Does this sound familiar at all? Does your morning seem rushed and like you are on autopilot? Does your morning routine support you or is it just another thing to get through?
A healthy morning routine doesn't have to take tons of time or energy. What it does take is focus and mindfulness. Here are some additions to your morning routine that will bring your body and mind into a good place at the start of your day.
5-7 minutes is all you need. Every pose, 3-5 breaths. Instead of the snooze button, how about 5 poses in bed? 1. Hug your knees into your chest and rock side to side. 2. Drop your arms out to the sides and allow those knees to drop left then right for a nice twist. 3. Hug one knee in at a time (other leg straight) and breathe, using the biceps and triceps to pull that knee in closer and stretch the back and hips. 4. Bring the bottoms of the feet together, knees to sides and follow your breath with hands on your belly. 5. Stand up and take hands, interlaced, over head then flip those hands inside out and stretch up.
A cup of warm lemon water...
5 minutes. 8-12 oz. cup of warm or hot water with 1/2 a lemon squeezed into it. You can add a tiny bit of honey to taste (honey is anti-viral and anti-bacterial). Warm water helps stimulate digestion and lemon helps balance the PH in your body as well as stimulating the kidneys and helping them clear out. While you sleep, the kidneys are busy filtering and cleaning and lemon water in the morning helps remove the debris the kidneys have stored up from the cleaning process. And, lemons are full of Vitamin C so you can start the off right! Drink this every day, 30 minutes before you eat breakfast.
5-10 minutes. Find a quieter place, sit tall (chair or on a meditation cushion or stack of blankets), set a timer, notice your breath. Focus on evening out your breath and lengthening it. After a bit, close your eyes and keep focusing on the breath. Take a moment to scan your body and check in on how it is doing - just noticing. Then do the same for your mind - how is it doing today? Turn your focus back to your breath or repeat a mantra (ie I will have a great day, I am strong and healthy today, I will overcome any obstacles with grace). When you are done, take a minute to simply sit and sense how quiet your mind and body are right now.
Meditating on the here and now, your breath and focusing on a sense of peace sets the tone for your entire day. It helps lower your blood pressure, focus your mind, guide your day with response rather than reaction. The benefits of meditation to your body and mind are huge. Taking this time can change not only your mental/physical health but your entire life.
Eat a healthy breakfast and ENJOY it
Select something healthy, low in sugar, filling and full of fiber. Oatmeal with fresh fruit or a smoothie. Take a minute or two to enjoy the smell, texture, taste of your food as you eat it. Be present and mindful. This takes no more time than it usually does for you to eat breakfast but it will change your body's response to food for the day. The choices you make at this meal set the tone for what your body does and craves the rest of the day. Less sugar means you will crave sugar less the rest of the day, good fiber means you have started off the day heart healthy. Bright fruits means you have preloaded lots of antioxidants.
Take a probiotic
Even if you eat yogurt or get your probiotics some other way, it is always good to add a low dose probiotic to your vitamin regime. This helps keep good gut bacteria in balance and helps your mood, your digestion, your overall health. This is maintenance. We now know that a healthy gut means disease prevention, mood disorder prevention, and even possibly prevention of Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and dementia. Isn't it worth it?
If you have more time, you can always add more yoga and meditation but if you are just starting out to change your basic morning, these 5 habits will change your body and mind daily!