With all of this time being spent at home we know how easy it is to get stuck on snooze. To listen to that compelling voice in your head that say’s “just a few more minutes” as you reach for your phone or remote. A few minutes turns into an hour, then two and before you know it, you’re lost down a rabbit hole that consumes most of your mind and morning. To help stifle this counterproductive pitfall I felt the need to share my list of morning rituals that I practice daily to keep my mind and body moving and on a higher frequency. This is by no means a direct list that you should follow, as every individual is different. This is simply my list and what has worked best for me and has especially been impactful during this time of stress and worry.
1. Beat the sun - Waking up before the sun is out is the surest way to maximize your day and get as much achieved on your to-do list as possible. Knowing that you’re awake while others are still sleeping has a powerful way of making you feel ambitious and productive.
2. Give thanks - Being grateful to the creator and the universe immediately puts you on a higher mental state. Saying thank you for giving you another day to create, achieve and add value seems to bleed over into your mood throughout the day. This ritual helps you be grateful for all things big or small. That green light you got on your way to the office, that nutritious breakfast you had, how the sun hit the plants in that certain way, that compliment you got or simply the air in your lungs. Everything just sorts of adds fulfillment the more thankful you are.
3. Move your body - Running, walking, exercising, dancing to drum music.. whatever it may be as long as it has your body moving is essential to starting your day off right. Admittedly, the first 10 minutes of running is always the hardest but then you get into an almost meditative state that releases your stresses and worries and makes room for new thoughts and ideas to emerge. It dynamically changes your physical state by allowing your blood to flow and your creativity to grow. This is a must and has a direct correlation to being a productive individual as well as contributing to your mental and physical health. I always say, its really hard to be in a bad mood when your body is moving. So hit the ground and push yourself harder everyday. Before you know it, you’ll be shocked by how far you can go.
4. Cold Dunk - After working out there is nothing better than a cold dunk or a cold shower. This shocks your body and wakes everything up that might have been asleep or tired after your physical exercise. It’s hard not to yell once that extremely cold water hits your skin but it’s one of my rituals that can’t be skipped. The fight or flight mode that the water instantly puts you in prepares you for any mental battles you may have to face throughout the day.
5. Meditate - Meditation is the art of silencing the mind and being connected to the moment. It’s a very slow and agonizing process but when mastered, it will give you the ability to control your thoughts and silence your imagination while being present within. This is by far the hardest part of the morning routine because if you’re anything like me, your mind never shuts up. Thoughts never turn off and you’re constantly thinking about tasks that need your attention. If you can learn how to control this, you’ll see that you’re able to control everything that you have power over. Your actions, strategies, how to confront conflict, your abilities to interact with people and most importantly, the way you interact with yourself. Meditation is the hardest tool to sharpen yet the most impactful in a humans life.
6. Brain Food - Reading or listening to a podcast is a great way to give your brain its morning nutrients. It’s like giving the brain a pre-workout. It helps you kick off your day in an articulate and insightful manner. Just always remember that what you put in your ears or eyes is a direct reflection of where your thoughts will go. If you feed it junk food, you’re most likely going to have lazy or unproductive thoughts so be very selective and only feed it things of substance. I usually do this while eating my breakfast and drinking my morning coffee.
7. Get dressed - This is my final step and should be a no brainer but now that a lot of people are working from home it’s almost as if getting dressed has become an afterthought. Why is this still important if you’re working from home? Simple, if you look good, you feel good which magically transcends into your confidence and aura. It helps you maintain your level of standards for your body and the way you carry yourself. Not only that, clothes are meant to be an expression and a vehicle. Just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t let your clothes take you to your favorite vacation spot. Have fun with them and keep your standards in check.
There you have it. My seven morning rituals that I now offer to you to play with and see if any add value to your day. Have fun with them, take from them and tailor new ones that will contribute to your wellbeing.
*Photo - Jenny