The way you start your morning often sets the pace for the rest of your day. Your mood can control your mind and body, leading you to a great day when you start it right or leading you to an awful day when you start out wrong.
It’s important to take control of your morning in order to take control of your day. To get it started right, incorporate these simple steps into your morning routine.
Wake up slowly
Set your alarm at least 15 – 30 minutes early so you’re not just rocketing out of bed. Take some time to mentally wake up and prepare for the day ahead. Avoid checking your cell phone or laptop right away; there will be plenty of time for technology later.
Stretch the sleep out
The body tenses up from lying still for so long. In that relaxing spare time you’ve now created for yourself, stretch your arms up over your head and your toes down toward the foot of your bed. Take some deep breaths, arch your back, and sit yourself up slowly. Then swing your feet down to the floor.
Take a moment to meditate
Sitting on the edge of your bed before you start the day is a perfect time for some brief meditation. You don’t have to strike any yogic poses or go into any deep trance-like state, just sit up tall and clear your mind.
Focus on your breathing – inhale deeply, exhale slowly, and listen to the air you breathe in. Notice the air moving over your top lip and into your nostrils and feel your belly rise and fall with each breath. This is an excellent way to keep you focused on remaining present and appreciating another day. Continue as long as you’re comfortable, then rise and get moving.
Warm your muscles
Now that you’re relaxed and limber, move some blood to your muscles for a lasting boost of energy. A couple sets of pushups, squats and/or jumping jacks are great for getting your endorphins going.
Morning cardio jumpstarts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories throughout the day. You also won’t have to worry about trying to make time for this at the end of the day when you’re tired from work and ready to sleep again.
Feed your body
Fuel up with the good stuff! While a small amount of sugar is recommended (think teaspoons) and helps memory recall, too much will lead to a crash. Stick to fresh fruits and protein – Greek yogurt is a great way to combine both. Top it off with some orange juice and if necessary, some coffee with real sugar.
We all have 700 things we would like to get done each day, but there simply aren’t enough hours. To maintain your sanity, select just 2-3 top priorities for the day and focus on accomplishing those.
Write them on your calendar or to-do list, and as long as you get at least those done, you can consider your day a success. This is much more productive than getting buried by an avalanche of tasks and never completing any of them.
Say thanks, even for common things like breathing normally, sleeping indoors, the food in your refrigerator, the refrigerator itself!
Remembering all of the good things in your life makes the list of bad things seem much shorter and often, kind of silly. Hold your loved ones close (furry friends included) and be glad for another chance to enjoy life on your terms.
This morning routine will help keep your feet grounded in the present moments of this so often forgotten beautiful world and life. Because we tend to think about what has to be done in the future or what has already happened in the past, we forget to remain present. We allow ourselves to miss out on the beauty of being alive for another day, the beauty of your partner waking up next to you, or the beauty of hearing children or pets in the morning. Being present is an important step, as the gratitude that comes from remaining present and appreciative is priceless.
Utilize the morning as quiet time to ground and soothe yourself so that you can face the day’s challenges calmly. Even practicing just one or two items from the above list each morning is a great start. Good habits are created one day at a time.
Loving Life is dedicated to creating lasting change in the lives of our clients. Contact us today to learn more about our yoga and meditation instruction or to make a relaxing spa appointment.