Make Friends With Mornings

By, Mike Gill

Is morning your friend or your enemy?  Do you roll out of bed ready for the day or grasping for a cup of coffee?  Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to take coffee away, but let’s talk about how to get enough energy to make that cup of morning joe a choice, rather than necessity.

Morning Yoga

The obvious starting point is sleeping better, which will naturally give you more energy when you wake.  This could be an entire article (or even a book) on its own, so I’ll stick to a couple of easy starting points.  For more help beyond that, you’ll be best served by information personalized to you.

  • No screen time within 30 minutes of bed time.  Better still would be an hour, but I’ll keep it manageable for you: half an hour.  Our bodies are wired to release hormones mediating sleep based on light.  This makes sense in a world where we define day and night by the sun.  In the modern world, our body gets no such cues.  We live in artificially lit rooms that go from noon to night with the flip of the switch.  Our lit electronic devices not only confuse this process, as we are staring into something lit, they stimulate our minds.  No wonder our body doesn’t readily go to sleep when we turn out the lights out.  We expect our body to go from day to night at the flip of a switch, and our minds to go from running to sleeping with that same flip of a switch.
  • Use those 30 minutes to take a walk, read something meditative, or sit somewhere outside.  Not all of these are possible at any given time, but any one should be possible.  Reading something meditative will calm the mind, readying it for sleep.  Walking or sitting outside will not only calm the mind, it will allow the body to see that night has arrived.  The body will respond by releasing melatonin, priming it for sleep.  If you are sitting outside, enjoy a cup of chamomile tea.  The tea won’t be enough to bring about quality sleep on its own, but it can be helpful as part of a plan.
  • On waking, take at least ten minutes to stretch or give yourself a foot massage.  Asking your mind to switch quickly from asleep to awake is as jarring as asking it to quickly switch from awake to asleep.  Taking some deep breaths while connecting to your body helps ease the transition.
  • Eat a breakfast that is nourishing and tasty.  The traditional American breakfast is either a blood sugar bomb (cereal, toast, pancakes, etc.) or a cholesterol bomb (bacon and eggs).  No wonder we typically need that cup of coffee with or shortly after breakfast.  It also doesn’t help that our adrenals are so exhausted from chronic stress that there isn’t much in the energy tank, but that too is a topic for another article (or book).  So, for now we’ll keep it simple.  A simple breakfast recipe is listed below.

Fruit and nuts and stuff
(as named by my 3 year old son)
A simple, easy alternative to traditional American breakfasts

1 handful blueberries
½ banana
Similar amount of any soft fruit (berries, pears, peach, nectarine, kiwi, etc.)
2-3 TBSP of any assorted nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc.), chopped if you are so inclined
1 TBSP chia seeds
1 TBSP hemp protein
1 TBSP cocoa powder
1 chopped medjool date

Blend with milk and enjoy!

  • This is an altered version of a recipe in “Thrive”, by Brendan Brazier, a book I recommend.

More recipes can be found on my website, to read them, click here.

Michael Gill is a natural health expert specializing in pain and stress.  He is a licensed massage therapist and certified holistic nutritionist, with more than 15 years of experience in the field of natural medicine.  He holds a black belt in Pukulan and is a member at One With Heart.

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at