Jaime Schmidt, our boss and founder of Schmidt’s Naturals, is not-so-secretly a health guru. Whenever we ask questions — from what does ashwagandha even taste like?, to what’s the best seat to pick on a long flight?—group consensus is always to “just ask Jaime.” And answers she has. We thought, if Jaime has the solutions to our questions, maybe she could answer yours, too. Submit your questions for Jaime in the comments, or tweet @TheNaturalMag (Opens in a new window) with #JustAskJaime.
Just Ask Jaime: What’s the Best Way to Start a Productive Day?
Jaime Schmidt answers your questions about a natural lifestyle
“Finding the right morning routine to make my a.m. less rushed and more fulfilling is a big goal for this year. What’s your advice for the best way to start a productive day?”
I don’t necessarily have a set routine. Every day is different, but there are a few things I try and stay mindful of to set the right tone for the day.
1. Start your day the night before
I like to visualize what the next day looks like each night before bed. I’m a shameless notetaker, and use my Notes app and planner all the time (I’m partial to anything with blank pages — my mind prefers to stay outside the lines). So, at night I take a look at my appointments or anything else I know I’ll need to accomplish the next day to really see what’s ahead of me and how I can best tackle everything on my to-do list.
2. Lay off the ‘gram and get moving
As soon as you wake up, avoid checking your phone in bed. I’d say that’s a huge, positive step for me each morning. You won’t be immediately giving yourself away to your phone, and instead you have time to consciously set an intention for the day.
Depending on the day, I find that getting my workout out of the way first thing usually helps set a steady momentum that morning. That way, I don’t have to worry about fitting it in (or missing it completely) later on. Plus, the adrenaline I get from a healthy morning exercise helps me feel good about what’s to come. My general plan each week includes a variety of classes to help mix things up:
- Nothing gets my endorphins going like spin, especially when the music’s right. I go to my local health club two to three times a week for their “Spin and Sculpt” classes for a fun, full body workout.
- I also try to fit in one to two barre classes for total body toning, strengthening and flexibility, and then a post-barre yoga class if there’s time.
- A few runs each week on the treadmill in my basement help round out my sources for cardio. Not having to leave the house for exercise helps, too. 😊
3. Find some time to breathe
If I don’t have time for a workout, I use my morning shower as an opportunity for resetting. I have soaps, shampoos, body washes, you name it, all lined up in my shower — it’s an extremely sensory experience with all the scents the shower steam pulls in. I don’t listen to music or podcasts in the shower either. I just take that time to focus on me. Sometimes, I’ll even multi-task and get some oil pulling done while showering. Win-win.
4. Hydrate and nourish
I drink a lot of water in the morning. I also mix my vitamins, supplements, and adaptogens into what I like to call my “morning potion” (collagen, ashwagandha, reishi, mucuna pruriens, liquid vitamin D, and some lemon juice for added benefit. What’s in your potion? Share in the comments!).
My potion is my mental fuel, and then what I eat for breakfast is my physical fuel. I also try and stay aware of what I’m eating for breakfast, keeping it balanced and filled with key ingredients. There’s no strict pattern I follow for morning meals. I just look for enough nutrients to get me through the day. This whole process and all the steps it takes to put these healthy things into my body and nourish me for the day, it’s actually kind of ceremonial and cathartic.
5. Spend time with your kids
As a mom, you have the obligation to get your kids up and ready for school every day. But it makes much more meaningful use of your time if you don’t have a rushed morning. I’ve found that feeling rushed really sets the tone for a frazzled day — for both my son and me. I try and allow time for him to wake up slowly. Enabling him with enough time to get ready for school and to eat breakfast is key. Knowing that you have that cushion of time with your child is also really helpful. You get to ask him about his intentions for the day and see what he’s excited for in school (P.E., tech class, and riding the bus — he loves going school, which I love). It’s my ultimate motivator, seeing him inspired before his day has even begun.
While we appreciate Jaime’s perspective on our lives and underarms, Jaime is not a doctor. For questions about your health, please seek advice from a medical professional. For more from Jaime, follow her on Instagram (Opens in a new window).