Is Your Morning Routine Right?
Your Morning Ritual: Set the Stage for Your Day
For millions of people, each day starts with a jolt. Those precious morning moments are typically filled with a hazy sense of urgency, chaos or maybe even dread for the hours ahead. How you begin each day is representative of the holistic way in which you are embracing every moment of your life. If a majority of your days begin on a sluggish, stressed or sour note, you are essentially creating for yourself a cycle of draining monotony or negativity that can be difficult to break. Think of each morning as your time and your chance to positively prime yourself not only for the current day’s events, but also for the bigger picture of your life—from goals and ambitions to cherished moments and even the most ordinary occurrences that fall in between.
A happy morning routine can help you clear your mind, energize the body and positively prepare you to tackle the potential curve balls of the day (and life) that lie ahead of you. Use any combination of these tips to fully embrace this time as your chance to synch your mind, body and soul together in a way that will add true value to all of your days.
In order to genuinely reap the benefits from a morning ritual, you need to give yourself the time in which to do so and this typically translates to waking up a tad bit earlier. When that alarm goes of, resist the urge to hit snooze! This can create a lackluster day’s beginning, encouraging a sluggishness that can be difficult to shake. Maybe you need to force yourself out of bed by keeping your alarm clock on the opposite side of the room. Or perhaps you need to wake up to a song that inspires you or gets you revved up. Work with your personal preference and wake with purpose and intention.
Avoid the Phone
In today’s overly connected society, it can be difficult to break away from the demands or requests of others. Many of us are programmed to check the inbox or social media updates first thing, leaving no room for individual needs that will facilitate healthier personal and professional relationships. Resist the urge to reach for the phone right when you open your eyes. Wake to an old-fashioned alarm clock and know that those messages will still be there once you have taken a few morning moments for yourself.
Watch this video if you need more motivation to put down the phone.
Wake With A Mantra
A mantra can be so beneficial to your perspective, helping you to guide your thoughts toward positivity and inspiration. This can be something simple that you say to yourself every morning, or you can mix things up and give yourself a new mantra to recite every week or even every day. Make sure that it speaks to who you are and what you believe in, exuding positivity and a vivacity that will transpire not only on an emotional level, but in a physical sense as well.
Once you rev your mind with a mantra, it’s time to physically prepare your muscles for the day. There is really nothing like an enormous stretch to start your day (perhaps accompanied by a big yawn and a deep breath). A simple stretch can help get the blood pumping, release tension and improve circulation.
If you wish to take things further, consider practicing some in-bed or on-the-floor Yoga poses such as a forward bend, legs up the wall, supine twist, Happy Baby or Pigeon Pose. This should be a casual flow of whatever feels good in the moment and dictated by a combination of your individual flexibility and what your muscles are asking for.
Give Yourself A Smile
Once you get out of bed, look into the mirror and give yourself a genuine smile. It’s amazing what this positive self-reinforcement can do for your confidence and the way that it translates to your relationships with others. Even on mornings when you are not feeling your best, when you see a happy you reflected in the mirror you are more likely to embrace that high-spirited version of yourself and carry that person with you throughout the day. No matter what transpires over the next 15-18 hours or so, you’ve greeted yourself with a warm gesture of encouragement and validation.
Dry Brush Your Body
Dry brushing is an Ayurvedic practice that helps to slough off dead skin cells and improve overall cellular circulation throughout the body. You begin at your extremities, working your way in toward the heart, and this practice is best done before hopping into the shower. Dry brushing helps to optimize the body’s ability to rid itself of toxins that have built up overnight and can provide itself as a fantastically invigorating practice. The key is to find a brush that exfoliates adequately but not so coarse that it’s painful or unpleasant to run along your skin.
Drink a Glass of Warm Lemon Water
When you wake, you have just gone about 8 hours without water, so it’s important to get things flowing again. Warm lemon water has a lubricating effect on your body’s internal systems. Lemon is incredibly beneficial to the digestive system, helping it to prepare for meals (not to mention it’s zing on your taste buds is so refreshing). If you need to cut down on a bit of the tartness, try adding a touch of honey to make things more palatable. By addressing the body’s immediate need for water before consuming food, you are creating a balanced state of hydration that will help you to feel satisfied and energized as you continue on with your day.
Make a Breakfast That Excites You
Without this important meal you might feel empty, deprived, lethargic or if you are anything like me, you will be so cranky! Eating breakfast allows for your body to begin with proper nourishment and adequate fuel that comes in a wide variety of foods and sizes.
For some, this may look like a light smoothie or green juice, as the body might not yet be ready to tackle full digestion. For others, it may be aromatic coffee and a banana or peanut butter on toast. And then there are the full-breakfast types who need a balance of protein, fats and complex carbohydrates to feel satisfied and fueled until lunchtime.
Whatever the case for you, choose foods that rev your senses. Sometimes, the smell of coffee can impact the body in a similar fashion to actually drinking it. Fresh fruit can tickle your taste buds in a way that incites happy childhood memories. Scrambled eggs and bacon can provide the warmth of a weekend on the coldest of Monday mornings. Listen to your body, play around with breakfast options and plan ahead in order to give yourself something tasty to look forward to.
Set 3 Goals For the Day
Before rushing out the door (and perhaps even before you connect via phone or computer), take a moment to set three intentions for your day. These can be work-related, of a personal nature, or a combination of both and should only resonate as the most important tasks that you wish to accomplish during that particular day. Why only three? This keeps things manageable and will keep you from getting carried away and suffering from the discouragement that comes with not getting “everything” done. Remember, things will always fall through the cracks and the smaller tasks that you held in the back of your mind will either get done without even existing on your list of three or fade away because they weren’t all that important to begin with.
When you establish a morning routine, you are adding constructive intention into your day. Not only will this reflect the overall tone you set for your remaining wakeful hours, but it can also dictate how productive, happy, calm and content you will be as you navigate the daily chaos that we call life.