my journey to finding a healthy morning routine as a creativepreneur – 5 tips for a healthy & productive morning while working from home, plus a bonus chocolate coconut cold brew overnight oats recipe. these chocolate coconut cold brew overnight oats do double duty as a healthy on-the-go breakfast & a jolt of caffeine!
this post has been sponsored by the J.M. Smucker Company. all thoughts & opinions are my own. thank you, as always, for visiting plays well with butter & supporting the brands that support me! 💜
as you may know, over the summer i left my corporate job behind to pursue my creative entrepreneurial dream full-time.
& uh…that was in july…meaning, i’ve been doing this full-time creativepreneur thing for over four months already.
…holy schmoly. 😳😳😳
how time flies by so quickly, i seriously have no clue!!
the first couple of months of this transition were just that – a transition. things were a leeettle stressful, a leeetle emotional, & i may or may not have been feeling a leeettle bit of anxiety. i went into that a little more here, but as i really reflected on those first months & tried to understand what was driving all of that stress & negative energy, i realized it was really coming from lack of structure & routine in my new gig.
in the time since, i’ve been making a real effort to continuously do small things throughout my days that add up to a huge positive impact on my health & mental wellness.
here are 5 of the things that have really helped me &, of course, i’d love to hear from you – what are small things you do each day that amount to a huge positive impact on your life & health?
#1: a healthy & productive morning starts the night before.
i’ll be the first to admit that once 8 pm rolls around (which is typically my hard-stop for the night, when my laptop gets closed & my office lights get shut off), there’s nothing that sounds better than flopping down on the sofa to unwind with chris (& a glass of wine 😉).
but before i can get there, i always make myself do a couple of things to wrap up the day:
- respond to the couple of quick little emails that are hanging out in my inbox.
- write out my plan of attack for the next day’s tasks.
- clean off the surface of my desk – throwing away notes that i no longer need, putting books & folders back in their rightful place, & bringing any dishes or cups that got pushed to the side of my desk throughout the day to the kitchen.
- prep coffee & breakfast for tomorrow morning.
it seems like a lot (especially after a long day), but i’ve learned that this 15 minutes that i give myself is a complete gift. it really helps me power down mentally. i get to transition from “working from home” mode to “being at home” mode. & because the next day is all mapped out, i don’t have the “oh i need to remember to…” nagging thoughts in the back of my mind all night. it’s easier to relax at the end of the day, sleep more restfully at night, & the quality time with chris is always a bonus.
& as a bonus, prepping coffee & breakfast couldn’t be easier thanks to the new Dunkin’ Donuts’ Cold Brew Packs.
i’m seriously uhhhhbsessed with these Cold Brew Packs! they make making homemade cold brew SO easy (which is great for this “i drink cold brew year-round” type of gal).
you pop the packs into a pitcher or jar with some water & that’s it! it literally takes 30 seconds & i love that you don’t have to putz around with straining out coarse ground coffee the way you do when you make cold brew from scratch. the cold brew sits & steeps overnight, & in the morning all you have to do is remove the packs & it’s ready to drink. how easy is that?!
(plus a bonus! the Cold Brew Packs from Dunkin are on Target’s Cartwheel app with a 30% discount now through november 4! that is a crazy(!!!) deal!)
#2: water, water, water.
i always, always feel better – both physically & mentally – when i’m well-hydrated.
but it’s always been tough for me to stay hydrated. i’m not one of those people who absolutely loves the taste of water & i have never been one to just sip on water all day.
this difficulty had been made worse when i started working from home because i always had coffee (my 1 true love!) located just a few steps away from my desk. refills were far too convenient, if you know what i mean.
something that’s been helpful in battling this is drinking a ton of water first thing in the morning, before morning coffee. if i drink half of my daily intake of water by 10 am, i know i’m in great shape.
