Changing your habits to have a healthier morning routine isn’t as daunting as you might imagine. Even if you’re not a morning person and you struggle to get up without hitting the snooze, these seven simple swaps will help you make small adjustments to build a healthier morning routine.
I believe that how you choose to spend your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. I used to be stuck in the rut of setting my alarm then hitting snooze until the very last minute. This forced me to run around like a mad woman before needing to leave for work. I didn’t know what to wear, barely had time to throw together breakfast and always left with a bit of an attitude. The extra few minutes of less-than-stellar sleep weren’t worth the feelings of frustration and annoyance that lingered throughout the day.
Our morning routine can not only be affected by how we choose to spend our time, but what we put on our plates, too. The foods (or lack thereof) that we choose to fuel our body with starting first thing in the morning can have a significant impact on energy levels, hunger, cravings and mental clarity throughout the day.
Here are seven simple swaps for a healthier morning routine (for your plate and beyond) that can set you up for daily success!
These very tips have helped me transform my morning routine from one of chaos to one that I actually look forward to.
1. Instead of hitting the snooze button, set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than your usual wake up time to allow for a rush-free morning routine.
You might think that those extra few minutes of shut-eye time will provide more rest, but it actually can work against you (and your energy levels). Make a commitment to get out of bed at the first sound of your alarm for seven days and see how you feel. If you need a little extra push, set your phone out of arm’s reach, forcing you to get up to turn off that annoying alarm! Take it to the next level by developing a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up around the same time of the day so that your body gets adjusted to a routine.
2. Instead of waking up in a panic or jumping right into your to-do list, do a body scan.
What I mean by this is practice a few deep breaths and notice how you are feeling from head-to-toe. Taking a few minutes to check in with ourselves through presence and deep breathing can help better manage any signs of stress and anxiety throughout the day.
3. Instead of scrolling through social media or checking emails first thing in the morning, sneak in a few light stretches and sip on warm lemon water while waiting for the coffee to brew.
When we get into the habit of checking our phones right away, we don’t allow our minds the peace and quiet it deserves before rushing into the day. A few light stretches along with a cup of warm lemon water is a great way to boost hydration and jumpstart metabolism in the morning!
Related recipe: My favorite hot lemon ginger detox tonic
4. Instead of scrolling through social media or checking emails, write down three things you’re grateful for.
Gratitude journaling has been researched to have the power to rewire the brain towards greater positivity over time. Bonus, share these things with a friend or significant other for added accountability.
5. Instead of pouring half of the creamer bottle into your cup of coffee, try lightening up your morning cup of joe.
Start by reducing the amount of creamer to the actual recommended serving size, then experimenting with healthier options. Some of my favorite ways to enjoy a healthier cup of coffee is by adding a splash of unsweetened creamer, homemade almond milk, or a drizzle of raw honey.
Related post: 7 simple swaps for a healthier cup of coffee
6. Instead of leaving your closet looking like a tornado went through it, pick out your outfit the night before.
I am a huge fan of planning ahead to save time and energy in my day. A fantastic way to implement this strategy in the morning is by picking out your outfit for the day the night before to check one thing off your to-do list ahead of time. Bonus: pack your workout clothes in a gym bag and keep them in your car for an after-work run or workout!
7. Instead of skipping breakfast (or worse – indulging in a sugary one), have a nutritious smoothie or balanced meal.
Our breakfast choices are some of the most important of the day. Skipping a meal or opting for a sugary treat can intensify cravings, cause spikes in hunger and energy levels. Check out this post on how to build a healthier smoothie, or maybe try out one of these meal-prep friendly breakfast recipes (clean green veggie egg muffins or instant pot apple cinnamon steel cut oats). Again, the more that is planned out ahead of time, the easier your morning routine will be!
A balanced meal is one that has protein to satisfy hunger, fiber to slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels (aka, energy) and healthy fats for fuel.
Looking for more simple swap ideas to transform your day? Check out my book SIMPLY SWAPPED Everyday – your guide to elevating the everyday with simple swaps made in and out of the kitchen, plus over 75 plant-powered recipes!