Health Coach Erika Schlick Explains How To Improve Your Morning Routine

3 Mins read

“Wake up an hour earlier to live an hour more,” is how the saying goes. But no matter how positive our intentions are to seize the day, it’s a different story when the alarm goes off in the morning. 

Climbing out of bed when our brains are fighting to fall back asleep remains one of life’s greatest challenges. Can there truly be a hack that turns us into gym-going, journal-writing, smoothie-drinking morning people, unlocking our best, and most productive selves? The answer is no — there isn’t an ultimate one-size-fits-all solution that will change your life. But, there are some very achievable steps you can take.

Certified health coach Erika Schlick insists that no matter whether you are an earlier riser, or struggle to get out of bed before 10:00 am, there is something for everyone to benefit from a morning routine. “No matter what our intentions, the morning gets away from us and we find ourselves fighting to catch up and correct our day,” she explains. “That’s why finding a good morning is about creating new habits, which we all know is the way to long-term changes.” 

Below, she outlines her top four.

1. Get a good night’s sleep

That’s right, your new morning routine starts the night before. “You can’t expect yourself to be able to wake up early if your body hasn’t had a sufficient amount of rest,” Schlick explains. “If you find it hard to go to sleep early, you should try avoiding caffeine after 2:00 pm, creating a dark room, and minimizing artificial light before bed.” 

Schlick also recommends winding down with a nightly ritual in a way that works for you, like reading or mindfulness time. “Getting a good sleep will ensure you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day.”

2. Don’t look at your phone right away

During the week, we may feel the temptation to sleep in longer because we don’t want to be bombarded with our responsibilities in the day ahead. But Schlick says morning time is about allowing yourself some peace before you start thinking about these things. 

“Before you reach for your phone and dive straight into the social media, email, or work notifications on your screen, let yourself wake slowly and gently,” she explains. “We don’t want to burden our minds with a lengthy to-do list while we are still half asleep.” With that in mind, wait until you are fully awake and officially clocking on for work before you start scrolling and refreshing.

3. Drink coffee – yes, really

Just because you are trying to make waking up early feel more natural to you, it absolutely does not mean you have to do it without help. “I know for me, a morning coffee from my favorite brands is one of the ‘little things’ that make life pleasant from day to day,” Schlick says. “I’ve been drinking the same coffee daily for the last five years and it gives me so much energy to tackle the day.” However, she adds that drinking just coffee on an empty stomach might make you more anxious and jittery, so it’s important that you drink it alongside a healthy, balanced breakfast to start your day off right.

4. Clean up your work area

Is there anything worse than tumbling out of bed and straight over to a messy workspace? It sets the tone of the day on completely the wrong note, and it’s only going to decrease your motivation to get up early. 

“A messy workspace equals a stressful workspace,” Schlick says. “I like to make my bed and keep my kitchen clean and tidy after breakfast. That way, I won’t be distracted or overwhelmed by messes around me, but I will make sure that my workspace is always neat and tidy before bed.” This is especially important now, she emphasizes, since many more of us work from home.”

These are just four key ways to get you started without feeling too overwhelmed by what is undoubtedly a challenging change to make. Other things to keep in mind are: waking up at the same time each day; getting some movement in, even if it’s a short walk; making a list of goals for the day; staying hydrated; practicing gratitude. 

“Or, if even these things feel unrealistic,” adds Schlick, “simply take a shower and get dressed.” It’s tempting to work from bed in our PJs these days, but it’s important to start small and break out of your current routine. “Small habits are the way to big lifestyle changes,” says Schlick.

Find out more on Erika Schlick’s blog, The Trail To Health.

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