Definitely not the way to set yourself up for a calm, productive day! By taking control of your mornings you’ll make your entire day more relaxed and rewarding.
Swear off the snooze button habit and set your alarm even earlier than usual and, yes, get up the first time it sounds. Just give it a try for a week, and see what happens. This will build in plenty of time for the morning tips below … healthy AM rituals that will start your day off on a smooth path. Also, forget about checking your email and texts—this time is for you without interference from the outside world.
Sitting silently in your meditation corner is a perfect way to transition seamlessly from sleep to fresh awareness of your life and you. Best is to spend 20 minutes meditating and close it out by acknowledging three things for which you are grateful … perhaps events scheduled for the day ahead, something small that happened to you, or something someone did that made your life easier! It doesn’t have to be anything major, to shift yourself into a loving place. You may want to write these in your journal along with reflections that are running through your mind … remainders of your nighttime dreams … ideas for making a more creative and fulfilling daytime … let emerge what may!
Natural light is a gift to your body and mind so bring it on! Open the blinds and curtains wide and let the sun shine in. Not only does the morning light improve your mood, according to at least one study it may contribute to making your body leaner! Stand in the glow of the early morning sun while you practice the following.
Refresh your breathing with this simple exercise. Inhale through your nose for two counts … notice your belly swelling as you breathe … pucker your lips and exhale slowly through them for a count of four. For another one, this from Dr. Andrew Weil, put your tongue against the tissue at the top of your front teeth. Keep it there while you inhale through your nose for four counts, hold for seven and then exhale with a whoosh sound through your mouth for a count of eight. Repeat three times.
Do your favorite stretching asanas to wake up and prepare your muscles for the day ahead. A quick practice that is especially stretch-worthy includes doing these in order: pelvic tilt … cat-cow … downward-facing dog … lunge … mountain pose and sun salutation. Wake your body up and get moving.
Before you step into the shower, this Ayurvedic tradition will exfoliate and soften your skin, improve your circulation and make you feel all-over great! Use a long handled brush, preferably with natural bristles (not too soft!). All strokes should go toward your heart starting with your feet (including the soles), long strokes up the legs, around the torso, up the arms and back. Skip your face.
Lemon juice in hot water is the healthy way to start your day! Sip while you prepare your healthy eating plan for the day ahead. Even if you’re not the breakfast kind, you want to plan to get your metabolism in gear.
You’re now ready to go feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on your day! Remember to always keep your keys, phone and wallet in the same place for an easy grab-and-go that will maintain the great feeling you’ve given yourself. Take a deep breathe and before you head out the door give yourself a big pat on the back for taking care of you.