Ah, the ever-elusive morning routine… Our favourite wellness influencers hail it the best thing since sliced bread, and there are endless articles, forums and entire books to back them up. Proponents recommend ‘30 minutes of meditation every day’ and – for the best results – ‘the same routine at the same time every morning’.
While that all sounds fine and dandy on paper, there’s the small matter of a baby to breastfeed, doggies who need walking or a weekly early morning meeting. And if there’s one thing all families have in common, it’s their unpredictability. Try telling your early rising toddler that their teething doesn’t fit with your schedule…
But don’t despair: amid the mayhem, it’s still possible to carve out some much-needed morning ‘me time’. Here are some sure-fire ways to get yourself up and running for the day ahead.
Rise before the family
Avoiding disruption is the key to any successful morning ritual.
Kids running around the house or a chatty husband are the ultimate zen busters. Research shows that the early bird really does get the worm: early risers tend to be more productive, proactive and have greater success in accomplishing their goals throughout the day.
Aim to get up one hour or so before the rest of the household. It may feel hard at first, but your body will get used to it over time. A sensible bedtime will help, of course.
1. Drink up
Ditch that morning coffee; hot water with lemon or green tea with a squeeze of lemon is the wake-up gift your body deserves. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and acts as a mighty metabolism booster. The lemon supports your digestion, helps to flush the waste accumulated the day before and promotes clear skin. It will also give you a much-needed energy boost, so you don’t feel tempted to crawl back into bed!
2. Journal or meditate
Both journaling and meditation have been shown to help you cultivate a hopeful and positive mindset. To get started, look up ‘the five-minute journal’ as a fast way to journal effectively and help you to focus on gratitude. There are also endless online meditations to help get you into that zen mindset.
Do either of these things sitting in some sunlight for a vitamin d hit and an extra mood-boosting bonus.
3. Move it or lose it
Find a way to move your body at least a little each morning.
Whether it’s a 5-minute HIIT workout, a flowing yoga sequence, a quick rebounding session or even a simple stretch, the benefits of movement to both your body and mind are endless. From lowering anxiety to supporting your heart and boosting your brain function for the day ahead – exercise is where it’s at!
4. And breath
With the previous activities behind you hop in to a soothing warm shower or, if time allows a relaxing bath is even better.
Try to really savour the moment by making this an oasis of tranquillity in your day. Engage your senses: feel your body oil on your skin, smell the enticing fragrance. As the water hits the different parts of your body, focus on how grateful you are for them and everything they do.
Always choose natural bathing products. And especially for a morning spritz try one with jojoba, which as well as invigorating, can be hydrating and nutritious for your skin. Pair it with coconut for an aroma that will give you that final burst of energy you need for a busy day.
Remember, there’s really no such thing as the ‘perfect’ morning routine. The trick is to figure out what works for you. Maybe you prefer to exercise later in the day and like to spend your precious morning moment on making a nutritious breakfast and a healthy packed lunch.
Equally, there’s no rule that says you have to stick to the same schedule day in, day out. Maybe you find that some days you can only manage exercise and a shower. Don’t be hard on yourself; just focus on what makes you feel happy, calm and ready for the day ahead!
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