No-one really likes to drag themselves out of bed and straight to the coffee machine to wake themselves up for their day, but that’s what many of us need to do to get going in the morning.
Rather than coffee or other stimulants, why not begin with some cleansing thoughts and habits that will clear your mind and body, and energize you for the day ahead, no matter what unfolds!
Here are a few ideas to get you moving. Pick one at a time and practice for a few days before switching to—or adding—the next one. Decide what you will incorporate into your morning routine and then commit to it as a daily habit. Over time what you practice daily will become an almost unconscious part of your wake up routine!
1. A great morning actually starts the night before. Aim for a bedtime between 9:30 and 10, with lights out no later than 10:30pm. According to eastern medicine, our bodies physiologically repair themselves between 10pm and 2am, before switching over to psychological repair from 2 to 6am. Don’t shortchange your body. A good sleep is essential for balanced hormones, healthy immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and many other vital functions. More on how to get a great sleep in a later blog!
2. Before you even get out of bed, breath in the new day, as you appreciate what is in store for you, as you create this new day in your life. Take a moment to notice how your body is feeling as you awaken. Say some positive affirmations:
“I am healthy and happy.”
“This will be a great day!”
The Law of Attraction tells us that you don’t even really need to believe the affirmations you state, as over time they will still become true!
3. Morning Cleansing: Wash your face, body, teeth, tongue (scraping!), mouth (oil pulling or gargling with oil of oregano), and use a Neti pot. Wash off the night and get ready to face the morning.
4. Internal Cleansing: Begin your day with a glass of room temperature (or slightly warmer) water with either fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. This will help the bile ducts work and will help detoxify the liver. And it will help you have a morning bowel movement! In fact, if you don’t have the urge to head to the bathroom, drink water until you do! It works—let the body release those stored waste products and toxins before you eat or drink anything else. Lots of water will also help hydrate your cells, as many of us are dehydrated.
5. Move your body! Spend a few minutes waking up the muscle tissues and lubricating the joints, by performing a series of movements encompassing your arms, legs, torso and head. Begin slowly and speed up to more vigourous movement—whatever your body needs, which means you need to tune in, be present and listen to what your body wants on this morning, and it may change from one day to the next. This practice is called Embodied Movement and it will enable you to be more aware of your body—and connect it to your mind.
Now begin to slow down the movement, come to stillness and check in with yourself. What do you notice? How does your body feel? What are your thoughts or feelings? What is your Intention for the rest of your morning practice or your day?
Perhaps you will decide to continue movement for a longer period of time: walking, yoga, strength training, sports, hiking, play with friends, get outside, and so on. Mix it up each day. And at all times, remember to tune in and listen to your body, so that what you choose to do is what will energize and support you in that moment.
6. Sit in Stillness: Meditation is about sitting in silence with yourself, releasing the outside distractions of the day and your life, noticing your thoughts, connecting with your inner wisdom, your higher self, and being present with whatever comes up. A regular meditation practice will lead to less stress, more connection with your true self, and give a greater sense of inner peace.
Remember: “There is nothing else you need to be doing right now.”
A Beginning Meditation:
Sit in a comfortable position, on a chair, a mat or a cushion. Close your eyes. Take three slow, full and deep belly breaths, in and out through the nose. Long slow breaths without any effort.
As you breathe in say to yourself, “Breathe in”, and as you breathe out say “Breathe out”. (Or just notice your breath coming in and going out.) Continue.
Notice if your mind goes elsewhere between or during each breath. If it does, just notice that it does, and return to the breathing and the repeating of the two phrases. Continue for 3 to 5 minutes. Build up the time as you continue each day.
There are lots of guided meditations online, so try a Google search. And checkout these helpful hints!
7. Eat a Clean Diet! When you’re ready for breakfast, choose a variety of foods, remembering to include vegetables, proteins and healthy fats at all three meals. Step outside the box and experiment with a delicious Breakfast Salad!
Consume a healthy diet of natural, live, good quality, and great variety of whole foods including the macronutrients (protein, essential fats and low-Glycemic carbohydrates), and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc.) that provide the building blocks of cell tissues, as well as the various chemicals (hormones, neurotransmitters, enzymes, etc.) that keep the body strong, healthy, balanced and functioning efficiently.
Whole, minimally processed, nutrient-rich foods are satisfying, and provide the energy and raw materials necessary to build health. Processed foods (including vegetable oils, flours and refined sugars) and chemically laden “junk” foods have many nutrients stripped during processing, unbalancing the natural composition of the food and leaving unsatisfying, empty calories. When your food quality or quantity deteriorates, your mood is the first casualty, even before your physical health begins to deteriorate.
Again, start with one new habit only.
Which one calls to you? Listen to your body, what would help it the most? Make a commitment to stick with that habit for a few days, a week, or even longer. Can you incorporate it into your normal, daily routine? Are you starting to feel better? That’s incentive to keep it going!
Then try adding another habit. Before you know it, you’ll have a whole new morning routine and you and your body will feel reinvigourated and ready to take on this day, whatever comes your way!