By: Sarah Schlichter, MPH, RDN
Whether or not you consider yourself a morning person, the struggle can be real to get everything done in what feels like a short amount of time. You have to pick out an outfit, get dressed and ready (whether that includes showering or not), brush your teeth, prepare and eat breakfast, pack lunch and maybe squeeze in a workout. Oh, and if you have kids or pets, you can add a few more steps in there.
Drowsiness, disorganization and a time crunch can lead to a hectic morning. But what if we told you an easier, more organized one is only a couple steps away. We’re sharing some steps you can take to prepare for those hectic mornings, including prep you can do the night before. Trust us when we say these small changes may let you sleep longer or just feel more productive in the morning hours.
1. Meal Prep Your Lunches
If you have all of your lunches ready on Sunday, just transfer them to a lunchbox that morning before you leave for the day. Some common make-ahead ideas include grain and protein bowls, chicken or veggies quesadillas, and turkey and cheese roll-ups.
Simply, prepare a large amount of grains (quinoa, rice and barley, for example) and protein options (rotisserie chicken, legumes, tofu, etc) in bulk, and then mix and match them throughout the week. Meal prepping allows you to purposefully pick nutritious food and get the most bang for your buck. If preparing for the week is a little too much for you, start with prepping and packing your lunch the night before.
2. Prepare Breakfast the Night Before
Half the battle of eating breakfast is making it, right? If you’re looking for a quick, seamless option, try mixing quick oats, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, fruit or chocolate chips and your milk of choice into a sealable container. For extra nutrition and flavor, consider adding chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds or hemp seeds. Put the top on and keep it in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, microwave or eat it cold — whichever you prefer!
3. Lay Out Clothes the Night Before
Choosing your outfit the night before doesn’t sound like a big time saver, but think about the mental exhaustion it can save you in the morning. When your brain isn’t completely functional, it can be easy to waste minutes pondering over what to wear, so save those minutes and plan ahead!
4. Schedule Workouts on Your Calendar
Whether you exercise at the beginning, middle or end of the day, penciling it in will make it easier to commit to, as well as help you plan your day in advance. If you get your good morning exercise in at the start of your day, you’ll be motivated to get up when your alarm goes off. If you hit the gym at night, you won’t waste any sleep because you’ll know you have your plan for later.
5. Drink Water First
When you wake up in the morning, your body has been fasting from food and water all night, meaning you are very dehydrated. Coffee, a diuretic, will only make your body feel that way more so. Your morning cup of joe can wait a few minutes — try drinking 8-16 oz. of water first! Looking for a flavored option? Reach for our Collagen Water™, available in 6 flavors: Lemon Slice, Lemon Ginger, Strawberry Lemon, Blueberry Mint, Blackberry Hibiscus and Peach White Tea.
Staying hydrated will help you experience more mental clarity and feel better throughout the day. Then, you can sit down and enjoy your cup of Vital Coffee.
6. Trade Your Phone for an Alarm Clock
If your phone is the first thing you look at when you wake up, you might get sucked into reading news articles or scrolling through social media. Before you know it, you’ve been on Instagram for 20 minutes, which means you’re now 20 minutes behind and have to rush to get ready! Stick with a good ol' fashioned alarm clock to nix the habit — or any temptations to do so.
7. Prioritize Sleep
Making your mornings easier starts with getting a good night's sleep. Being rested in the morning makes your mental clarity and decision making better. Plus, you’ll be more alert throughout the day, which can only lead to good things, right?