I love my sleep- and believe me, I can get pretty cranky, impatient, and not as effective during the day when I don't get good sleep! It is well known and proven that a good night's sleep is essential in fortifying energy for our body and mind. But good sleep is not the only determining factor of optimum energy and effectiveness. There are also some key morning practices and habits - if included in one's first 20- minutes or so of waking up- that can have an amazing impact on setting the tone mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually for an effective, meaningful, and fulfilling day. For a number of years, I have intentionally scheduled in at least an extra 20-45 minutes each morning to for time to include a few day changing morning 'rituals'. In fact, if I am 'pushed' for some reason in the morning, and can't give a little time to me first, my whole day can feel discombobulated! These morning habits and practices definitely make getting up out of bed a little earlier well worth it!
On a side note...this Spring time of year is a perfect time to re-create and birth life-enriching activities and habits into your routine. Are you ready?
4- Part Morning Ritual
The following practices can be done in any order or can easily be combined. Most importantly, however, is to begin the day with 'inner focus'. Turn off the alarm, resist looking at your phone or turning on the TV, and sit up or get up out of bed. And yes, it's perfectly OK to grab that cup of coffee or tea!
GRATITUDE: Shed your inner light on at least 3 things that you are grateful for. It may be as simple as having had a good night's sleep, waking up next to someone you love, appreciating the aroma of coffee brewing, the gentle sound of rain, your family and friends, your health- or it may be as profound as having a purpose that is 'pulling' you into action this day. Gratitude infuses a positive focus into your day- giving attention to what is 'working' for you. And yes- energy follows attention- so this simple practice can manifest even more to be grateful for.
MOVEMENT: Our bodies are wired for movement, so do anything to get your circulation flowing, your joints mobilized and lubricated, and your heart beating a little faster! Some is better than none. Even 5 -minutes of movement will signal your whole being that it is time to move into your day. Some days you may have time for a 15-30 minute walk, and some days only 5- minutes of marching in place or dancing to some music may have to suffice. Change it up everyday if you need to, so you don’t get bored. Some options include:
March in place
Cross Crawl (exaggerated march with arms reaching or hands touching opposite knee)
Yoga-including focus on your breath (breath is movement!)
Push ups/ abdominal curls/squats
Walk outside or up and down stairs.
VISUALIZE YOUR BEST DAY- CLARIFY WHAT YOU WANT:
We usually have a pretty good idea of what may be scheduled for the day, or what we want or need to accomplish. 'See' in your mind's eye your day unfolding and blossoming with effortlessness and ease. Use your creativity and imagination to visualize your effectiveness, enjoyment, and fulfillment throughout the day. Let yourself feel your gratitude and joy as your desires are being met and you complete the day with energy in reserve!
BE STILL, MEDITATE, REFLECT and/or PRAY: Take a few moments to simply focus on your 'inner landscape' with awareness of your breath. Sit in silence. Listen to your heart. Sense and acknowledge your connection to a loving, peaceful and beautiful universe. Trust, and let go of struggle. Keep your journal handy to write down thoughts, inspirations, and questions. This may also be a good time to visualize your best day and journal about that.
Any and all of these 4- parts can be combined. For example, I will often use my longer morning walk to in a more meditative way to reflect, focus on my breath, feel gratitude, and visualize my best day. What is most important is to find what works for you - often through some experimentation- and stick with it! It takes 3 weeks to form a new habit, so don't give up too soon!
Begin each day with mindful awareness and a desire to bring forth your highest and best self!