Updated: Mar 2
Some call it the Golden Hour, some call it a morning routine and I just call it an essential part of the day, to make sure you're set up for whatever life has for you today.
Whether you have a tendency to be anxious, low or just roll out of bed and hope for the best, a good morning routine may be exactly what you're missing. Even if you have only 20 min to spare in the morning (or have to carve out time to make it happen), I promise you getting this practice solid may be a real life saver!
The way we start our day paints a tone for the rest of the day, therefore if you're running late, stuck in hideous traffic swearing and burn your tongue on the coffee on the way, chances are your day may be a little rocky...
But what if you sacrificed a little bit of time in the morning, to make sure you are centred, calm and focused for the day ahead, feeling like you can handle anything?
Start with as little as 15- 20 min a day, picking practices that resonate most with you and build up to as much as an hour per day... and watch the positive changes happen.
1. Technology detox
First and foremost, observe your relationship with technology. Do you check work emails or Facebook while you’re still in bed? Research shows that immersing into our working lives and social media before our mind is truly ready, we are setting ourselves for a day filled with anxiety and distress. Make a promise to only switch your phone on once your morning ritual is complete.
2. Warm water and lemon
Sip warm water with lemon on waking, as it is detoxing for the liver and helps removes toxins accumulated from the night before. On top of that, it brings clarity and purity of the mind. Steer away from coffee first thing in the morning, as this will increase anxiety levels and imbalance your sugar levels for the day, meaning fluctuations in energy, cravings and mood swings.
3. Dry skin brushing
This is a great tool to use for making your skin softer, giving your body some attention and invigorating the skin. Start brushing with the legs and move from the limbs towards the heart. Feel the increased blood flow giving the much-needed energy boost.
4. Meditation or mindfulness
Have a sit in silent, quiet space with just yourself. It might be uncomfortable the first couple of times or you may think ‘I don’t know how to meditate’ or ‘I’m doing it wrong’, but there is no such thing as a ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ meditation. There are plenty of apps, videos and books that can teach you how, but looking at it as time for just yourself, without any distractions and focusing on your breathing, really helps.
5. Oil massage
This ancient Ayurvedic technique is perfect after dry-skin brushing, as it gives the soothing and love that the body is asking for in the morning. Really take time and give yourself a compassionate massage starting from legs, moving towards the heart. Focus more on the abdomen, as in many ancient systems (Chinese Traditional Medicine, Ayurveda, etc) a lot of emotions and self- confidence is said to be related to the internal organs.
Start with some gentle stretching for 10min and notice how your body feels. Act with an attitude of compassion, truly listen how your body feels and give your body time to wake up. Nothing boosts our positive outlook like physical movement. Research shows that people, who exercise in the morning are able to make decisions based on excitement, rather then based on fear.
7. Gratitude list
Before you set your daily goals or open the diary, write down 5 things that you are grateful for. Shifting your focus from ‘lack’ to ‘attitude of gratitude’ helps get through even the toughest days. Even if its’s hard to think of anything, focus on even the tiniest details like a cup of tea that colleague made you yesterday or the sunshine outside- there is plenty to be grateful for.
8. Set your intentions for the day
How would you like today to go? What are you looking forward to? What are you excited about? Visualise your day as you'd like it to go, with the smallest details. The truth is that visualisation helps the mind familiarise itself with the situation that may be challenging, or simply helps to attract the outcome you want- when you truly expect it!