I will admit that in the past I have been guilty of mornings that lack structure. Not one thing was ever the same as the morning before, and overall they lacked flow and routine. However, recently I have come to appreciate what a good morning ritual celebrates- a clean slate. Each day we get the chance to start over and have an impact on the outcome of the new day. From the minute we get out of bed our actions begin to impact the events to come. So with a few right moves in the morning, each and every day, we have the opportunity to set ourselves up for success and let the day unfold with ease and balance.
1. MAKE THE BEDROOM A NO PHONE ZONE:
Let yourself have a peaceful rest without interruptions and temptations by placing your phone in another room before sleep. Get an old-school clock or use another device (with less temptations) to set an alarm on. Those initial moments upon waking are possibly the most clear headed you'll be all day- don't spoil this moment with the clutter of emails and social media. After your alarm goes off, give yourself five minutes to lay in bed with your own thoughts. Check in with yourself asking: how did I sleep? how am I feeling? and set an intention for the day. And if that intention doesn't get you out of bed, having your phone in another room should.
2. WAKE UP EARLIER:
We aren't talking about hours here. Simply fifteen minutes earlier each day will allow for a more mindful morning with less stress. How you start your day can truly set the stage for the events to come. By allowing yourself the time to sip your tea and collect your thoughts, you will be better mentally prepared to handle whatever happens to come your way that day.
3. DRINK A LARGE GLASS OF WATER FIRST THING:
This is the one I struggle with the most. I live for a hot beverage in the morning, so drinking a glass of water is more often than not interrupted once the kettle boils. Although hot lemon water and herbal teas are hydrating, use the first few vertical minutes of the day to immediately flush your body and awaken the senses with a tall cool glass of water. We lose control over the day the minute we step out of the house and sometimes this means we get behind on our water intake. Set yourself up for success by knocking one of those eight glasses a day off the list first thing in the morning.
4. LEMON FIRST. COFFEE LATER:
Stimulate the digestive system and prepare the body for the food to come with a warm lemon water. This is not to replace your love affair with coffee (although with time maybe it will). You can still enjoy that cup of joe, later. Let your insides be gently awakened with a cup of warm lemon water to aid digestion and kick start your metabolism. If you are anything like me, and lemon water becomes a bit of a bore, try my Ginger Lemon & Turmeric Tea- this immune boosting concoction will wake up and warm your entire body inside and out. While using fresh ingredients is always best, you can also grab yourself a good quality tea that includes lemon and/or ginger for similar results when pressed for time.
5. EAT BREAKFAST:
This won't be the first time you've heard "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". While true, many still choose to opt out of this simple and easy meal. Not only does eating breakfast give you the energy you need to start your busy day, it jumpstarts your metabolism, and helps curb cravings throughout the entire day. So blend a smoothie, have an egg on toast, eat some yogurt with fruit and nuts or at the very least, a power bar and a piece of fruit (caution: take note of the sugar content in your powerbar and purchase wisely).
6. BREATHE & STRETCH:
Start the day energizing your body with a few deep breaths and light stretches. Whether it be on your yoga mat, or just in front of your bathroom mirror, take five minutes to stretch out those tight spots and release some of the previous day's tension before starting a new day. Don't make this feel like a work out, just take a few deep breaths in and out, listen to your body and work on the areas that are calling for some attention. It might seem like a bit of an effort at first, but before you know it you'll look forward to this part of your day.
7. MAKE YOUR OWN RITUAL:
Allocate at least ten minutes of each morning for something of personal enjoyment. Just the thought of this ritual should motivate you to get up and out of bed. Be religious about this time each and every morning. Take the time to write in a journal, sit down and read your favourite newspaper or blog, tend to your plants, sing and dance, or sit down and play with your kids. Whatever it is, make it your time and own it.