5 Step Morning Routine
The morning routine is your new best friend if you want to bring order to what can sometimes seem like chaos! Taking the small moments in life to be still (or emphatically exercise - whatever your morning routine looks like for you) is so important in creating structure and fight anxiety and stress.
There's been a lot of discussion recently...
...about a good morning routine, at least that’s what I’m finding, but you tend to find universal feedback when you are looking for it and right now, I am all about the morning routine.
The reason I love a solid morning routine is the way it starts the day. The ultimate in self-care is waking up and getting into all the positive things that create a well-planned day. Mindfulness is one of the keys to reducing anxiety and stress and taking a moment to fulfill morning activities lends a mental helping hand – let’s think of it as a slow breath. With this in mind, you will need to get up earlier so you’re not cramming ‘to-dos’ into your AM. You don’t want to start feeling like they’re making you run late as this is counter intuitive.
Step 1: Wake Up Earlier
You need to wake up early enough that you can cruise into your morning routine without rushing or feeling like you will be late. I suggest waking up between 5-6am. Venerable Nick Keomahavong (a practicing buddhist monk) suggests waking up and keeping your eyes closed, taking your time to breathe before you rush into your day. No worrying or thinking about the past or future – just be in the now… and don’t forget to breathe.
Step 2: Drink a warm lemon water
A warm lemon water (with pulp) when you get out of bed offers hydration to a long stretch of sleep without water. It improves digestive health
Step 3: Meditate
My personal meditation journey is currently Vedic meditation, in which I meditate 20 minutes in the morning and evening with a mantra provided to me by a teacher. There’s plenty of classes available in your local area to find out more about this type of meditating. You can also visit a free app like Insight Timer. They offer a huge array of meditations for free. I like to meditate as soon as I get out of bed. The longer I go into my day, the easier it becomes to put meditation off and not do it. So, in the early hours, when things are still quiet and the world still slumbers, I take advantage of the silence and practice meditation.
Step 4: Exercise
It doesn't have to be a marathon. Exercise can be walking, running or yoga. My morning routine sees me running up the beach with my puppy - she needs the exercise too, so it's a win-win. Breathe in the fresh air and get your heart rate up. I also practice face yoga in the morning. This takes about 15 minutes. For a quick and easy stretching routine, lay out your yoga mat and learn/perform the sequence 'Salute To The Sun'. This routine is an excellent way to stretch your body after a nights rest.
Step 5: Get ready to walk out the door
When all your routines are complete, it's time to put your best self forward. I like to dress comfortably, but going to work, I always like to put in a bit of extra effort. For me this includes a nice outfit and doing my hair and makeup. This seemingly insignificant task is your small way of telling yourself you care about how you present to the world and can give you confidence throughout the day.