& it totally makes morning coffee feel like a special little treat. (as it should! 😍☕️)
#3: healthy, grab & go breakfasts are where it’s at.
even though working from home gives me the freedom to whip something up in the kitchen whenever i want, i’ve found that grab & go in the morning is essential. i’ve always been most productive during the morning hours, so killing 20 minutes cooking something & cleaning up the kitchen before i start my day doesn’t really work.
a healthy, grab & go breakfast is a total must.
& because i’ve been trying to drink tons of water first thing in the morning buuuut i’m also a total coffee lover (the extra little jolt of caffeine helps me feel so energized & focused!), i try find clever ways to sneak coffee into my breakfast.
like these chocolate coconut cold brew overnight oats. 😍😍😍 these chocolate coconut cold brew overnight oats are so ridiculously healthy & delicious! they’re full of fiber from the oats, healthy fats from coconut milk & flaked coconut, & full of coffee flavor from cold brew. i also like throwing in a little collagen powder for its beauty benefits, but that’s totally optional.
after all, how could any day be bad when it starts with a healthy chocolatey, coffee-y, coconut-y treat?
#4: close all of those tabs!!! (& stay off of social media!!!)
this one. gosh guys. this one was SO hard at first. especially when a huge part of your job day to day is communicating via email & engaging with people on social media.
but. it didn’t take long to realize that little disruptions of responding to an email quickly or taking a “5-minute” ig break (…seriously, never just 5 minutes!) makes a huge impact on workflow & tank productivity.
what’s helped me overcome this problem is checking in first thing in the morning. in the first 30 minutes of my day i respond to emails & pop into social media to engage with our community a little bit before heads-down computer time begins.
at that point, all the tabs on my screens are closed, notifications are turned off, & my phone is put on silent mode (facing down!). i’m left to tackle the two or three big things on my to-do list for the day.
i’ll be the first to admit that, at first, this one was really hard. feeling disconnected was uncomfortable & took a lot of discipline. but with practice it’s gotten so much easier. i’ve come to really enjoy my heads-down time. crossing those big tasks off my list gives me a sense of accomplishment & the positive momentum really reduces anxiety & stress for the rest of the day or week.
#5: take a break.
specifically, a coffee break. 😍
by 10 am, after i’ve gotten a productive 5 hours of work in for the day, it’s time for a little break, which is always so important for productivity & a positive headspace for the rest of the day.
so, i get up. pbr & i usually go for a quick walk or play fetch & chase outside. the little bit of exercise & fresh air does wonders for someone who is cooped up all day long at their computer!
then, on my way back into my office for the afternoon, i swing through the kitchen for my favorite part of the day: cold brew time. 😍😍😍
cold brew in hand, i’m ready to tackle the rest of my day!
so…i’d love to know what your morning routine looks like! what are the little healthy habits that you’ve sprinkled throughout your day? do you have a favorite treat, like coffee? let me know in the comments below! i’d LOVE to chat!!! xo
afraid you’ll miss a recipe or entertaining idea? be sure to follow along with plays well with butter on bloglovin. for daily foodie musings & tips, follow along with @playswellwithbutter on instagram & facebook! & for tons of pin-worthy ideas to be the hostess with the mostest, follow plays well with butter on pinterest!
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups Dunkin Donuts cold brew coffee
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (or agave, or honey)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- optional: 6 scoops collagen powder
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, cocoa powder and salt (& collagen powder, if using), mixing until everything is well incorporated. Transfer the oat mixture into 6 jars or airtight containers, evenly distributing the oats into each jar. Set aside.
- In a jar or pitcher, combine the cold brew coffee, coconut milk, maple syrup, & vanilla extract. Stir to combine. Carefully pour the coffee mixture into each jar, over the oats.
- Cover each jar with its lid, shake to combine, & store in the refrigerator overnight (or up to 6 days) for easy grab-&-go breakfasts throughout the week. To serve, top with additional maple syrup, cocoa powder, & flaked coconut as desired. Enjoy!
pin chocolate coconut cold brew overnight oats for later!