Got up on the wrong side of the bed… again?
The way we feel in the morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Which makes it all the more important to start the day off right. If you’re tired of feeling irritable during your commute, at work, and even on your way home, this blog post is for you. Why? Because we’re sharing 6 wellness practices that will make your morning brighter.
The best part? You don’t have to be a morning person for this to work.
Start your day off right
Not to fear, you don’t have to wake up early to give your morning routine a makeover. (I mean, it’s summer. Longer evenings mean pints on patios — we get it.)
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That’s right, get a few glasses of good ol’ H20 in before you even leave the house. In fact, the first thing you should be doing every morning is drinking a big glass of water. The trick is pouring yourself a full glass before you hit the sack so that it’s ready for you when you wake up. At breakfast, replace that glass of orange juice with another glass of water, and then fill up your re-usable water bottle with some of that refreshing stuff for your commute to work. That’s three servings before you’ve even stepped foot in the office. You’ll feel more awake, more focused, and you’ll certainly be more productive! Plus, drinking lots of water will help you feel full until lunch, helping you avoid unhealthy snacks between meals.
Drinking enough fluids ensures we are functioning human beings that can hold a conversation, make important decisions, and get through the day. (Source: League)
- Give ayurvedic rituals a try. When it comes to these ancient healing rituals, there are hundreds to choose from… and many of them can be done in 10 minutes or less. A combination of breathing techniques, meditations, mindful eating and yoga postures are a way to start your day in a “healthy and peaceful state.” And while some ayurvedic rituals (e.g., going to bed early or having a relaxing bath) are for later in the day, this particular morning ritual requires only 5 uninterrupted minutes of your time — but the benefits last all day! If you’re already a morning person, you may want to consider a more hard-core ayuurvedic routine, one that includes waking up 20 minutes before the sun rises. Sound impossible? Think about it like this: An earlier wake-up gives you more than enough time to include 8 other morning rituals you couldn’t otherwise fit into your pre-work schedule — things like placing fennel-soaked cotton balls over puffy eyes, giving yourself an aromatic oil massage, and even partaking in a morning bath! If you know you won’t be able to wake up before the sun does, why not incorporate some simpler rituals? Try splashing water on your face first thing, gently scraping your tongue, and giving yourself a short ear massage.
Adopting just one or more of [these] practices for a month can radically alter your experience of the day. Don’t be surprised if you begin to view mornings in a new light. (Source: yoga journal)
- Eat mindfully. At breakfast, give yourself permission to put down your phone, close your laptop, turn of the TV… and simply enjoy your meal. The key here is to minimize distractions and eat with all of your senses. Savour every bite. Make it a meal to remember. And, of course, stop eating when you are full. That might sound like an obvious piece of advice, but the result of mindless eating is often overeating. (Think back to the last time you scarfed down a bag of chips while watching a movie… or ate one too many sweets while working at your desk.) Not only will eating mindfully add a sense of delight to your morning routine, it’s a great way to keep your weight under control without dieting.
Once we bring our attention to the entire experience of eating, we … become less caught up in any complicated emotions we might have around food. Quite simply, we allow ourselves to be re-acquainted with the pleasure of eating. (Source: Headspace)
- Get your thoughts down on paper. While writing may not come naturally to everyone, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to journaling. We’re not asking you to write the next great novel — and nobody’s going to see what you’ve written anyway — so you can scribble down anything you like. And, good news, it can be short and sweet too. Whether you write down your goals for the day, or how you might overcome yesterday’s challenge, getting it down on paper is seriously beneficial to your mental health. Want a guaranteed mood booster? Commit to writing down one (or more!) things you are grateful for each day. Because, contrary to popular belief, it’s looking more and more like gratitude is the best medicine.
There’s a reason why keeping a journal has long been described as therapeutic. Think about it — it’s your therapist and your BFF all rolled into one. It’s a quiet place where you can express your wildest dreams or your innermost fears — without advice or judgement. (Source: League)
- Meditate on your walk to work. Meditation has been a popular antidote to stress for a while now. But what if you don’t have the time (or the inclination) to sit in a room by yourself for 10+ minutes? Good news, walking meditations are a thing. Plus, they’re simple to incorporate into your morning routine and highly recommended — especially if you have a particularly stressful job. It doesn’t matter if you drive, take the bus, or cycle to the office, you can still incorporate walking meditations into your day. Give yourself some extra time by parking your car or bike farther away, or getting off the bus one stop early.
If we walk every day with intention and presence, even for 30 minutes, or 10, are we not, in this kind of walking, treading the paths of our hearts and our souls, all the while healing our minds and bodies? (Source: MindBodyGreen)
6. Be gentle with yourself. When you look at yourself in the mirror every morning, what do see? More importantly, what does your inner voice say? Remember to treat yourself the way you would someone you care about — you certainly wouldn’t harp on them for that embarrassing mistake they made at work yesterday, or list all the reasons they don’t deserve that promotion. Be your own best friend, and start the day off on a positive note. Forgive yourself for mistakes made, and then learn from them. List all the reasons why you should get that raise, and then go out and have the wonderful day you deserve. Being kind to yours truly has both physical and mental benefits, so don’t ignore the importance of self-compassion and forgiveness.
“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” (Oscar Wilde)