Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach Charlotte Lau brings some calm to morning routines

For many of us the relentless cycle of going to bed too late, hitting snooze on repeat and rushing out the door feeling highly stressed, is all too common. However with many people commuting less and working from home more, maybe it is the perfect opportunity to use this ‘regained time’ to start our day a little more calmly. Establishing a morning routine is all about setting specific time aside to become more mindful and intentional about your day. Instead of getting up and switching straight into ‘to-do mode’ we should allow ourselves the time to feel more calm and focussed on the day ahead. An important part of being able to build and sustain a morning routine is quality sleep, enabling you to wake up refreshed and ready to go the next morning.

Learn to… design your morning

Let’s face it, mornings can be stressful. Alarms blaring, children screaming and to-do lists looming do not constitute a good start to the day, so try to design a morning routine that works for you. This may mean waking up 10 minutes earlier to a quieter house, a morning coffee before everyone stirs or time for a gentle stretch. By planning how you spend the first minutes upon waking, you can set your body and mind up for a more positive day ahead. Think about things that bring you joy; light a candle, go straight outside for a brisk walk, read a chapter of a good book or, quite simply, just sit. Allowing your mind to be calm gives the opportunity for creativity, reflection and productivity and therefore less stress. It doesn’t matter whether your morning routine lasts five minutes or one hour. What’s really important is to do something that is meaningful to you and that allows you to slow down for a moment and step out of autopilot-mode.

Give it a go… seek morning light

A good night’s sleep starts with what we do first thing in the morning. Our body has an in-built clock, known as our circadian rhythm and it has a lot to do with our wake and sleep times. Research has shown that exposing our bodies to early morning light not only supports high quality sleep, but is also associated with lower weight. Allow your skin to be in morning light as much as possible, seek out the sunrise, sit with your morning drink outside or beside an open window, take your breakfast outside or do your morning stretch in the garden. By allowing your body maximum light in the day and dimmer lights once the sun goes down, you are supporting your body’s internal clock for better sleep that evening.

Step away from… your phone

What is the first thing you do when you wake up? For many of us, we are woken by the alarm from our phones which, once switched off, is used to have a quick check of our emails, scroll social media, read the news or perhaps a quick attempt at Wordle… and that is all before we have opened the curtains. Perhaps these things are harmless as a one off, but if they are repeated daily, they can really affect the start of your day. A tricky email from your boss, an impending utility bill or some difficult world news, is instantly additional stress. Try to make your bedroom a no tech zone; leave your phone and laptop in another room before you go to bed and invest in a good old-fashioned alarm clock! Imposing a ‘no-tech’ rule an hour before bed, as well as for an hour upon waking, may just result in a more peaceful mind.

Charlotte runs Plume Nutrition, where she offers support and advice for weight management, controlling cravings, sleeplessness, stress and increasing energy levels. Find out more at plumenutrition.com

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