Kicking off the New Year right might seem like a daunting task. However, it becomes less daunting if we focus on starting each DAY right. Re-evaluating our morning rituals is a great place to start. Do your current morning rituals help you to adjust to the new day with a positive mindset? Or do they amp up your stress and focus on all the turmoil in the world?
Some Ideas That Help You Kick Off Your Day Right
1. Give yourself time to “wake-up”: So many of us jump out of the bed and “hit the ground running.” This can activate your sympathetic nervous system and increase stress response. (Which can set you up for a pretty stressful day) Instead, set aside at least 30 minutes each morning to allow your mind, body, and spirit to adjust to the day before you get going. This could include intentionally hitting snooze on your alarm clock once, and using this time to take some deep breaths, slowly stretch your body, and allow your senses to adjust to being awake
2. Feed your mind something positive: We feed our body healthy food to feel well and help our body thrive. It is just as important to be aware of what we are feeding our minds. Start off your day with an inspiring reading, quote, or affirmation. Setting your intention in the morning colors your perception for the rest of the day. See the one below that I read each morning.
3. Move your body: It is important that we honor/take care of our body. It does sooo much for us. Moving your body in the morning releases all of the “stuck” energy from sleep and inactivity. Find a movement practice that is right for your body. Moving your body does not mean that you need to do a “hard-core” workout. (This black/white mindset often leads to not doing anything at all). However, if a hard-core workout feels great to your body then do it! Some simple movement ideas include stretching, yoga, dance, calisthenics, walking, biking, or running. Even 10-15 minutes produce endorphins to kick off your day right.
4. Drink Water: Drinking water in the morning assists your body in eliminating toxins, provides energy to your muscles, and increases metabolism. Throw some lemon in there to further assist your lymphatic system.
5. Mindfulness: The practice of mindfulness is the practice of being aware in the present moment. In our busy world, mindfulness can be illusive because we tend to focus on the past or what we need to do in the future. We can practice and integrate mindfulness in all that we do.
A simple mindfulness practice is to follow the breath: As you inhale, follow the breath as it enters your nose, goes down your throat, filling your belly and lungs. As you exhale, follow the breath out as it leaves your belly and lungs, flows up your throat, and back out of your nose. Notice where you feel your breath the most. Feel the coolness as your breath enters and the warmth as you exhale.
Coffee mindfulness: Feel your muscles and body as you raise your coffee cup to your mouth. Look at the coffee and coffee cup. Notice the colors and shape of the cup. Inhale and smell the aroma of the coffee. Feel your lips on the cup. As you drink the coffee notice the temperature, texture, and flavor. Pay attention to how it feels as the coffee fills your mouth and goes down your throat. Notice what feelings occur…maybe comfort. Pay attention to your body as you set the cup back down.
Some benefits of mindfulness: decrease in stress, anxiety, and blood pressure and an increase in awareness, responsiveness, and clarity. Start with five minutes in the morning and work your way up from there.