Mindful Mornings

Posted by: 
Martine Antell

The days are getting shorter again this time of year and I find that keeping on a protected routine especially in the morning is something that can help us all to adjust to the fall and winter coming in a healthier way. So as this time is approaching, I encourage you to contemplate what an ideal morning looks like to you. What sort of things make you feel good about the day ahead? Do you currently have a morning routine? Do you wake up at a consistent time? What is currently working? What is lacking or not working?

Have you considered getting up 30-60 minutes earlier than you do right now to have the opportunity to be intentional about that precious time and design a morning routine you love?

I used to be all over the place with my mornings and then my brain ended up being all over the place for the rest of the day and that didn’t feel good to me. I started creating more of how I wanted to feel by picking 2 of the items below to start focusing on first and seeing how it felt to fill up the 30-60 minutes in the morning first thing with these activities!

Some of the ideas I have to help shape the day are:

~Writing down 3 things that you are grateful for
~Make the bed (simple enough)
~Repeat 3 positive affirmations with consistent intention (use the present tense and make sure these reflect what you want to affirm for yourself)
~Meditate (over 45,000 free meditations on the insight app!)
~Drink a big glass of water (lemon slices welcome!)
~Read something inspiring or listen to audio book
~Move your body!! View exercise as a beautiful way to connect with your body. This could be walking outside if the weather cooperates, doing strength training, yoga or whatever else feels right for you on a given day!
~Make a plan for your day
~Journal your thoughts; set some intentions no matter how big or small (what matters most to you today? What would you like to build, create, or nurture? How do you feel when you are at your happiest?)
~Eat a nutritious breakfast
~Don’t scroll social media for at least 30 minutes upon waking (time for you is precious and you don’t want that taken from you)

Okay so this might sound a bit overwhelming but I encourage you to believe this is possible. Just pick a couple of ideas and know that there are things you can do to help set yourself up for success.

• Go to bed earlier!! I know it might seem like a no brainer but you need to get enough sleep!
• Put your alarm clock far from the bed so you can’t shut it off or hit snooze. If you have to get up to shut it off, you are up!!
• Brush your teeth- I swear it will help to wake you up!
• Enjoy yourself- Make sure that there is JOY in your morning ritual. Maybe you have a wonderful cup of coffee while you are reading or writing!
• Don’t scroll- This won’t help you wake up. Just remember, this time is for you, so stay unplugged as much as you can!
• Move your wake up time gradually- Don’t go from waking up at 7:30am straight to slap in the face 5am. Try just 15 minutes earlier at a time and this will help your body get accustomed to the change.

I hope some of these tips help guide you to warmer mornings!  I also wanted to remind folks that there are some fun things that come along with the cooler, darker days. Fall and winter seasons also bring delicious foods with them! So below I wanted to share this overnight oats recipe that can be served warm in the morning (during your precious routine) after it has slow cooked all night!

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

• Author: Brittany Mullins
• Prep Time: 10 minutes
• Cook Time: 7 hours
• Total Time: 7 hours 10 mins
• Yield: 4

Have pumpkin pie for breakfast with this healthy recipe featuring steel-cut oats cooked overnight in a slow cooker with pumpkin puree and spices. Hello fall!


• cooking spray, butter or coconut oil (for coating the slow cooker)
• 1 cup steel-cut oats
• 2½ cups water
• 1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
• 1 cup pumpkin
• 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• pecans, maple syrup and almond milk for serving


1. Coat your slow cooker with cooking spray, butter or coconut oil. Add all the ingredients into slow cooker and mix well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. If you have a programmable slow cooker, set it to cook on low for 7 hours and then switch to warm.
2. In the morning, give the oats a good stir as the oats will settle to the bottom. Portion into a bowl to serve and top with pecans, maple syrup and almond milk.


• Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
• Calories: 242
• Sugar: 10 g
• Fat: 4 g
• Carbohydrates: 45 g
• Fiber: 8 g
• Protein: 8 g


Martine Antell just turned 39 years young and works at The University of Vermont Medical Center as the pharmacist in the Cystic Fibrosis clinic. She loves to help others navigate a sometimes complicated medication world but also has an extreme passion for health and wellness. She lives in Waterbury with her two sweet kids (Mason and Hailey) and amazing husband (Nick) and lastly their cute pup, Chase. She loves hiking, camping, biking, paddle boarding, skiing and just being outside in nature!

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