As a feminine wellness & lifestyle coach who sets her own schedule, I’ve found mornings create the tone for the rest of the day. If my morning is reactive and scattered, the rest of the day will be as well. If my morning is calm and centered, so will the rest of the day!
For many years I would start my day by rolling out of bed and opening my email—as the blanket of dread slowly began to descend. Those days often felt overwhelming, exhausting, and perpetually behind. Gradually, after learning a meditation practice and beginning to experiment with other self-care rituals, I’ve come to rely on mornings as my anchor.
Here are the morning rituals that I’ve found to have the most significant impact on my energy levels, focus, productivity, and overall contentment through the day.
1. Drink a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning.
According to Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest medical systems, starting the day with a glass of water with lemon boosts your immune system, balances your PH, improves digestion, flushes out toxins, clears your skin and hydrates your adrenals. Most of us are chronically dehydrated—so starting with a full glass of water rehydrates after a long night’s rest, helping to reduce incidences of headaches and prevent cravings.
Meditation may be the best-kept secret of top performers. As little as 5-minutes of meditation every morning can leave you feeling calm and energized—and unleash your creativity. Research shows that meditation lowers cortisol levels (the stress hormone), increases divergent thinking, increases focus and helps to regulate self control. I encourage my clients to choose a spot in their home—and a specific slot in their morning routine—to dedicate to meditation. I meditate at a small table with a candle and flowers after I shower. If you don’t yet have a meditation practice, you can get started using an app like Headspace or Sattva.
About 10 years ago I discovered the book The Artist’s Way by Julie Cameron and it changed my world. She teaches a technique called Morning Pages to get your creative juices flowing and silence your inner critic. It’s pretty simple—you write 3 pages, longhand, stream of consciousness, first thing in the morning. There’s no wrong way to do it. You simply write everything that pops into your head without picking up your pen for three pages. It’s important not to edit, judge or show anyone else your pages. Not only is the practice like a release valve for unwanted thoughts and junk—it’s often an unexpected source of brilliant ideas.
4. Get a warm oil massage.
A few years ago, I learned about an ancient practice known as Abhyanga. The practice involves using medicinal oils to massage the body. The practice deeply nourishes the entire system, softening the skin and decreasing the effects of aging, increases circulation and helps to remove toxins from the body. It may sound very luxurious, and it is. It’s recommended to do one 2-3 times a week.
5. Eat a superfood breakfast.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s the perfect opportunity to give your body the best quality fuel to keep you going strong. My two favorite options are either a smoothie or oatmeal, depending on whether you are craving something warm or cool. Superfoods such as blueberries, kale, spinach, almonds, ginger cacao, maca, or chia seeds, can be added to either— giving your body high levels of vitamins and minerals. By lunch time, you’ll be nourished enough to pick healthy lunch options, avoiding the midday energy crash.
Photo: jeshoots / Pixabay