The way you start your morning really sets your intention for what’s to come, no matter what obstacles you may be preparing to face that day. The great thing about mornings is that they are usually pretty consistent. We generally wake up in the same place at the same time so it can be much easier to implement a routine, rather than at night when life tends to fluctuate a bit more.
I must admit, I have been blessed with the gift of being a morning person, so it probably does make it easier for me than for some of you night owls. However, just an extra 15 minutes per morning can turn into a powerful healthy habit to support you for years to come. In my opinion, it’s making small but consistent positive choices that has the biggest impact.
When I wake up I drink a big glass of water with 1 freshly squeezed lemon on an empty stomach. This helps balance the natural pH levels of the stomach and aids in digestion when you do eat. Furthermore, due to its anti-inflammatory properties and vitamin C content, lemon is a fantastic nutritional support for your immune system. This will aid in fighting the common cold or any infections and will help the body flush out other toxins.
Be sure not to brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after consuming a high content of lemon like this, as it is acidic and you don’t want to brush the acid into your teeth. Rinse your mouth really well with water a few times after you finish your morning drink.
Early bird tip: Before this drink, practice gentle oil pulling with coconut oil for 15-20 minutes to clean your mouth, teeth and throat from the build-up of bacteria during the night
Next I move onto my emotional health with some meditation. I have created a safe, quiet corner in my house where I can sit and practice mindfulness techniques. This helps me stay calm throughout the day and increase my awareness of how I am reacting to my emotions. Even 5 minutes per day would be a wonderful benefit for your mental health, and there are wonderful free apps available such Insight Timer which is what I use to guide me along the way.
Early bird tip: Increase your meditation time to 15 minutes to really journey deep into yourself before life’s tasks begin to occupy your headspace.
Finally I take care of my physical health by practicing yoga. Actually, this is also great for my emotional health, but for today we’ll talk about the physical. It really helps to get blood flowing to all parts of your body early in the mornings, loosen up your joints and improve your flexibility. Again, consistency is key so just doing a small 7-minute routine every day would be very powerful. Morning exercise is shown to increase focus, regulate appetite and improve sleep, among many other benefits. Here is a nice 7-minute beginner’s yoga routine you could implement into your mornings.
Early bird tip: Attend an early morning guided yoga class at your local studio to really get your mind and body connected in the morning. If you prefer a different type of exercise, maybe an early morning bootcamp.
What’s also important are the bad habits we keep out of our morning routines. We want to keep the calm energy flowing through our mind, bodies and houses once we wake up, so here are also 3 things I don’t do in the mornings.
I don’t look at my phone when I wake up
Any tasks I need to be aware of or people I need to reply to can wait until I have completed my self-care. I don’t even sleep with my phone in my bedroom so there are no temptations, and also to avoid electromagnetic radiation all night near my body.
I don’t drink coffee
Caffeine is a psychoactive drug and a stimulant of the central nervous system. This means it is raising the stress response in your body by stimulating the release of adrenaline, one of your fight-or-flight hormones. Your body is going to have to work hard to bring you back to balance (homeostasis) once stimulating the stress response, and that’s not a healthy way to start the day.
I don’t consume any form of news
Popular news is full of negativity and designed to shock people, just another way to simulate the stress response in the morning. Aim to keep your sense of morning peace and calm for as long as possible before you move into the busier part of your day.