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By: Katie Verburg

Katie Verburg is an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer who is currently studying to become a Holistic Health Coach. She has been in the health and fitness industry for a decade. Here, she shares her experience with waking up two hours earlier in the morning for a week.

What’s that saying? You have as many hours in a day as Beyoncé, so we better start using them wisely! 

Do you ever feel like the day starts immediately when that alarm goes off? You’re up doing task after task, cooking breakfast (hopefully not skipping breakfast!), getting ready, packing lunch, checking emails, etc. You’re go-go-go as soon as your feet hit the floor. There isn’t a spare moment to stop and think or you’ll be stuck in traffic, and late! A few years ago, that was me. It wasn’t until I learned the importance of self-care and slowing down that I truly started to make some shifts in my morning routine – and see the benefits of it. Not only did waking up 1 to 2 hours earlier than normal make me feel productive and accomplished, it also put me in the right mood and mindset to start my workday.

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Start Simple

You can’t expect to completely turn your mornings around in one day. You’re creating a new habit, so it’s going to take some time for your body to adjust. Waking up even a half-hour earlier allows time for things like drinking your morning coffee in peace, watching the local news, doing morning stretches, or actually sitting down while you eat a healthy breakfast! When I started to give myself extra time in the morning, I was shocked at how much better I felt when my workday began. 

No Phone

I didn’t look at my phone for the first hour of being awake. That meant no weather, no calendar, no emails, and definitely no social media! Turning my phone on silent or flipping it over face down so I was unable to see notifications popping up, changed everything. It’s mind-blowing how much time is wasted each day scrolling on social media. Think of what you could do with all that extra time.

Hydrate

Stay hydrated by drinking 16 oz. of cold water each morning before breakfast. Sleeping all night slows things down internally, so I re-energized my body with some cold hydration to get a jumpstart on my daily intake. I found it worked best when I would leave a bottle next to my bed each night, so as soon as I woke up, it was within reach.

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writing morning routine

Write

As soon as I was awake, I began to write down what I’m grateful for, and what intentions and goals I have for the day ahead. This is a game changer in the long run if you allow yourself to stick to it. Keeping a journal right next to my bed (with my water bottle) worked best for me. Now, instead of reaching for my phone, I reach for my journal!

Change It Up

More and more information has come out educating the world about self-care and how to be more mindful in such a busy world. But where do we start? After our long 8-hour work day? After we rush home, cook the family dinner, and take care of at-home tasks? No, we start before all of that begins. Before your day truly starts, take some time for yourself. Wake up earlier than normal and make that time your time. What could you make time for if you gave yourself an extra few hours each morning?