Creating a Morning Routine for Weight Loss Success
Most of us have a morning routine, but it’s important to start questioning whether it is a meaningful one. Is it impactful towards you feeling grounded, calm and centered? When our morning routine consists of diving straight into social media and manically checking emails, it leads us into a frantic “go go go” mentality and a space which feels chaotic.
If we can create a moment of intentionality for how we’re showing up and moving in the world, we will be more tapped in and find ourselves in a space where we're connected to our intuition and inner guidance. I interviewed personal trainer and yoga instructor, Megan Nolan, to find out how to create a more meaningful morning routine, even if you’re busy. Megan believes that making ourselves a priority, even for a short time, is the ultimate gift.
How can people like busy moms with hectic mornings implement a meaningful morning routine?
What we do at night time sets us up for the next morning. You could prepare lunch the night before and even involve children so you are giving them the skill of how to make their lunch.
Doing something like this creates extra calm and spaciousness in the household the next morning.
Another thing you could consider is having a slightly earlier wake up time so you have some time for yourself. It doesn’t have to be at 5am for it to be a quality morning routine, what’s important is to create a window of time that is dedicated solely for you. If an earlier wake time works for your schedule and energy level, this can be an extremely helpful tool.
If your morning is already very busy, you could try layering onto other activities. For example, when you’re brushing your teeth, you could start to build an awareness for how you’re holding your body. Even just a couple of minutes is quite impactful when they’re intentional. If you only have 5 minutes before everyone wakes, think about how you can make the most of that in terms of aligning to your vision, connecting to your physical being, and moving your body.
You might also need to reframe your idea of a morning routine as we hear a lot about this in the media and from celebrities. You do not need to have the same morning routine as Oprah for it to be effective! The best morning routine is the one you’re going to stick to, the one that’s going to work for you and help to nourish your body, mind, and spirit. It is simply about the ritual of giving yourself love, time and attention and that can be at whatever time and for whatever length of time you choose.
How can we combat our critical inner dialogue?
When we stretch ourselves, it is completely normal for our inner dialogue to become critical and try to sabotage us. Our inner voice will do its best to derail progress very quickly, so leaning in and getting curious with this can help to avoid letting it take you down the well worn path of negativity.
The reason this happens is evolutionary. Our brains have a negativity bias which stems right back to our caveman days, where safety was a priority. Whenever we encountered something new or uncomfortable, our initial reaction was fear and doubt, until proven otherwise. We have carried this negativity bias with us into modern day.
However, the beauty of it is we now have the choice to decide to think something different. Use awareness to catch yourself speaking negatively, learn how to witness it, pause, come into breath and say “no, I’m not letting that happen”. Instead, you can celebrate pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, even if it was just a little bit. Then your brain starts to make a beautiful link and it increases the likelihood of you doing it again.
This will calm your nervous system, shift you out of a stress dialogue, and cultivate a connection to the truth of who you are at your core. It is such a powerful tool to be able to stop the noisy chatter and become intentional about how you speak to yourself.
Can we use our body and posture to affect our mood?
100%, as our mind and our body are so intimately connected. When we change how we’re holding our body, the impact is so powerful and so quick. If we can move back into a more upright and open posture, we begin to breathe more deeply and enter a calm, present and alert state.
When we are chronically in a ‘sad’ posture, which looks very closed off, we physically shrink, which causes tension and pain. We breathe in a short and shallow way. If you can become more aware of how you hold yourself, and shift back into an upright, open posture, it brings your spine into a neutral and natural alignment. This makes it easier for muscles to do what they are meant to, resulting in a better energy flow around your body. A stronger posture lowers testosterone and cortisol, opening all of your centers, and enabling you to lead with your heart.
The energy to our heart is not open and free when we’re scrunched up in a weakened posture.
When we look at somebody who sits a lot, their rates of depression and anxiety are significantly higher because of the effects that their posture has on their body and therefore on their mind.
Take a moment to straighten your posture if you are feeling overwhelmed. When brushing your teeth, be aware of your posture, roll your shoulders back and stand taller. The impact is stronger than you may think.
Shaking your tail feathers to keep yourself connected
If you have animals at home, you will likely see them doing this all the time but might not think to do it yourself. The ‘shaky break’ is one of the most versatile tools to help you stay connected to yourself, particularly when experiencing big emotions.
Find a space where you feel safe to do this physical release. Stand up tall, start as though you’re drying your hands off, then shake your arms a little, shake your face, let your arms go up above your head and shake, shake, shake! Imagine you're a snow globe being shaken by a 2 year old. Take a big deep breath in through your nose, and breathe out through your mouth very intentionally and slowly, bringing your arms down until you feel yourself grounding, exactly like the small particles in the snow globe settling back down again.
This action has a very deep, profound effect on your nervous system and on calming you down.
It is also a very powerful tool to teach your children because as humans, until we learn these things, we don’t have these natural outlets of stress like animals do.
Although this practice might feel silly to some, it is actually a scientifically validated way of closing that stress cycle in our bodies. You can look across species and see the same behavior happening over and over again. Unfortunately, as humans, we hold onto our stress and never discharge it from our bodies, leading to high cortisol levels and feeling awful. So if we can shake our tail feathers like a swan does, it can make a huge difference.
About Megan Nolan
Megan helps purpose driven women get out of self care overwhelm by creating a meaningful morning routine that leaves them feeling AH-mazing and set them up for massive success each day.
She is the creator of the Warrior’s Journey which is her unique combination of Yoga, toning exercises, and mental fitness that gives you the tools you need for holistic health and happiness.
Contact Megan Nolan
Personal Trainer & Yoga Instructor