How we start our day is paramount to how we live our lives. It was once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” and this habit is reinforced by our actions every single day, starting the moment we open our eyes. Each night we go to bed and send our bodies off into a deep state of rest where the conscious mind gets to shut down. Many cultures believe that our conscience actually leaves the physical world during this time, and while we are not confirming or denying this, we do know that coming back to the present when waking up can take some effort. We must bring movement to heavy limbs that have been inactive for many hours. Our bodies begin warming up muscles, releasing hormones, gearing up the digestive system and restoring thought to the mind once more. This enormous process happens whether we are aware of it or not, so when we bring awareness into our mornings, everything gets a bit clearer and a whole lot calmer.
The cadence of your morning often sets the tone for the whole day. If you wake up and instantly check your phone, like so many of us do, you are throwing your fragile, half-dozing system into a state of high alert, attention to stress and reaffirming a dedication to technology that overrides your self-care. If you prefer to wake up to the morning news, this too can jar your system into a frenzied fight or flight state. Perhaps you don’t have time for either because you perpetually wake up late and bolt out of bed to manically throw yourself together. This instant sensation of being late and having too much to do without enough time to do it will surely stay with you for the rest of the day.
When you bring order, balance, self-care and a little peace into your mornings, it will be these attributes that support you and restore balance to your daily life. So let’s take a look at five small ways you can guarantee big changes in your life.
This may seem very obvious and yet many of us wake up and rush to our feet to immediately get started with the new day. Tomorrow take the time to wake your muscles slowly and show your body some love before your feet hit the floor. You can simply stretch your full body while lying there by pointing your toes and raising your arms above your head.
The amount of stretching you do is entirely up to you, but this is a great time to incorporate some light yoga. You don’t need to head to the gym. There are several wonderful, free video tutorials online that can get you familiar with the basics. Once you have mastered a few poses, you can choose the ones you like and do them in silence right at the foot of your bed!
Before you roll your eyes at yet another reference to deep breathing and moments of silence, a morning breath session doesn’t need to be long, detailed or guided. If you have the time and can go into a deep meditative state, that will surely bring balance and calm to your day, but a few minutes of intentional breathing and silence will do the job as well.
Let your mind go blank and sit in a few moments of wordless being. As things come up throughout your day that stress or aggravate you, close your eyes and return to this state of calm.
3. Gratitude and Journaling
When was the last time you put pen to paper to write about the beautiful things in your life? Once more this practice doesn’t need to be laborious. Leave a notebook by your bed and when you first wake, take a moment to write down a few things that you are grateful for. Then use this time to clear your mind for the day by putting it all down. If you can’t think of anything to write, try recording your dreams!
You can also use the time to write down what you want to happen during the day, not a to-do list, more of a goal list. You can challenge yourself by writing out two or three things you want to add to the day ahead like finally taking that dance class or nailing your presentation. This act of visualization can guide your day into the success you desire.
4. Eat Breakfast
We know this seems obvious and yet the on-the-go lifestyle still tends to skip this meal more than any other. Breakfast is the fuel for your day, it jumpstarts your metabolism and is a great way to bring a healthy habit into your mornings. You may not have the time to whip up a five-star plate, but you can nourish your body with a warm blend of your favorite non-dairy milk with a little Bone Broth Collagen Protein powder. According to Ayurveda and modern science, starting your day with something warm rather than cold increases blood flow, aids in digestion and soothes the system.
Another way to warm your system and start your day is with a warm cup of lemon water. Though studies are a bit light on weight loss and skin improvements, we do know the lemon gets a little sugar and vitamin C running through your system and acts as a cleanser to the palate to stimulate morning appetite.
5. Support Your Health
By choosing to incorporate a morning habit that brings attention to your overall health, you increase your chances of being aware of your health all day long. This may be getting up early for a morning workout or light jog. Perhaps you have videos you can follow along to at home or a 24-hour gym where you can go before work.
It may be a morning routine of hygiene and supplements. Perhaps dry brushing, oil pulling or tongue scraping make your morning ritual. A well-rounded assortment of supplements for proper vitamin and mineral intake is a great idea as well. If you can’t seem to get to the gym, consider an all-natural metabolism boost like Healthy Fat Burner with bitter orange fruit extract.
No matter what you choose to add to your mornings, let it be with mindfulness of your transition from unconsciousness to consciousness and provide a foundation to build the day you desire.