sweet sweet snooze button 3-4 times before finally dragging your butt out of bed. You take a couple sips of coffee before changing the first dirty diaper of the morning, let the dog out, feed the baby and change their clothes before you’re even fully awake. You make sure everyone else (but you) are fed & pop that cold cup of coffee into the microwave for the 2nd time. Before long, you’re running late and you haven’t even washed your hair. Dry shampoo it is! You shove something that looks like an adult lunchable into a plastic bag for the husband, jump in the car and head to daycare drop off looking like a hot mess.

Because I work from home, I have the luxury of heading back to the comfort of the couch after morning drop off and obviously that means wearing yoga pants ( let’s be real, pajamas) most days of the week. But I’ll be the first to admit that if I don’t get to actually prepare for a day of work, it can do a number on my energy and productivity. So I’ve really begun to focus on a morning routine that will help me not only avoid the chaos and stress of a morning gone wrong, but bring more peace and fun to our morning routine. Here are few things I’ve employed this week to help shape up my mornings in a way that feels supportive to our goals rather than a failure when things don’t go according to plan.

Do as much as you can the night before.

This is the lamest but most essential tip for streamlining your morning. It’s not hard to understand why taking the time to prep the coffee pot, make lunches, and put out clothes for everyone will save you MUCHO time in the morning, so why do we never do this?! I’m totally guilty of not even wanting to peel myself out of bed to wash my face at night let alone prep for the next day but do yourself a favor and just do it.

Pick ONE activity you MUST do for yourself in the morning.

Let’s be honest, most of us start our days by scrolling our newsfeeds instead of putting ourselves first. Seeing endless photos of other people who having their act seemingly together will undoubtedly make you feel like crap and we don’t want to start the day off on that note. Let’s all agree to kick that habit and focus on starting our days with one habit that will center us and make our days brighter. Whether it’s 10 minutes of uninterrupted quite time, a 30 minute workout, reading your devotionals or personal development, meditation, or just taking the time to do your hair and make up, you deserve to start your morning off on the right foot. Don’t get hung up on trying to do everything your favorite Instagram influencer does that makes you feel terribly inadequate. Pick one thing and stick to it. Once you’ve made that a consistent habit, pick another and remember, you are human so don’t come down hard on yourself if doesn’t all come together.

Be a big girl and eat your breakfast.

I can already hear it. “I’m not hungry in the morning”, “I don’t like breakfast foods”, “I’d rather just drink my coffee”. Eating breakfast should be an essential and non-negotiable part of your morning. If that means you make an egg bake on Sunday and eat the same damn thing every day then so be it. But fueling your body with protein and healthy carbohydrates will give your blood sugar the natural, slow increase it needs to push your energy levels up in the morning and get your going faster. Plus, studies show that when you start your morning off with a healthy breakfast, you are far more likely to continue to make healthier choices throughout the day. Win-win.

Have an Accountability Partner

My sister and I check in with each other every morning. Having someone that knows your goals and will help keep you on track is crucial to maintaining any positive habits. Let your bff know what time you plan to get up, or invite them to your morning workout. Have them remind you to eat breakfast or encourage you to pack the day’s lunch. If it’s someone you love and trust, they’ll be first in line to help you reach your goals and give you that extra push you need to be successful.

Finding a morning routine is not about being perfect. It’s about identifying what habits make you feel most at ease and set you up for an awesome day ahead. If one day doesn’t pan out, don’t give up entirely, just take note of what could be improved and know that this is your life! It’s not meant to be perfect, it’s meant to be enjoyed. You are in charge here so take charge of your mornings- you got this!

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Refocusing After Vacation

If you follow either myself or @laurasmithwellness on Instagram, you know that we were on vacation in Mexico during the last part of February. We were fortunate enough to be gifted a family vacation by our parents who took us all down to Playa del Carmen for 8 days, babies and all. This was my first experience with all inclusive and boy did we enjoy it. All you can eat and any cuisine you can imagine, endless chips and guac and all the Bahama Mama’s & Paloma’s you could drink. We thoroughly enjoyed a break from cooking, working & any semblance of a routine.

Flash forward to a good ole’ fashioned Minnesota snow storm welcoming us back to reality. Vacation came to an abrupt halt and it was a bit of a struggle adjusting back to life as we knew it. Vacations are meant to be enjoyed but I came up with some tips to help ease you back to reality and get you back on track with your wellness lifestyle post-vacay.

Drink so much freaking water. 

You’d be amazed at what chugging some good old H2O can do to help clear your system and get you back on track. Kicking up your water intake will help replenish your cells from all that sugar & alcohol you consumed on the beach. Be prepared to pee SO FREAKING MUCH as your body adjusts. Everyone’s intake goals should be specific to them but get yourself a 24 oz water bottle and aim for 3-4 of those a day as a good baseline.

Pack in the veggies. 

You are an adult. Adults eat vegetables. I can’t help but laugh when I meet full grown adults who don’t eat their vegetables. Your body NEEDS these essential vitamins and minerals and you will feel 1000 times better when you consistently fuel your body with what it needs. Especially after a week of endless treats, filling your plate with fiber dense veggies will help you feel satisfied. When you’re satisfied you crave less sugar. It’s a win-win. With that being said, you need to find vegetables that you DO like. If you don’t like broccoli, try cauliflower or asparagus. If bolder flavors are your thing, try munching on some sweet baby peppers. If you can’t stomach raw veggies, toss them in a pan with some ghee or olive oil and garlic. Trust me. Eat. Your. Veggies.

Cut out the sugar. 

I know this one is easier said than done but your body responds to what you fuel it with. If you pack your body full of sugar, it will continue to crave sugar. So by cutting it out- just for a few days- you are giving yourself the opportunity to break that addiction and help you kick the cravings. Be mindful of the hidden sources of sugars like pressed juices, fresh fruit, and yogurts. You may feel like you’re making a better choice but these often have just as much sugar as a can of pop or candy bar.

Ease your way back into your fitness routine. 

While on vacation, we walked a lot but it was not the typical 30-40 minutes of heart pumping work that I was used to. That meant that even in a week, my conditioning was lessened. Do not sabotage yourself by going full boar into an intense cardio session, feel out of shape and then give up. Plan 3-5 workouts for your week, listen to your body and modify if necessary. Easing into your routine will help your body adjust and give you the energy boost you need to keep going.

Be kind  

Do not waste time feeling guilty about the foods and drinks you consumed a week ago. Vacation is supposed to be fun and that includes treats and foods you don’t typically reach for on a weekly basis. I want to challenge you to stop thinking about foods as “good” and “bad”. Instead think about how you want to feel and what foods will get you there. Be kind to yourself as you ease back into your routine and focus on one decision at a time to get you there.

Oh, and start planning your next vacation now.

Cheers

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