A Good Morning

We live in a culture where morning is a mad rush of chaos, stress, and frantic energy. We have been trained that when the alarm clock goes off, we must fly out of the bed like a jet off of an airport runway and launch ourselves with reckless abandon into the day while repeating the mantra, “I must get as much done as possible, I must make as much money as possible, I must get as much done as possible,” etc etc. I have found that this mentality that we have adopted for the sunrise hours sets us up for a more stressful, not fulfilling, and negative day overall.

Luckily, there are small practices that you can weave into your current morning routine to inspire calm, healthy, positive energy for the rest of your day. Of course, mornings will continue to be busy. And I am sorry to say that if you are a commuter with children, that editing your morning routine as it is now is decidedly more challenging. I still, however, encourage you to try to start your day off on a better note by including one or two of these practices in your sunrise hours. You may have to wake up a bit earlier, you may have to do some prepping the night before, but the overall shift in your daily life will be well worth it.

So, here are some different practices to incorporate into your good morning. Pick one or mix and match multiple that speak to you! And from here, I wish you “Buongiorno”!

yoga morning

1. Yoga or exercise – This is an obvious one for me. It requires me to wake up a bit earlier, but the results are so worth it. Giving yourself an hour for yoga in the wee hours can be a true game changer for your day. Not only do you get a sweat and a work out in, you get your blood pumping, detox your body, stretch and strengthen your muscles, and stimulate your mind. Often times, the yoga teacher will help you find an intention for your practice, and that can carry on into your day helping you to feel empowered and positive. And if a yoga class is not an option, try getting some other form of exercise in to get the body warmed and alert. Even Ayurveda, the sister science to yoga, tells us that yoga and/or exercise is best practiced in the morning.

meditate

2. Meditate – Take 5-10 minutes to just sit and be alone with your breath. The focus on the breath and stillness will help to calm the mind and you will carry that calm with you throughout the day. You can even have a mantra you recite in your mind as you meditate that may help you feel stabilized for the day. I actually try to get to the yoga studio 5-10 minutes early before class, sit on my mat, and use that time to meditate, but of course, you can do it anywhere!

photo

3. Read inspirations – Flip through inspiring quotes on a good phone app or pick up a daily thought book and read one passage per day. This will inspire thought and often the message you come across is the one that you need in that moment. This can take 1-5 minutes and be immensely helpful.

frittata

4. Eat breakfast – Too many people skip a proper breakfast and shove a drive-thru egg sandwich (yuck) in their faces as they drive to work. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but I encourage you to take 5-20 minutes to sit down and eat. It might mean waking up earlier to make breakfast, or prepping breakfast the night before. But sit down, enjoy your nourishment, and feel fulfilled and strong because of it! You can even take the time you eat to “read inspirations” as suggested above.

grateful1

5. Gratitude Journal – Take a few minutes to write down what you are grateful for in the morning. It can be the big things, “Family, friends, etc.” or it can be the little, even absurd things that bring you joy, “the book I’m reading because it is entertaining, the fact that I have a job to go to, the laundry because it means I have clothing.” Reflecting on the things you are grateful for in your life can completely shift your perspective for the entire day to come.

Do you already do some of these practices? What do you find works for you?

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