What do you do first thing in the morning?
- Do you turn off the alarm and snooze then must hurry when you finally get up?
- Do you check your phone for news and social media before you get out of bed?
- Do you grumble until you get your first cup of coffee?
- Do you skip breakfast?
- Do you go straight to the computer and go to work?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, you are probably starting your day off on the wrong foot. You will probably keep hurrying throughout the day and feel a bit scattered and distracted. You will be more inclined to be anxious and depressed. And, you might have trouble getting things done. Quite frankly, you might want to rethink your morning routine.
Here is a list of some alternative ways you could start your morning that will help you stay focused, grounded, and centered throughout your day.
First thing in the morning, say “thank you” to your body for waking up and anything else you can think of to be grateful for. Practicing gratitude before anything else can keep the mind from going down its normal negative track of “what’s wrong.” Start with what’s right and go from there.
Check In with Yourself
Notice how you feel. Are you feeling refreshed or tired, eager to get up or want to pull the covers over your head? Take a moment just to acknowledge your current state of being. There might be a message you need to hear and actions you want to take to address any current concerns.
Drink Some Water, then your Coffee
It’s great to have some water first thing in the morning—even before your coffee. The body hasn’t had any hydration all night long and needs to be refueled. Of course, coffee is fine too and has benefits as well. Just don’t skip the water as the first step.
Reading something at the beginning of the day to set your body, heart, and mind toward the power of love, forgiveness, and compassion is quite helpful. It certainly beats the news and social media (although some of that is particularly geared toward spiritual thought). My husband and I read the Daily Word from Unity every day together before he goes off to work. We also read from the book we are studying in our dharma book group. It not only serves to strengthen our connection as a couple but sets our thoughts in a positive direction.
At some point, before you start your day, make sure to spend time in meditation, yoga, or prayer. This is time just for you that you spend in silence and commune with yourself. Research shows that 12 minutes a day can really make a difference in the way you feel—physically, emotionally, and mentally. I love to do “The WakeUp” from Energy Medicine Yoga and then follow it with whatever practice calls to me that day—whether it is more yoga or settling into some meditation practice. See my website for a variety of meditation practices.
Eat Something Mindfully
Mindful eating is also a type of meditation because you keep bringing your attention back to eating, tasting, and sensing. Start by asking yourself what you would really like. What would satisfy you? You are fueling the body to start the day. Otherwise, your body’s tank is empty, and your mind will not be working well either. Giving the body fuel helps it function more efficiently, and you have the energy you need to start the day.
These are just a few ways that can enhance your morning ritual. Try one or try all of them. Anything you can do to rewire your brain and body towards being in the present moment with gratitude and love will change your outlook for the rest of the day.
If you need a little personal instruction, I’m teaching a weekend retreat at Omega Institute June 24 – 26, 2022. This retreat center in upstate New York is a fantastic place to get yourself centered and grounded so you go home ready to undertake a new routine of mindful eating, moving, and living. Register here.