Morning Routines For Success
It’s nearly two months into the New Year and PINK knows working women are firing on all cylinders and we hope, kick-starting the year with healthy habits and lots of self-love. Hanni Berger whose company JOYVIAL offers health coaching to high-powered women has a morning routine that fits the busy executive lifestyle. We believe this is crucial to your success.
Hanni says many hardworking professionals begin their day with a booming alarm clock, a large cup of coffee, and a quick phone scan to catch up on the latest news, emails, and texts — “That’s exactly what the majority of highly successful people say ‘not’ to do.” This is what she recommends:
Arianna Huffington stated, “A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: when I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my phone. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.”
By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll have some new tools and practices to create an impactful morning ritual, so you can:
- Reduce stress and facilitate relaxation
- Foster good habits to match your goals and aspirations
- Energize your body for peak performance and productivity
Morning Habit #1: Don’t Be Alarmed
While it’s easy to burn the midnight oil, you’ll benefit greatly from going to bed at the same time every night. This will help to set your internal clock so you don’t have to wake up to a jarring alarm in the morning.
I aim to be in bed by 9:30 pm each night and asleep by 10:00 pm. This allows me to get the recommended 7-to-8 hours of sleep per night, as I normally wake up sometime between 5:00 am to 6:00 am. If you decide to follow my pattern, you’ll be surprised to find yourself naturally waking up a few minutes before it’s time to get up now that you’ve reset your circadian rhythm.
Don’t trust yourself that much just yet? That’s ok. Try ditching the scary buzzer and opting for a more gentle wake-up by using a sunrise or ambient light alarm clock.
The goal here is to lower stress as your day begins so your nervous system will benefit from awakening gently, versus shocking yourself into attention.
And before your feet hit the ground, try beginning your day by thinking of three things you’re grateful for that morning. It’s an amazing habit for starting your day in a positive mental state.
Morning Habit #2: Choose H₂0 Over a Boatload of Coffee
By the time the first ‘Cup of Joe’ is ready in the morning, you’ve already gone several hours without water so your body is in a state of dehydration. Coffee is a diuretic that will only dehydrate you further, so I recommend kick-starting your day with 8-to-16 oz. of room-temperature spring water instead.
Not only does it help you rehydrate by refreshing all your organs in the morning, but it will also help to flush toxins out of your system after a long night of resting and digesting. Want an extra kick? Add a little lemon juice, for its detoxing properties, as well as a pinch of mineral salt for electrolytes, and you’ll have an energizing elixir that will serve you far better than the caffeine.
Actress and author Cameron Diaz swears by this practice and recently stated in Forbes, “It’s very important to start your day off with a lot of energy,” she said. “For me, that starts with getting up, brushing my teeth, and drinking some water.” An invigorating glass of water is a refreshing way to prepare your mind and body to tackle the day ahead.
Morning Habit #3: Fuel Your Body
Now that you’ve gently begun your day and are hydrated, it’s time to fuel your body through mindfulness, movement, and meal prep.
I recommend meditating for 10 minutes first thing in the morning and visualizing your ideal day. How will your meeting go? Who will you meet? What will you accomplish?
Taking the time to begin your day in a state of peace and calm is key. The majority of modern illnesses are stress-related. Instead of rushing in the morning, enjoy a few “hush” moments focused on your breath and daily aspirations, or a short meditation with Tara Brach.
Next, gently wake up your body with movement. Instead of an intense workout, which can elevate cortisol levels and increase your overall stress load, consider taking a 20-to-30 minute leisurely walk or a few minutes of stretching. You can make it a mindful practice by staying in a state of prayer as you continue your meditative mantra while strolling.
Also, I recommend fueling your body with a nutritious breakfast that isn’t too hard on your digestion. Remember, by the time you turn to the refrigerator in the morning, you probably haven’t eaten anything for 10-to-12 hours, so your digestive tract needs to be turned back on slowly. 30% of your (daily) energy goes toward digestion, so try starting your day with an ‘easy-to-digest’ (and more importantly) easy to absorb breakfast.
My go-to’s are:
- A nutritious shake full of leafy greens, celery, fruits, high-quality protein, and green powders
- Some scrambled eggs and cooked veggies
- A warming bowl of organic, steel-cut oats with fruit
Also, having ginger tea with your breakfast is a great way to naturally add enzymes to help you further break down your food. If you’re a “skip breakfast” type of executive try one of these easy and nutritious options. I promise your mind, body, and taste buds will thank you!
Since you’ve read this far, I believe you’re serious about reaching your wellness goals in the New Year. If so, having an established morning ritual is a must.
Morning Habit #4: Love Thy Self
This is a big one. Each of us has different ways to practice self-care but in general, there are a few guiding principles you can apply to set yourself up for success.
1. Understand your needs – what gives you oxygen – For me, getting hugs from close friends and family fills my tank.
Self-love, for me, also means moving my body a few times a week knowing that I’ll feel better afterward. Also spending a little extra money on organic, nutritious produce falls into that self-love category for me.
2. Using kind self-speech – We have on average 60,000 thoughts per day with 80% of those being negative. If the voice in your head tells you that you aren’t good enough, try focusing on when you succeed. Listen to your mental chatter and if it is negative, ask yourself who told you that—and if you would ever talk to your best friend that way.
3. Keep your promises to yourself – whether it is to go to bed earlier, eat more nutritious foods or try a new yoga class but somehow you haven’t done it? What are your excuses for saying no to yourself? Another one of our JOYVIAL health coaches points out that energetically, you are telling yourself that you are not worth the time and effort. In some ways, you lose credibility with yourself when you don’t follow through.
Think of just one small commitment you can make to yourself right now and put it in motion. Once you keep your first promise to yourself and see the effect on yourself as well as others, you will be motivated to follow through on other promises to yourself.
4. Give yourself grace – Grace is all about being ok with where you are. It allows you to acknowledge that you would have liked to manage a situation differently, but also see why you were not able to at the time. Grace is remembering that you are human with good intentions.
5. Practice self-compassion – Find small gestures that you know will nourish your soul.
When one of our JOYVIAL health coaches feels stressed, she puts her right hand on her heart. She feels when she does that, she connects with her life source and it brings her back to the present moment, where peace is found.
I give myself hugs. Yes, you read that right. I take my right hand and wrap it around my left shoulder and take my left hand and wrap it around the right shoulder and then squeeze. This may look silly (I don’t actually do this in front of people) but it feels so nurturing for me.
“There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela
By Hanni Berger, Founder & CEO of JOYVIAL
See how working with a JOYVIAL can change your life.1-866-JOYVIAL or click (here) to schedule your free consultation. Follow on social media Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter for your daily dose of health and wellness tips.
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