Is the way you start your day as important to you as it is to me? I've recently started my day off in a very simple yet fulfilling way which allows me to feel grounded and sets the tone for the day ahead. It can be a bit messy sometimes and it's not exactly the same everyday but by sticking to a few simple guidelines I find I am able to start the day off well. Now I know that many of you don't necessarily have the luxury of time in the morning before work, uni or school and I get that. It is a privilege to have time and make it your own but these simple steps should not take longer than an hour in your morning. And before you say it; I'm not much of a morning person either so if I can do it then so can you.
Everyone deserves to have good moments in their day and the morning can be a lovely time have a few of these moments before the day 'officially' begins.
Firstly, before you go to bed tonight decide how you want to wake up tomorrow and set an intention to follow through with this vision. Write it down or you can even share it with your friend or partner. Sharing our intentions can make them more real and increases the likelihood of us following through. Once you've got your intention set then go ahead and set your alarm for the morning, ensuring you will have an hour before you need to get on with your day. Do it now. Yes, like right now.
Okay great, now you're already on your way to having a grounded morning tomorrow. This is my personal guideline to feeling invigorated for the day but please feel free to change it up and more importantly, make it your own!
So your alarm goes off, what's the first thing you do? Press snooze? Pick up your phone and start scrolling? That needs to stop. I'm totally guilty of it too but when I resist the urge I always thank myself for it later. Let's get out of the habit of checking our phones first thing in the morning, that can totally wait until later in the day. By immediately engaging in online communication and social media we are not allowing ourselves the time to wake up gradually and ease into the day, instead we are shocking our systems with millions of neural pathways firing off in our brains by engaging with technology.
Let us take the time to notice how our bodies and minds feel after a nights sleep. Take a nice big stretch, spread yourself out and start to just notice how it is you're feeling as you wake up; without judging your feelings or trying to change them. Just take a minute to notice.
Once you've given yourself a bit of time, start to make your way out from under the covers.
2. Morning playlist
Time to put some feel-good tunes on. Set the tone for your day by choosing a couple of songs that make you feel motivated to get up and get moving. They may be calming, cheerful, or even energizing. Find out what works for you and change it up every now and then (otherwise you will get bored of the same old songs). Some of my personal favourite picks at the moment are:
Portugal the man, Feel it still
Izzy Bizu, Give me love
Oh Wonder, Heart strings
Corinne Bailey Rae, Put your Records on
George Ezra, Shotgun
I like these because they're uplifting but nothing too crazy for the morning. They allow me to start to want to move my body, which is how I want to feel in the morning.
3. Get moving
So now you've got the right tone set, thanks to your groovy playlist. Now it's time to start moving your body. This doesn't need to be anything intense, it doesn't even need to qualify as exercise but it can be if you want it to be. It's important to make this ritual your own so that it's something you can stick to, so make changes and do what feels good for you personally.
Now movement could take the form of tidying up your space, making the bed and decluttering; it could take the form of stretching gently on your bed or somewhere that feels comfortable; it could take the form of dancing a little, while attending to brewing your morning coffee. It may even be walking yourself to the shower and intentionally cleansing yourself from head to toe, allowing yourself to be consciously renewed. This all counts as movement so just start to move your body in whatever way feels good. The point of this is to be aware of how your body and mind feels whilst doing these tasks by practicing mindfulness.
4. Intention setting
Once you've brought some sort of movement into your morning, find a quiet place to settle down for a few minutes of intention setting. You can turn down the music now and start to notice how good it feels to focus your attention on yourself rather than on everyone and everything else by not checking your phone?
Okay so find a comfy seat and start by closing your eyes and taking three DEEP breaths; in through your nose and out through your mouth. Notice how this immediately relaxes you. Now think about what feeling you would like to take with you throughout the day; is it a sense of calm; is it a feeling of curiosity; is it one of confidence; or perhaps it's wanting to feel invigorated. Focus all your attention on what this would feel like for you and set your intention to carry this feeling throughout the day with you. Keep bringing your attention back to this during your day and when it starts to go in a different direction, gently guide your focus back to this by reminding yourself of your intention. You can write it down if it helps and refer back to it when you need a reminder.
5. Gratitude attitude
Now it's time to give thanks. Name one thing that you feel thankful for that day and choose one thing to look forward to. I find it so important to have one thing to look forward to each day; it makes me feel motivated to get things done and know that something good is coming. It can be something as simple as a cup of tea in the afternoon; seeing a friend or loved one; sitting outside in nature; giving your pet some love; getting to the gym; reading a book or curling up on the couch to watch an episode of your favourite series. Make it what you will - some days we have time for more and other days less.
You're nearly all set for the day! Time to feed your body something that will nourish you and give you energy for the day. Whether it's breakie that you like to make at home or perhaps you prefer eating later, try packing a nourishing meal to take with you wherever you're heading for the day. Put love and care into whatever you make and thank yourself for feeding your body something you know is good for you.
7. Get ready for the day
Time to wash that face if you haven't yet and make yourself look-good-to-feel-good. This doesn't mean that you have to spend lots of time getting ready or that you have to look like you're ready for a photo shoot. No, not at all. It just means that you're choosing to take care of your physical appearance which will help you to feel good on the outside as well as the inside. Just make sure you put on something that you're comfortable in, it can even be active wear but make sure it fits you properly and that it makes you feel good. Maybe add a little something extra to what you would normally to make you feel extra fine. Yeah, you got it girl.
And just like that, you're all set for a day feeling grounded and loved by yourself. How great is that? Let me know how it goes for you and if you have any others things you like to do in your morning ritual.