Today I have asked the lovely Kristina Revenda to share her tips on how to make the most of your morning. Kristina has also shared a yummy healthy pancake recipe, make sure you give it a try!
How mornings can make your day.
There’s something magical about mornings. As the first rays rise, so does a sense of possibility and quiet anticipation for what lies ahead. A small, but ever so precious window when all is quiet and there is space to reflect, plan or simply be.
Enter your average work/school day, and things may look a little different. Alarm goes off and before you know it, you’re engrossed in a long list of emails, lapping up the latest and greatest across your social media feeds. The mind starts to feel frazzled and you’ve yet to set a foot out of bed. What follows is rush, feeding frenzy (you skip breakfast), more rush, blood sugar low, exhaustion, distraction, general chasing of tail until the cycle repeats the next morning in glorious Groundhog Day fashion.
It’s no great surprise that how you wake up and start your day affects your energy, level of focus and productivity for the whole day.
A few years ago, I decided to establish a structured morning routine for myself in an effort to break with the madness. The idea was to create a morning ritual to help set my focus for the day before something or someone hijacks my focus. Here are some other benefits of having a morning routine: Following a system when you first wake up lends structure to your busy and often unpredictable day. Think of it as a way to plan and create a game plan for yourself, rather than storm straight into battle. More importantly, by creating a conscious, daily habit around how you structure your mornings and prioritising what is important in your life, you create the right mind set and energy to better manage work and family life.
Whether the start to your day resembles an anxiety-driven frenzy or a sleep-deprived stupor, there are simple steps you can take to de-stress your morning and set yourself up for a more enjoyable and productive day:
Get up an hour earlier than the rest of the household.
I’ve had to get my head around this one, especially during the darker winter months, but making this a habit as been worth every bit of early riser pain. I now consider it my sacred window dedicated to me and only me (no offense, family), allowing time for my yoga and meditation practice, a nourishing brekkie and a quiet window to map out my priorities for the day.
Go technology free (… dare ya!)
For the first couple of hours of your day, no checking of emails, social media or texting. It’s amazing how much freer and more in the moment you feel by cutting out all digital distraction.
Warm water with lemon
Drink it every morning as soon as you wake up to kick-start your day and digestion. Lemons also boast strong anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-viral and immune boosting powers (high in Vit C) while supporting your liver in flushing out toxins. More recently, I make one for hubby too.
Clearing my mind and tuning in with myself before the day starts has made all the difference to the way I feel about my day. If you don’t meditate, don’t worry. Spend just a few minutes sitting in stillness each morning enjoying some deep, nourishing breaths, whether you listen to the birds outside or a guided meditation.
Sounds simple but for me changing from my yoga gear or trackies to real clothes drastically changes how I feel. Working from my home office most days, this simple ritual makes me feel more together and motivated to get things done.
Enjoy a healthy breakfast (it can be fast and easy)
My mid week favourite is Apple, Cinnamon and walnut porridge, which tends to keep me going until lunch time. On weekends, super tasty and bright green ‘Schrek’ pancakes get the family vote.
MITs – Most Important Tasks. A very useful tool I apply on a daily basis to keep me focused on completing the tasks that matter.
Here is how it works: your 3 MIT are the three tasks you most want or need to get done today. Though I tend to achieve more than three things each day, the 3 MITs are the things I want to be absolutely sure to cross off the list. Everything else is a bonus! The 3 MITs are the first thing I do when I first settle down at my desk.
Tackle your biggest task first.
I find my willpower is highest in the morning. Even if you’re not a morning person, you may find that your willpower plummets as the day goes on and your energy diminishes. By doing that tough thing you’ve been putting off first, it feels great to get it out of the way. Use that feeling of accomplishment to give you momentum for your remaining tasks.
The main thing to remember is this –there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all morning routine. With this in mind, create a morning ritual that works in with your life and that you enjoy. This is about progress, not perfection, so be kind to yourself and experiment to find what works for you! You’ll find that even the smallest tweaks to the way you approach your mornings can have an immensely positive impact on your productivity and how you feel about your day.
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Green ‘Shrek’ pancakes (courtesy of naturalnewagemum.com)
3 free range eggs
1 large handful of washed baby spinach
1 and a 1/2 large bananas
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup wholemeal spelt flour (or replace with ½ cup almond meal for Gluten Free option)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ tsp of baking soda
coconut oil for cooking
vanilla yoghurt or cashew cream
So, here’s how you do it:
Whizz the spinach and eggs in a food processor or blender. You don’t want any identifiable green leaves or the munchkins might be deterred!
Throw in the banana and whizz again. Stir in the flour, baking soda, chia seeds and almond meal. (For GF option, use all almond meal, no flour).
Heat up the coconut oil in a pan (medium high heat) and fling in tablespoons of pancake mix. Turn when little bubbles appear.
Serve with the vanilla yoghurt on top and the blueberries.There is no spinach flavour, just delicious banana so shhhh, the kids will never know there is spinach in their breakfast or afternoon snack!
* you don’t need to add sugar to the mix if you are serving it with fruit and yoghurt, but if you aren’t you might appreciate a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar in mix.
* Avoid letting this mixture sit for too long before cooking as chia seeds gel up
Kristina is the founding director of Kristina Revenda Business Coaching and Wellbeing Solutions and a proud mum to four-year-old Jasper. A fairly recent addition to the 2508 practitioner landscape, Kristina and her family relocated to Stanwell Tops at the start of 2014 to embrace a more spacious, slower life away from the hustle and bustle of Sydney. Kristina’s work comprises of 1:1 business & personal coaching, professional organising and a range of practical wellbeing workshops to support small business owners caught in the vicious cycle of stress, distraction and exhaustion – all factors that can have a stifling effect when it comes to taking business to the next level and maintaining your personal health and wellbeing as a whole. Having experienced first-hand the damaging effect of chronic burnout, Kristina is passionate about equipping her clients with the tools and mindset to work smarter, not harder for maximum success and life enjoyment. Preferential rates are available to all clients in the 2508 area as Kristina feels strongly about being able to support members of the local community to succeed and thrive.
Away from work, Kristina is a self confessed adventurer with a love for travel, yoga, bush walking and a deep passion for cooking for her family and friends.
Click here to read more about Kristina’s story.