Daily schedule hacks

By Leah Zerbe

Staying up late.

Rolling out of bed and rushing straight into your day.

And sleep? Well, a night of deep sleep seems like a thing of the past. 

Don’t worry. You are not alone. Around the country, we’re hearing stories of folks struggling to keep a normal schedule. 

Maybe you’re juggling working from home with managing your kids’ online schooling assignments.

Maybe the stress of the times is affecting your normal breathing patterns and unknowingly triggering a chronic fight-or-flight response.

Maybe you’re feeling guilty about missing the little things in life, like heading to the coffee shop for a mouthwatering latte. 

It’s OK. I get it. We’re all reaching for a little more normal in our lives these days. 

To help get you back on track, here are my top 7 tips to start building a better morning. And I promise you, the beneficial effects will ripple throughout your entire day. It all starts here …

1. Recommit to a time-honored schedule 

The trick to a successful morning schedule starts the night before. Make a commitment to yourself to be in bed — and even schedule that bedtime into your calendar — a half-hour earlier every few days until you’re hitting the sack by 10 or 11 p.m.

Avoid making too big of a shift too soon and give your body a few days to adjust to your new bedtime. 

Deep sleep is imperative because that’s where rapid eye movement (REM) occurs, vital to restoring bodily detox processes and keeping your body in balance.

Troubleshooting

If you’re having trouble getting enough rest, you may want to try one of these hacks …

  • Supplement with enzyme-activated magnesium at bedtime and a magnesium-containing multivitamin in the morning to promote relaxation
  • Drink valerian or chamomile tea before brushing your teeth at bedtime — just avoid chamomile if you have a ragweed allergy
  • Read a chapter or two of an uplifting book
  • End exposure to all electronics at least 2 hours before bedtime, but know even 30 minutes before bedtime offers some benefits
  • Diffuse organic lavender oil for 10 minutes or apply a drop topically with a carrier oil to your temples 
  • Practice meditation or prayer

2. Aim to rise between 5 and 7 a.m.

As your bedtime normalizes, shoot for 7 to 8 hours of sleep and wake earlier and closer to the time of sunrise. 

Be sure to avoid electronics first thing in the morning and take a few minutes to say or write down things you're grateful for before stepping out of bed. Practice gratitude as a way to neutralize fear and increase happiness. 

3. Practice tongue scraping

We all know keeping our microbiome balanced and healthy is central to wellness. To kick things off in the morning, practice tongue scraping, a practice used for thousands of years to promote balance. 

Gently scraping your tongue from back to front using a stainless steel tongue scraping tool or even a spoon before brushing your teeth or ingesting anything helps clear away what builds up on the tongue overnight. It also helps stimulate the digestive system in the morning.

After tongue scraping, rinse out your mouth with water, brush your teeth, drink a glass of room temperature water and then...

4. Try oil pulling 

To round out your morning oral hygiene routine, take a tablespoon or two of unrefined sesame oil or coconut oil, place it in your mouth and swish it around for a few minutes and up to 15 or 20 minutes.

When you’re finished, be sure to spit the oil in the trash can, not down the sink, where it can cause clogs. 

Oil pulling, or gandusha, is an ancient Ayurvedic practice known to strengthen the jaw and gums and promote oral wellness. 

5. Take your morning supplements 

Three crucial supplements to start off every day include SBO probiotics, collagen and a whole foods-based multivitamin. 

SBO Probiotic contains “tough” beneficial bacteria strains that survive the harsh stomach acid environment and heat of the human body to reach your gut where colonization spreads benefits like healthy immune system support, healthy elimination and support for normal microflora in the gut.

Use It: Take 2 capsules in the morning for 50 billion CFU of probiotic support, along with a boost from organic, fermented ginger root, turmeric root and black pepper fruit oil.  

Ancient Nutrition Multis offer “unlocked” essential vitamins and nutrients thanks to natural enzyme activation and fermentation process to make the whole food-based ingredients more “body ready.” 

Use It: Take in the morning with 8 ounces of water. Easy!

Ancient Nutrition co-founder, DrAxe.com founder and clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe, DC, DNM, CNS, considers Multi Collagen Protein the foundational building block of everyone’s wellness plan.

With more than 5,000 5-star reviews, people say they love this No. 1 best seller not only for its gut, skin, joint, hair and nail support, but because it’s so easy to work into morning routines. The fine powder dissolves in seconds and it’s easy to sneak into coffee, oatmeal and smoothies. 

6. Build something to savor into every morning 

You may have heard that Yale is offering its most popular course ever online for free right now. That class? The Science of Happiness. And one important lesson in that course focuses on “savoring.” 

According to instructor Laurie Santos, PhD, “Savoring is the simple act of stepping out of your experience to review it and really appreciate it while it's happening.” 

It can improve mood by helping us to remember the good stuff in life, it keeps us in the moment and increases gratitude. Track your savoring experience to boost gratitude and help develop stronger healthy habits.

Here are some ways to savor a morning treat while also supporting your wellness …

7. Befriend breakfast

To combat late-night hunger and snacking, try eating a healthy breakfast. Here’s a simple, warming one I love …

Stewed Apples and Pears

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 whole clove or 1⁄4 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1⁄2 teaspoon powdered
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ cup water

Note: If you don’t have all of the spices above, don’t worry. Use what you have and it will be delicious!

DIRECTIONS

  1. Peel, core and chop apple and pear into small pieces.
  2. Melt ghee in a small pot or slow cooker on medium heat, then add spices until they sizzle.
  3. Add fruit and water.
  4. Bring to boil, then drop heat back to a low simmer
  5. Cook for about 20 minutes or until fruit is tender.

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Ready to get started? Let’s get those new bedtime goals and reminders scheduled in your calendar. 

In This Recipe...

In This Recipe...