When you wake up tired and not in your best mood, mornings can often be experienced as a nonsensical groggy blur. Instead of rushing to work, you have the option of seizing a precious opportunity.
You can start to change your morning experience by doing a personal checking in. Each morning can be seized as a fresh opportunity, a new beginning full of energy.
Imagine that you can change the “movie” you wake up in. Instead of waking up into stress and rushing around, imagine that you can start the day doing something that invigorates and nourishes you. A gift from yourself to yourself.
This gift is to offer yourself a morning ritual where you can tune in, and experience spiritual refreshing moments that will set the tone for the day ahead: being present, calm and positive.
Here are 9 simple tips to create and setup a morning routine that will bring balance and nourishment to your soul.
1 – Wake Up Early (a little bit)
This is fundamental for establishing the routine, as centering yourself takes bit of time. So give yourself the best chance to setup a good morning ritual. In order to do this you will need to go to sleep a little earlier and also waking up a little earlier.
A good way to set this in motion is the incremental way. You don’t need to do it all in the first day. For instance you can try to wake up 1 minute early each day. You do small changes but consistently over time. It works (I have tried it).
By doing it the incremental way you might take longer to implement your routines but I assure you that they will stick.
2 – Awake With a Smile on Your Lips
As soon as you wake up put a smile on your face, for no reason at all, just do it. It has been proven that smiling has a positive effect on your hormone levels. You will feel the uplifting consequences in your body, mind, and throughout the day.
3 – Spend Spiritual Quality Time at Your Meditation Space or Home Altar
Your meditation space or home altar can be a very simple space. It may include some of the following suggestions:
- A candle (or more if you like it)
- Incense (for the non allergic)
- Fresh flowers
- A devotional statue
- Imagery – photos, symbols, cards, quotes. You can look up at Inspiration Quotes at Awake Development and print them for your personal use.
For the minimalist perhaps just a cushion or not even that.
You can do your preferred style of meditation. Again you can start small like increasing blocks of 5 minutes every day or so util you reach 20 minutes. There are tons of studies highlighting the positive effects of meditating.
Alternatively you can spend time at your altar speaking out loud. You can select a prayer, an affirmation or a quote. You need to find the one that has a positive impact on you and reconnects to your spiritual core. Try to visualize the words of your prayer, affirmation or quote.
I personally like the following one:
Walking In Beauty (Navajo Blessing)
“Today I will walk out, today everything unnecessary will leave me,
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body. I will have a light body, I will be happy forever, nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me.
I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me.
I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me.
My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful.”
4 – Visualize and/or Do a Protection Exercise
Bring the energy from the previous exercise and start visualizing your day.
Sit down, closing your eyes, and start to visualize the key moments of your day. Do this being in the observer role (non judgmental), only observing. This way you are seeing yourself in the situations. You can imagine that you are seeing yourself from above on those key situations of the day. This will give you a more detached and relaxed way to approach the day.
The protection exercise is quite a topic in itself and deserves a future full article. I will return to this (stay tuned).
5 – Drink Water
Before you eat anything try drinking water or better lemon and ginger water.
While you sleep your body gets dehydrated. Lack of water is known to be the cause of some grogginess and lethargy in the morning. By drinking a glass of water you can help your body to replenish its fluid levels.
You can even do more and add lemon and ginger to the water. This will help to flush toxins, and also gives vitamins and minerals to your body (vitamins B and C, calcium, magnesium and iron, among others) and helps prevent infections and indigestion. It is known to help you in losing weight.
Lemon and Ginger Water Recipe
- Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon
- Twists of ginger
- A cup filled 2/3 with warm water
- Add the lemon juice and twists of ginger into the cup
6 – Move Your Body
Moving your body is a vital part of waking up. You can start to stretch your legs, back, arms, shoulders, neck, head, and other parts of the body (you can do this in 5 minutes).
Moving your body will help you improve blood circulation and oxygenation of all your cells, and avoid some unpleasant aches and pains throughout the day.
Your favorite exercise might be taking the dog for a walk, running outside or follow one of the routines on the videos below:
Kelli’s Quick Cool Down and Stretch – Feel Good Stretching Routine for Morning or Night
8 Simple Movements of Qigong for Beginners by Jake Mace
7 – Take a Rich Breakfast
Breakfast is the fundamental meal of the day. It is absolute critical to give your body all the essential nutrients for efficient functioning.
Either you are vegan or omnivore please pack your breakfast with protein:
- Grilled cheese
- Banana waffles
- Avocado on toast
Green Smoothie Recipe
A green smoothie can refill your body with fiber and vitamins. You need to have a blender to do this. You can mix the following ingredients (your choice of course):
Experiment with the quantities to suit your particular taste. In plus you can add to the smoothie the following:
- Coconut oil
8 – Plan your day
Planning your day first thing in the morning can give you a better sense of direction and increase productivity.
I prefer to use an analog system called: pen and paper. Nothing fancy.
Start by doing a list of the things you have to do on that day.
Then mark the three most important tasks you really need to accomplish on that day.
Organize how you are going to do it (first this one, then the other, and so on).
By doing this you can come up with a reasonable plan for the day and the tasks ahead.
You can also jot down some short notes that will help you with task’s implementation (I said short notes).
9 – Write a Journal
Writing a journal can be a very effective way to recollect info that are important to you, key moments in your life, remember anniversaries, and even incorporate the planning of the day (the previous tip).
I found a simple, efficient, flexible and inexpensive way to write a journal, it is called the Bullet Journal. You can give a look by clicking the link and see if it suits you (by the way it is FREE). I have to say that I love this technique.
Start to Implement and Control
In order to be successfully implement your Morning Rituals you need to monitor your progress. There will be days you will follow through and there will be days that you don’t (it is ok to miss but not much). This is a long run kind of game. You will win the end game if you persevere and comeback each time you miss.
To implement a habit in your life you need in average 28 days of non stop doing it, but in my experience is more realistic to count 3 months. After that is like a second nature, you don’t even need motivation, it is already part of you.
One last thing. You will need to track either on paper (with the Bullet Journal) or with some tech approach, I list three apps that can do the job. Some for Android others for iPhone, and all are FREE.
- Loop Habit Tracker for Android – FREE
- Simple Habit – Meditation & Guided Mindfulness for iPhone – FREE
- Done: A Simple Habit Tracker with Goal Streaks – for iPhone FREE
The better time to start is always the present moment. So… what about to change the alarm clock to a few minutes earlier and start to implement these new habits? Start small and grow by adding a few minutes each day.
A morning mindful ritual, like the 9 tips above, will make you feel better, have more energy and less stress, and will have a major impact on unfolding your full potential.
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