Your morning routine is one of the most important keys for success. The way we start the day, sets the tone for the rest of the day. To be more productive, active, alert and ‘on to it’ throughout the day we need to have a morning routine that sets us up and creates a positive state of mind.
In the mornings we can choose to ignore the alarm, hit snooze a few times, linger in bed then be in a mad rush to get ready and out the door. Usually forgoing breakfast or shoving down some toast and coffee as we rush through traffic. If we start the day this way, we are already behind the 8 ball. We feel unsettled and are already experiencing a stress response that we carry with us throughout the day.
Or, alternatively, we can choose to get up 35 minutes earlier and set ourselves up for a productive day ahead with a balancing and uplifting morning routine. We can start the day in a clear, alert and energised state. A state in which we make better decisions, problem solve better, are resilient to stress and in an upbeat and cheerful mood.
Time is one of our more sacred resources. We all feel as though we are time poor, especially when it comes to doing the things we know are good for us. So here are time efficient key steps to put you in your best state, one that is healthy, strong and mentally fit!
Arise early in the morning, preferably before sunrise. Waking at this time will leave you feeling fresh and energised. Waking at the same time every day is a great way to get into a morning ritual, making it easier to get up early and face the day.
Morning Drink – 2 minutes
Hydration is important in the morning to re-invigorate your system. Drink a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon or a few slices of ginger. According to Valencia Porter, MD, director of integrative medicine at the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in California, ‘this drink flushes the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract and stimulates your digestive fire so you’re ready to metabolise breakfast.’
Stretching / Yoga – 10 minutes
Stretching and Yoga asanas are the preferred way to exercise as when practiced properly they do not put stress and strain on the physiology. Yoga improves circulation, strength, endurance, flexibility and helps to kick start digestion and metabolism. Yoga supports positive psychology, keeping you calmer and more peaceful throughout the day.
The Sun Salutation sequence is a great Yoga routine to learn and practice daily.
Breathing – 3 minutes
Pranayama (breath expansion or breath control) techniques are intentional breathing exercises. Regular pranayama practice is immensely rewarding because it can alter the state of any nervous system, even if just practiced for a few minutes.
Nadi Shodhana (also known as alternate nostril breathing) is a Yogic cleansing breathing practise that calms the nervous system and steadies the mind.
Place your right thumb over your right nostril to close the airway. Inhale through the left nostril, and then use your ring finger to close off the left nostril. Lift your thumb, and exhale out of the right nostril. Breathing in through the right nostril and putting your thumb over your right nostril again, exhale out of your left nostril. This completes a single round; try to do 5 to 10 rounds per sitting.
Meditation – 20 minutes
The success without stress meditation helps create mental acuity. Daily practices introduces a calmer mindset and clearer perspective throughout waking hours. Just 20 minutes twice a day has the potential to regulate cortisol, the stress hormone, and increase serotonin our happy brain chemical — ultimately building our resilience to stress and feelings of anxiety. Its powerfully shifts your state to one that can better deal with whatever life challenges come your way.
Now it’s time to eat your breakfast! And after a morning routine like that you’ll be hungry and ready for a nourishing meal.
Written by Tegan Wallis.
If you’d like to know more about creating a morning routine, join our upcoming workshop called: Peaceful mornings – More details here.
If you’d like to learn to meditate, you can find more information on our course and upcoming dates here.
Author: Tegan Wallis