I believe that morning is the most important part of the day, but usually the most rushed as we are running out the door for work, to drop the kids off at school, make it to a class at the gym, etc. How you begin your morning can really set the tone for your day.  Creating a morning ritual can get you out the door on the right foot, feeling invigorated, calm, and ready to take on the world.  These 5 simple morning hacks can bring joy to your mornings in 5 minutes or less:

Scrape your tongue

Tonge scraping is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that involves scraping daily build-up off of the tongue.  Your mouth is a major gateway from the outside world in, so things like food, drink, and the air you breathe pass through your mouth on a constant basis.  On the flip side,  inside factors like your digestive system and gastrointestinal tract can all cause matter to build up on your tongue as well.  If left untreated, bacterica can build up over time and cause bad breath and impact the way that you taste food.  After being stagnant all night, my favorite time to scrape my tongue is in the morning right before I brush my teeth.  While you are asleep, your saliva production decreases and wastes from your tissues and fat cells flow into your mouth and gather in the mucous membranes.  Have you ever woken up in the morning and felt like your tongue is slimey? That’s just your body’s way of doing it’s job to remove these wastes.

Here is how to scrape your tongue:

1.) Buy a stainless steel tongue scraper (easier to keep clean).  They are inexpensive and usually under $10.

2.) Stand in front of the mirror and open your mouth wide. Gently place arch of the scraper at the very back of your tongue (be careful, it may make you gag!) and slowly drag it forward to the tip of your tongue.

3.) Rinse or wipe off the tongue scraper before going down your tongue again, making sure to hit the sides as well.

4.) Repeat this about 4-5 times.  Make sure to clean and dry your tongue scraper after use.  You can scrape your tongue 1-2x a day.

Sip on some hot water with lemon

Drinking hot water with lemon is another ancient Ayurvedic practice and is a great, easy remedy to add into your morning ritual.  While you are sleeping, your salivary glands are not active, and therefore the digestive process slows so that your body can focus on repairing itself and removing wastes.  Hot water with lemon is a great way to jumpstart your digestive system in the morning, and also has a mild laxative effect so it can help remove toxins through your bowel. Lemons themselves have many health benefits, they are full of Vitamin C and thus immune boosting, they increase your digestive power, they help cleanse the liver, and they contain antiviral and antibacterial properties.   Hot water stimulates hunger, supports in good digestion, sooth’s throat, and cleanses the bladder.  Together, hot water and lemon is a simple, free and easy health hack to add into your morning ritual!

Hang some eucalyptus in the shower

I saw this tip on a blog a couple of years ago and I absolutely love it.  Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree native to Australia that touts several health benefits, including helping clear up coughs and congestion.  When you hang eucalyptus in the shower, the hot water will cause the oil from the plant to release it’s strong aroma.  Besides helping to open up your airways and ease any respiratory symptoms from the common cold or flu, the scent is also super invigorating.  For under $5 you can have a spa experience everyday in your own home!

How to hang eucalyptus in your shower:

1.) Buy some fresh eucalyptus at a local store.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s for under $5.

2.) Tie the ends of the branches together and then hang them upside down and securely tie the branches to your shower head.  Try and keep the leaves from avoiding hitting the water directly so they won’t become moldy.  The leaves do not have to get wet for the oil to be released.

3.) Take a hot shower and soak in the delicious sent of eucalyptus!

4.) Replace eucalyptus once a week.

Get energized with peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is another essential oil that has an invigorating aroma and helps with respiratory function.  You can use peppermint oil in many different ways, but if you plan to ingest it make sure you buy a pure therapeutic grade oil.  Below are a few ways you can add in peppermint to your morning routine to give yourself a little boost before starting your day:

  • Place a few drops of peppermint oil in the palm of your hand.  Inhale slowly for 3 breaths, hold for one breath, exhale.  Repeat this 4-6 times for an energy boost.
  • Add one drop of peppermint oil to your morning beverage (like hot water with lemon!) to help aid digestion.
  • Place one drop of peppermint oil on your tongue for a little energy boost and to freshen breath.

Prepare your breakfast in advance

Sitting down and enjoying breakfast is not always possible when you are always on the go, but preparing your breakfast in advance may give you just a little extra free time in the morning to be able to sit down and enjoy it before starting your day.  At the very least, if you must take it with you, at least you will feel good knowing it is homemade and healthy.  Below are some links to recipes for preparing your breakfasts in advance:

8 Overnight Oats Recipes from Wholefully

Grab N’ Go Smoothies from Simply Sissom

10 Make Ahead Vegan Casseroles from VegKitchen