One of the most common excuses you’ll hear for not being able to prioritize one’s self-care is, “I simply don’t have the time.”
You’ve heard it a thousand times before and probably said it yourself as many.
If this is the case for you, clearly time is not something you can afford to fritter away.
The fact of the matter is, we all lead busy lives and the majority of us have an extensive list of excuses at the ready to justify why our self-care has to take a backseat on the priority shuttle.
Problem is, regardless of one’s family, job, and social situation, a powerful argument can be made that none of these other responsibilities can be met to the best of one’s ability before self- care has been addressed as “numero uno.”
Think about it, if you’re routinely waking up with brain fog, low energy levels, and poor nutrition habits, how can you reasonably expect that this depleted tone is going to set you up for maximum productivity, interaction and enjoyment throughout your day?
On the contrary, this is a sure fire formula for unnecessary stress, poor decision making, ineffective communication, and above all, wasted time.
How, then, is one to optimize their morning routine in the most efficient, impactful way?
The following morning routine guidelines form a blueprint that most anyone can integrate into their lives in a meaningful, manageable, and sustainable way.
It is designed to stimulate energy levels, cognitive function, and mood without occupying too much of that oh, so precious TIME.
Before you hit the ground running:
1. HYDRATE – While sleeping, your body has been busy repairing muscles, organs and other cells and your hydration levels are depleted.
Drinking just 16oz/500ml of water as soon as you wake up has been shown to boost metabolism, energy, cognitive function, and flush out toxins among a host of other benefits.
TIME REQUIREMENT: 1-2 minutes
2. EXERCISE – For some, this might be the LAST thing you want to be doing first thing in the morning.
Once you adopt it as a habit, however, and experience the tremendous benefits, you’ll likely not want to go back to your old lifestyle.
Recent scientific study has been focused on Minimum Effective Dose workouts (MED) which have been shown to provide the same benefits as nearly 60 minutes of aerobic activity in just 4- 12 minutes.
Try a combination of the following MED protocols based on what works and feels best for you individually:
A) Tabata – The three bodyweight exercises are pushups, squats, and burpees. You perform one of the three exercises to the best of your ability for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. This format is repeated 8 times.
Repeat this format for the remaining two exercises on alternate days.
TIME REQUIREMENT: 4-12 minutes
B) Total Body Kettlebell Workout – All you need is a kettlebell and an exercise mat. Available on YouTube.
TIME REQUIREMENT: 5 minutes
C) Christine Bullock’s Total Transformation Training – Christine guides you through a full- body H.I.I.T. routine with no equipment required. Available at the App Store and Google Play.
TIME REQUIREMENT: 7-10 minutes
3. MEDITATE – The physiological and emotional benefits of meditation are manifold, not least of which include reduced stress, elevated happiness, and boosted productivity.
Even just a few minutes dedicated to quieting external distractions and mindful focus on one’s breathing pattern can have an immensely positive impact on the tone set for the day ahead. Woosah...
TIME REQUIREMENT: 3-5 minutes
4. SMOOTHIE – “Nutritional hunger” is a type of hunger that occurs in spite of having eaten. The issue is WHAT you ate.
Highly processed and refined “Frankenfoods” create this effect because they are so nutrient-void that the body is starved of the essential macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals it requires to alive and kicking.
In response, the body triggers ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and before you know it, you’re refilling your pie hole in a perpetual loop of wasted time and dissatisfaction. Just sad.
A nutrient-dense smoothie that incorporates a healthful balance of protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals will nullify this self-destructive behavioral response and have you feeling vibrant and satiated to kick some serious morning derrière!
There is no shortage of delicious, nutritious online recipes at your disposal so do some research, experiment a little, and enjoy!
TIME REQUIREMENT: 7-10 minutes
With “not enough time” for self-care removed from the equation, pick, choose, mix, match, or even better, adopt all four options to incorporate into your daily morning routine and you just might be amazed how well you feel and what you can accomplish!
Are you seeking a Free 15 minute Coaching Session with Mark? Email us at UltimateSparkCoaching@gmail.com or send us a message on this site and we will connect you!