Learn To Become A "Morning Person"
I’m a big believer in routines, as you probably know from my bedtime rituals. And having a morning routine that sets you up for success is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. So many women make common missteps when it comes to starting the day, and these seemingly minor issues pile up over time, creating hard-to-break habits and chronic hormonal problems. Chugging coffee to combat too little sleep, or skipping breakfast to save calories are two of the most common mistakes I see women make in my practice, and I consider it my duty to educate them — and you — on why those choices are contributing to chaotic blood sugar patterns, off-the-charts cortisol, and hormonal imbalances that manifest as intense PMS, abnormal periods, cystic acne, and more. Just learning to re-route your morning can have a significant impact on all of these frustrating issues.
Becoming a Morning Person
Not everyone is a natural early bird. I get it! We all have places to be and things to do, and sometimes the pull of a warm bed is just so tempting. But before you permanently write yourself off as someone who’s “just not a morning person,” take the time to evaluate your sleep. Are you getting to bed late, tossing and turning all night, or consistently getting less than 7-9 hours of shut-eye? All those factors can and will impact how you feel when the alarm goes off. And the other part of this “morning person” thing has to do with how you’re actually spending your mornings. Are you rushing around, anxious, frazzled, and chaotic? It’s time to change that.
Mixing it Up
I don’t believe it’s possible to have one single morning routine for every single day. You are not in the same physical, mental, or emotional space every single day. You are a woman and, so, you are cyclical. To get the most out of your mornings, it’s important not to enforce a strict pattern that just won’t feel good all of the time. Changing your morning routine to fit your hormone cycle is like taking a regular morning routine and super charging it for the demands of modern womanhood! It also makes sticking to a routine so much easier, because the routine for that day should fit how you’ll be feeling when you wake up. Plus, being cycle-aware in regards to your morning routine provides an immediate blueprint for you to follow through.
So, this means that I actually have one morning routine for the first half of my cycle and one morning routine for the second half of my cycle. It’s that simple, but it’s so effective.
My morning routine for the first half of my cycle (from post-period to ovulation):
- I wake up and drink a tall glass of lemon water
- I stretch out my body with some light yoga practice before I start putting together my breakfast
- I make a smoothie with a blend of avocado, blueberries, spinach, flax, almond milk, and cinnamon
- I then sit down at my desk and assess the to-do list I have put together the night before. In the evenings I always feel super ambitious about what I can achieve in one day, but when the morning comes I do allow myself to reality-check that list. I immediately take one or two items off the list. Doing this really feels like a relief in a way and that boosts my confidence and energy for the day ahead.
- I take a moment to connect to my heart in some way before I start my work — this might mean a call to a friend, a cuddle with my daughter, or some meditation.
My morning routine for the second half of my cycle (from post-ovulation to the end of my period):
- I wake up and drink a raspberry leaf hot tea
- I stretch out my body with some light yoga before I make breakfast
- I choose a more carb-heavy breakfast for this time of my cycle, with a grain-base like buckwheat or quinoa plus eggs and sauteed greens
- I take some time to do a little introspective self-evaluation. I might call a friend to work through something that’s been bothering me or sit down to journal for a while. I want to get out what I’m feeling right now and address it in a way that works and feels best.
- If I wake up feeling a little cranky and off-balance, I will write a quick 5 item gratitude list to shift my energy and feel revitalized. If this crankiness is overwhelming and hard to move past, then you should think about reassessing your diet and lifestyle and try a new way of living in your body for your next cycle.
Creating your morning routine around your cycle is a great way to start the process of cycle-syncing your life. I often teach women to layer in cycle-syncing habits — from eating the right foods for your hormones, to switching up workouts, to embracing a cycle-aware outlook on relationships — rather than trying to transform everything all at once. And, once you see the benefits to your mood, your energy, and your period health from making this change to your mornings, I know you’ll want to shape the rest of your day in the same way.
Always remember, that once you have the right information about how your body really works, you can start making health choices that finally start to work for you! You can do this — the science of your body is on your side!