Working out isn’t always easy. Eating healthy isn’t always easy. Starting my morning off with some positive habits isn’t always easy either. But I do these things with consistency because they make me feel good.
My mornings are my sacred time and starting it off on a positive note helps set the tone for the next 15 or so hours of my day. Without knowing it over the last 3-5 years I started picking up some morning habits. Some have come and gone, others I couldn’t live [happily] without. But the constant is that mornings have become my time.
I thought I’d share some of my most prominent morning habits or as I like to refer to them as my rituals. These don’t take me hours. I don’t even have to wake up at 4am. They take exactly as much time as I need them to or the amount of time I have to give them each day.
The point is not to convince you that you need to duplicate my habits. You don’t need to even do any of these. The point is to share how easy it is to fit in a few positive things to start your morning. Find something(s) that work for you, so you can set off on the most amazing version of yourself each day.
My ONLY rule is No Cell Phone:
I used to have the tendency to wake up and check my cell phone before my eyes were hardly open: emails, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, bank account… 45 mins later I had wasted my precious morning away and probably felt some sort of yearning to be someone I’m not, due to the automatic need to compare my life to everyone else on social media.
About 6 months ago I decided that this morning habit was just that; a habit that needed to be broken. I still check my cell phone in the morning because let’s face it we are tied to the outside world through these things, but now my cell phone scroll comes after my time; ie the next 5 steps.
I’ll be honest; meditation is not something that comes easily or naturally to me. I have self-diagnosed monkey mind and this is exactly the reason why I NEED meditation. Meditation is a practice for me. Over time I’ve found ways to keep myself from fighting the stillness.
*Focus on your breath- this helps take some of the mental distractions away.
*Set your timer for a realistic time. There is nothing worse than meditating and feeling discouraged at yourself when you’re done for not being able to obtain an unrealistic time. 10 mins works for me at this stage of my life.
*Create a space for yourself. If your mornings are not quiet and you’re surrounded by the rest of the household, carve out a small little niche that you can meditate in and limit distractions. Or better yet make this a family routine and invite the others to join you in these moments of silence.
* Try walking. I have several friends that put their shoes on and head out the door for a solo walking meditation each morning… again no cell phones.
* Some mornings are blissful and others I have dogs licking my face and a full days ‘to do’ list mentally written out by the time I’m finished… again I practice.
In the last several years journaling has become a very important part of my life. It’s a place that I explore and break down my monkey mind; aka the worry wart, the over analyzer, the dreamer, the creative, and the blues.
*Have a separate journal/notebook just for your journaling.
*Ask yourself big questions and make big statements in the safety of your journal. We tend to replay stories and events over and over in our head but putting pen to paper sometimes allows us to explore the past and the future in a new way.
-Why do I feel _(sad, mad,excited)_ about_(person,event,opportunity)?
- I need _________ in my life and here is why….
- How do I __(achieve, grow, love, help)____?
* After a sleepless night literally write out everything that was swimming through your mind. Focus in on one or two and write out the concerns, the facts, the big questions.
*Your journal should be sacred. A place where you can share your most intimate thoughts that you might not be ready to say out loud. Write what you cannot say to another individual. You never have to share this with anyone.
*Make this a gratitude journal. If you’re short on time in the mornings write out one statement of something you are grateful for that day. These short sentences amount to 365 wonderful things your life was filled with over the last year.
3. Oil Pulling:
I tend to add Oil Pulling to my mornings about 2-4 times a week. Sometimes I’ll even overlap my oil pulling with my journaling. If Oil Pulling is a new term for you, check out the blog we posted a few months back.
*Oil Pull before your first sip of water to allow the oil to remove harmful build up of overnight toxins.
*Swishing for 20 mins doesn’t have to be the equivalent to how you swish mouth wash. Just move the oil around slow and steady. Moving from cheek to cheek and pulling it through your teeth.
*Spit oil in the garbage and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards to rid of any remaining bacteria.
*I increase oil pulling to everyday during cold and flu season to help increase my chances of staying healthy.
I come and go from my mat in the morning. I recently have re-found my yoga practice in the morning and am really enjoying moving through some restorative postures to wake my body up.
*Find a practice that works for you. Restorative might be what your tired body needs to wake up. On the other hand a powerful practice can light up your day and get your morning started right.
*If you’re new to yoga there are some amazing guided videos that can take you through a practice. Bookmark a couple of flows the night before so you don’t need to spend your precious time searching for something that works.
* 5-10 Sun Salutations moving with the breath, followed by some floor work to lengthen any tight muscles.
*Ask your Pop Up Yoga teacher for some good morning postures that they enjoy in their home practice.
*Allocate the time that you have; again 10-15 mins is better than nothing at all.
Water… it’s the most important liquid of the day! Fueling up early on water keeps you hydrated through the day. After oil pulling I’m usually so thirsty that I’ll drink a cup of water immediately after.
Following my single glass of water, I’ll make a large cup of lemon water. This is one of my favorite rituals of the morning, even before coffee.
*Drink at least a cup of water before you put that pot of coffee on. If you’re dehydrated, coffee continues to dehydrate you and this can actually make you sleepier.
*From time to time I’ll add fresh shaved ginger or cayenne pepper to my lemon water for a boosted morning detox.
*Keep a reusable water bottle with you at all times and make a mental note of how many times you fill up each day. If you’re not a water drinker it’s all about GOALS!
I hope my morning rituals give you some ideas to kickstart your day. If you have morning rituals of your own, I'd love to hear about them. Leave us a note below.