Hi friends! How’s the morning going? I hope you’re having a great one so far! We’re having the best Fall Break with the kiddos, and am looking forward to a shorter week this week, and getting everything ready for the Pilot and P’s bday celebrations. I’m also starting the Dr. Cabral 7-day detox today with our community. You can still absolutely order a kit and join in on your own time when it arrives (use FITNESSISTA20 for a discount).
For today’s post, I wanted to share some of the changes I’ve made in my routine that have moved the dial towards productivity, improved mood, and sleep. It’s fun to adjust things over time and see what works, and this is what has been working for lately. I’d love to hear if you’re working towards any goals or have made any sleep/routine changes and how they’re going!
5 dial movers in my health routine
1) An updated morning routine
I used to get frustrated hearing about morning routines of successful entrepreneurs because I have small kids, a life, and ain’t got no time for a 2-hour complex morning routine. The kids used to be our alarm clock, but now that they’re older, I still sleep until the alarm goes off. I roll out of bed and am flung directly into the morning chaos until school drop-off, or on the weekends, it’s dance and soccer games. I would hear about elaborate morning meditation, journaling, and exercise routines and just feel annoyed.
Buuuuut, I realized I could shuffle around some of my favorite habits that put me in a positive and productive mindset and make them work for my life. My “morning routine” is a bit delayed now, or split into pieces throughout the day, and makes a huge difference in my stress level and my attitude.
Here are the components I include:
Morning sunlight and grounding
I know that early morning sunlight can help your circadian rhythm and enable your body to produce melatonin at the correct times, so you’re able to go to sleep more easily at night. I’d open the blinds and let sun into the house first thing, but over the past couple of months, I started stepping outside into the sun. It feels SO good and makes me feel instantly awake and like I’m ready to conquer the day.
I have to let Maisey out in the morning anyway, so instead of staying inside curled up with hoodie or blanket, I walk outside with her. I step into the grass, even if it’s wet, remove my glasses (since they are transition and blue light blockers), and look around the yard. It takes maybe three minutes, but sets the tone for the entire day. I get a little bit of sunlight on my body and in my eyes, and also get in a bit of grounding, which can be therapeutic. According to this study, “Grounding appears to improve sleep, normalize the day–night cortisol rhythm, reduce pain, reduce stress, shift the autonomic nervous system from sympathetic toward parasympathetic activation, increase heart rate variability, speed wound healing, and reduce blood viscosity.”
7 minutes of meditation, 10 minute of journaling
Every day, I spend 7 minutes meditation on my PEMF Go Mat (FITNESSISTA15 for 15% off). (If you need meditation strategies, I have a ton here! You can also listen to a guided meditation on YouTube, Calm, or the Peloton app.) 10 minutes sometimes feels like too long, so 7 is the perfect number for me. I listen to binaural beats on Spotify while I meditate. Afterwards, I set my timer for 10 minutes and journal, using this devotional and a goals/gratitude journal. The goals/gratitude journal is quick (5 things I’m grateful for and 10 goals I’m going to accomplish), and I spend a bit more time on the devotional. It’s a great way to check in with my goals (so I’m more likely to take action steps during the day), but also with my personal values and purpose.
Not checking social media until after I’ve finished our morning walk
This has been a tricky one, and I’m not as consistent with it, but I try to avoid checking social media until I’ve finished my morning walk with Maisey. I find that it’s just a distraction, especially when I’m trying to get the kids dressed and breakfast done, so it’s worth it for me to wait. Social media and email is a stressor for me, so when I start my day by checking my phone (usually to alerts and emails I can’t respond to until later), it just adds more to my mental load. It’s better to wait until I can respond and take action, instead of letting it hang over my head.
2) Walking every single day… unless it’s raining 😉
Walking with Maisey is one of the high points for both of us each day! We walk from 30-45 minutes, and I use this time to listen to a podcast or audiobook. She gets fresh air and exercise, and is a calmer, happier gal. It’s been raining a lot here in Tucson lately, so if it’s raining, I’ll still move my body in a gentle way to break up the workday, whether it’s a handful of Zumba songs, a Sculpt Society dance cardio round, or some mobility and stretching.
3) Going to bed earlier
I’ve had to force myself to do this, especially because I’m a night owl and would prefer watching TV and reading as long as possible. Instead, I head to bed around 10 (asleep by 10:30 or 10:45), and I’m definitely not as tired in the morning. It’s an obvious mood booster, I’m able to work harder during my workouts, and I’m more productive when I get to bed earlier.
4) Weekly meet-ups with friends and family
This is #1 for me! If you’re feeling blah, sad, uninspired, like you can’t be productive: make time fo meaningful connections that bring you joy. It can be even harder as we get older and shuffle work + kids/ busy schedules, but it’s so, so worth it. I meet up with at least one friend for coffee/juice or a workout class each week, enjoy weekly bible study, and we have weekend dinners with family and friends.
5) Avoiding alcohol
As I learn more and more about what alcohol does to my body and brain, the less I want to drink it. I still enjoy the taste of wine or a margarita (!) but I don’t crave it like I used to. I’m continuing to cut back, and have been enjoying maybe one drink per week. You can read more about my journey with alcohol here.
So tell me friends: have you made any changes in your routine lately? What’s one of your health goals right now?