"You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine."
- John C. Maxwell
With a new year, comes a time of reflection. We can take this time to dissect each aspect of our life and start fresh by cultivating new habits that will elevate the rest of our 24 hours.
Mornings are either a time of complete ease, or complete choas.
I feel ya. It can be a mad house (for some coffee is the only good thing.)
As I've gotten older, I've had my fair share of battles with my morning rituals. Let's just say it wasn't pretty in high school, rushing to make the bus, not eating breakfast, throwing my clothes around my room because I couldn't find my favorite jeans or ballet shoes.
Since then I've become more mindful (not perfect) and I continue to dive into research based around creating meaningful mornings. There are some serious morning gurus out there. I truly believe that how we start our day is a sure sign of how the rest of our day goes. Not just physically, but mentally. I mean take a look at Richard Bransons morning routine: "Branson spends his morning kitesurfing, swimming or playing tennis."
Obviously most of us don't roll like that in the morning. Also I don't own my own island, otherwise I would be inviting you to it. Seriously though, there are small FREE attainable habits we can start implementing that don't require anything but you.
So when that sun hits your face, you are more than ready to kick butt like the girl boss or guy boss you are.
Queue the good vibes.
Lets start small. Take a moment to think back to this morning.
How did it go for you?
What parts really set off your anxiety, making you feel unsettled, or not present?
Any thoughts that occurred upon rising?
Did you drink water after you woke up?
FLOWERS BY THE BED
How does this help: Flowers have always been a mood changer for me. I always thought bringing the outdoors inside could be a way to lift your spirit, and studies show it can be! Based on several studies they have found that it can increase creativity, help lower blood pressure, improve well-being, aid in relieving anxiety and may boost your attention span. Plus, plants are magical little beings that can help purify the air in your home. So, think about it next time you're looking at flowers. Start with a little succulent on your desk at work, aloe plant in the bathroom OR even better, by your bedside. So when you wake up, it greets you with good vibes.
ZEN MUSIC ALARM
Does your alarm beep like a microwave in the morning? Does it sound like the weirdest elevator music you've ever heard. I've always been sensitive to the noise that wakes me up in the morning & have even noticed how it can affect my mood at the start of the day. So, does the noise we use in the morning really effect our morning? There hasn't been much study but here is what they have to say:
From there, he says, it’s a bit of a leap, but it could be possible that some of the more obnoxious alarm options on your phone — and nearly 60 percent of 16-to-34-year-olds use their phones as their primary way to tell time, according to a YouGov poll — only make you feel worse on an already-grumpy morning. “Many people download a song to wake them up and cheer them up,” says Decker, who personally rises to Elvis Presley’s “Follow That Dream.” “It’s the first thing I hear, and it reminds me to get up and look forward to the day. I find myself much more positive when I hear that, versus other songs or tones I’ve experimented with.”
COLD SHOWERS (YES)
Yes. I know, cold showers aren't my thing. Obviously we know the environmental impacts of taking cold showers. But it's been in the news lately about how good it is for us comfort-loving humans to be exposed to cold water. I've read that taking cold showers can help with alertness, blood flow, lowering inflammation, reduced stress levels, better recovery from working out & so much more. Now if you are into this idea and can't wait to take your next ice bath, check out the Wim Hof method. He has three pillars to the training: Breathing. Meditation. Cold exposure. The benefits are endless & from what I've read, it will help reignite the mind-body connection. So for starters, begin by testing yourself for a minute in a cold shower & work your way up. If interested in learning more on the training check out Wim Hofs site for a life changing journey. Comment below if you're a cold shower taker!
MOTIVATION OVER NEWS
According to some psychologists, exposure to negative and violent media may have serious and long-lasting psychological effects beyond simple feelings of pessimism or disapproval. The work of British psychologist Dr. Graham Davey, who specializes in the psychological effects of media violence, suggests that violent media exposure can exacerbate or contribute to the development of stress, anxiety, depression and even post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The news is just not a positive place these days. Not everything is sunshine & rainbows, I know this. But to begin your day with such negative thoughts & feel emotionally drained by the time you leave for work is no good. So instead, switch it to audiobooks, motivational speeches, or classical music. Some of my favorite people to watch or listen to in the morning are Alexi Panos, Lewis Howes, Marie Forleo, Gabby Bernstein, and Preston Smiles. Elon Musk is a fun innovator too.
STRETCH YOUR LIMBS & GET DOWN
Yoga. Yoga. Yoga.
Whether you have a mat or not, beginner or advanced, you can still find easy ways to make this apart of your morning routine. Maybe schedule yourself to take a morning yoga class or when you get out of bed, do a couple sun salutations. Check out the yoga section of the blog for inspiration. Tell me if you're interested in a morning yoga video down below.
Increased Blood Flow
DITCH THE STANDARD AMERICAN BREAKFAST
Move over eggs, plants are the new king in town. Start your morning with nutrient-dense foods.
Plants, grains, fruits. These foods will give you quick, sustaining energy for the beginning of your day.
Check out my avocado toast recipe!
MINDFULNESS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA
A minute of quiet time goes a long way. Find a moment of stillness when you rise from bed. Close your eyes and follow your breath. Notice how you feel & stay there for a minute or more before you pick up the phone to scroll through social media. Other ways I like to practice mindfulness: sipping hot tea or coffee and just taking in the warmth of each sip. Again, no phone, just you, the cup, and maybe some journaling to release your thoughts or creativity. Lastly, in the shower you can meditate by closing your eyes (safely) and drawing your attention to the water hitting your skin. Very soothing, and a great way to release tension held within the body.
Take these tips with you and
go rule the world.
Tell me about a morning ritual you have for yourself?
Any tips you would like to share as well!
Thanks for stopping by.
Cheers to 2017!
- Caroline Jane
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