6 tips for the best gut health morning routine
Morning routines are really important for our overall health, and that includes the gut! Our body thrives in routine - we have internal biological clocks which release enzymes and hormones in a set routine. When our lifestyle becomes hectic, disorganised or random, this can confuse the internal systems and cause everything to go out of kilter. Today, we explore 5 key principles to add to your morning routine.
Morning routine for IBS
Let there be light
As soon as you wake up, try and get natural light. Whether that means, opening the curtains or even leaving the house - getting bright bursts of light immediately. This helps reset your body clock and makes you feel alert and ready for the day ahead. The best bit is - it will help you wake up at the same time again tomorrow, so no need to hit that snooze button!
Overnight, your body can get dehydrated and a dry mouth can give you that yucky morning breath. Hydration is important for the gut, helping it move, get into its groove and reduce constipation. Starting the day with a nice drink of water is a fabulous way to wake your gut up gently in and provide the fluid necessary for good gut health throughout the day.
Eat breakfast mindfully. Mornings can be hectic, especially if you are in a rush, but taking the time to eat mindfully can be something your gut will be thankful for! Sit down to eat. Then, use all of your senses as you eat, focusing on the taste and smell of the food as well as the colours and texture on your tongue. If you find your mind being taken over by thoughts, just bring yourself back to the moment and the enjoyable eating experience. Try to incorporate fruit or vegetables into your breakfast, but of course, choose what suits your IBS tummy best. If you have diarrhoea, try some peppermint tea in the morning. If you have constipation, having some soluble fibre like oats may be part of a tasty breakfast.
Although not everyone has a bowel movement every day (and that can be completely normal), when you do need to, it can be useful to have your bowel movement in the morning. People often need to go to the loo in the morning after a night of digestion - so it’s important to make time for it and start the day right.
You may also find it useful to start off the day with some exercise! This could be something gentle, like yoga or tai chi, to ease you into the day. Or, it could be something more vigorous to awaken and energise you for the day, such as a morning jog.
Our mental health directly affects our gut, so it’s a great idea to incorporate some mental exercises to help. CBT is a fantastic way to reduce stress - doing some CBT in the morning can help start off a stress-free day.
A simple technique could include some morning journaling exploring your feelings and thoughts and some plans for the day. If you suffer from nightmares, you could “rescript” the nightmare and create new images to reimagine your nightmare. The Zemedy app has a full CBT programme you can work through with activities to try in the morning.
This is a great technique to make new changes to your routine and to get them to stick effortlessly. The idea is to add it into the chain of habits you probably already do in the morning.
For example, you may already wake up, brush your teeth, get dressed, brush your hair - you will probably do these tasks in the same order every morning on autopilot. Habit chaining takes advantage of this automatic change and adds in one small step within the chain. For example, you could add in 3 minutes of yoga after brushing your teeth. Initially, you will have to remind yourself, but soon it will become part of your automatic routine and it will be really easy to do the activity for a little bit longer.
Do you have any habits you find useful to start the day? Are there any amazing breakfasts you’ve tried? Do let us know!