One of the most essential things you can do to create a healthier home and life for yourself and your family is adopt healthier habits. An easy place to start is with your morning habits!
Have you ever paused to think about what you actually do first thing upon waking?
This is an important question–because how you choose to greet the day can determine whether or not it will be a good one, or one you’d prefer to write off as never happening. It’s important to become aware of how the attitude you have in the morning plays a powerful role in the way you perceive and interact with the people and events you experience throughout the rest of your day.
After much experimentation, I believe I’ve found my best rhythm for greeting the day and thought I’d share what works for me as a way to inspire you to find your own morning rituals for success.
The optimal goal is to create as many meaningful, good days as we can during our short time here on earth–so take a look at these 6 ideas and let me know what works best for you in the comments below!
1. How you wake matters!
For starters, I sleep in total darkness with no electronic devices. This has helped me to program my circadian rhythm to wake first thing (unassisted by the use of an alarm clock) when dawn begins to break. Sometimes I wake even before first light and realize it’s the sounds of the birds chirping that have awoken me as they prepare to greet the day.
Waking naturally, instead of being startled awake, always puts me in a better mood!
Circadian rhythms are physical, mental and behavioral changes that follow a roughly 24-hour cycle, responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment. They are found in most living things, including animals, plants and many tiny microbes. The study of circadian rhythms is called chronobiology.
2. Take a moment to check in with your body.
I’m not a huge fan of meditation (total lack of patience!), but I do try to slow down enough to check in with my body. Instead of jumping straight out of bed, I take some time to stretch–taking note of any aches and pains.
And while I’m still lying there, I try to consciously appreciate how it feels to simply be alive.
Maybe that sounds silly to you, but being grateful for another day goes a long way towards creating a positive and meaningful life.
3. Don’t forget to rehydrate!
When we sleep, we are fasting. Our body does not eat or drink. Instead it is actively repairing cells and tissue as we move in and out of REM sleep. This is a lot of hard work!
If you do any one thing different upon waking, I suggest you do this:
Drink a full glass of water!
Think of it as your #1 beauty and energy boosting routine. Rehydrating with water will improve the quality of your skin, rev up your metabolism, and refresh all of your vital organs.
I typically take a probiotic along with a cup of Hot Lemon Water, then follow that up with a full glass of room temperature water to remove the acids of the lemon from my tooth enamel.
This particular combination never fails to wake me up, get my bowels moving, and give me a boost of much needed energy that is calming and soothing.
Unlike coffee…as much as I love coffee, I notice it doesn’t particularly agree with my stomach. And I typically get more tired as the day wears on and the caffeine dissipates.
4. Get moving!!
Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, you need to do some sort of exercise or movement routine to get your blood flowing.
Not only will you start your day with feel good endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin–but you’ll also kick-start your metabolism which will help you burn the calories you consume throughout the day much more efficiently.
This also gives you the added benefit of more clarity of mind, which makes it easier to focus.
My favorite way to do this is with my Morning Miles. I just adore walking outdoors first thing in the morning before the day heats up, when the sun is shining golden rays of light on the trees. It’s so peaceful and calming, I can’t help but to keep walking.
Check out my instagram feed to see more of my Morning Mile photos!
The length of time I spend walking depends on my daily schedule and whether or not my daughter is on summer break, but I try to go for a minimum of 30 minutes whenever I can 🙂
5. Eat a good breakfast.
Whether it’s a power packed Green Smoothie or a nutritious bowl of Kapha Inspired Hot Quinoa Cereal–make those first few bites count!
Consuming caffeine, sugar, or refined white flour first thing in the morning wreaks havoc on your blood sugar–which will cause your energy to plummet an hour or two into your day.
By giving your body the wholesome nutrients it needs, you’ll be more likely to maintain your good mood, your energy, and regulate all of your bodily functions. This means you will actually feel good throughout the entirety of your day and be less likely to fall into a negative mood, struggle with aches and pains, or get a debilitating headache!
Believe me, as someone who suffers from fibromyalgia, the difference in how your body responds to the food you eat is quite noticeable!
6. Complete your most important tasks first!
And my final piece of advice for creating a successful morning routine or ritual is to complete your most important tasks first.
This doesn’t necessarily mean client work–or even anything to do with your business (if you have one).
You need to figure out what is most important to you and your goals and identify a single task each day that will make you feel as if you are one step closer to attaining that ideal.
For me, this is usually wrapped up in my writing. If I don’t spend some time each day writing, I don’t feel centered. Whether it’s a journal entry, a blog post, an update to my website, or a chapter of the book I’m writing–I need to write.
If instead I jump right into working on a client project or hanging out with my kids–I get extremely restless and frustrated because I feel like I didn’t allow myself the time I needed to do what is important and meaningful to me.
(Obviously hanging out with my kids is important, as is keeping up with client projects–but writing is what PERSONALLY fulfills me! It’s so much a part of my DNA that I know I will be of no use to anyone else if I don’t actively engage in this one activity.)
And remember, stay flexible!
Things change. Seasons change. People change. Don’t be afraid to go with the flow of change and create a new ritual when it’s needed 🙂 I find I need to do this every summer, and once again when the school year starts and our morning schedule drastically changes!
What’s your morning ritual look like?
That’s the best bit of advice I have for starting each day out right with the best possible change for success 🙂
I’d love to hear what your morning ritual looks like in the comments below!