These 5 practices help me set the tone for my day – I’ve found by doing these 5 simple things I feel happier, healthier, and more productive throughout the day.
Your morning alarm goes off, and you have two choices – both will set your tone for the next 24 hours. I’m a huge believer that how you start your morning will impact the kind of human you are for the day ahead.
You can one: set your morning up with a little routine of intention, expectation, and love.
You can two: roll over, pick up your phone, down a bunch of coffee, and begin the rush of life.
When you begin your day feeding and artificially stimulating the already natural rise of your cortisol, you feel overwhelmed before you even get out of bed. Our mind races with everything we have to get done. Suppose we’ve looked at social media already or read the news. In that case, we might already be discouraged with ourselves, with other people or feeling stressed and worried about the latest breaking news.
The morning is a sacred and quiet time that is entirely yours – if you allow the space to experience it —it’s when we choose how we want the rest of the day to go. To be in a state of health, you must find a morning routine that serves you. Whether it’s ten minutes or sixty minutes, that isn’t the point. Find something that works for you and is manageable to put into your schedule, start small and begin to notice the difference.
Here are five things I do before 7:30am (when my kids wake up) every morning to help set my day up for success:
I drink about one litre of water before doing anything else, often adding a pinch of sea salt and half a fresh lemon. I take five to ten minutes to drink this amount of water. I will start the coffee, snuggle my bunny and Frenchie (bonus oxytocin boost), and do what’s next on the list. Your body craves water when you wake up in the morning. You’ve just had an eight-hours of sleep (I hope), and that is a long time to go without any water. During your sleep, your body is repairing and working on flushing out toxins. When you give your body a big drink first thing, it will surely help support flushing out these harmful toxins. It also helps turn on your brain. Our brain comprises over 70% water, so being intentional about hydrating helps maintain optimal brain activity.
I love this wearable so much. An ouraring is a Health tracking wearable wrapped around your finger. It tracks your sleep, overall readiness, heart rate variability, resting heart rate, menstrual cycle, and more. High-quality and efficient sleep is foundational to improving all aspects of your mental and physical health. This ring gives you a deep look into that. It has the technology to track your sleeping contributors, such as your total sleep, efficiency, restfulness (moving), REM, and deep sleep. If you want to improve something, it will give you insight and suggestions on increasing your cycles and scores.
For example, on average, an optimal amount of REM sleep for a healthy adult starts at around 1.5 hours but decreases with age. Your REM cycle is very important for feeling energized the next day and clear in your mind. It helps you feel creative, is associated with memory consolidation, and is regulated by your circadian rhythm. The ouraring shows you your stages and the length of each cycle.
It also tracks how “ready” you are for the day. Factors that can affect this score are: how you slept if your menstrual cycle is coming if you’ve had enough recovery, your body temperature, and more. Again, it will give you a range from Pay Attention to Optimal and, based on that, offer suggestions on improving your score. I find this extremely helpful while incorporating an intermittent fasting lifestyle. I often find myself not equipped for a longer fast or an intense workout when my readiness score is low or I’m nearing my menstrual cycle. I find this ring extremely accurate, and again, I LOVE IT!!!
If you’re interested in tracking your steps, it can do that too, and you can also enter your workouts if that’s something that’s important to you. However, this is more of an overall health and sleep-tracking device. If you’re more interested in fitness tracking – the apple watch more superior.
This isn’t dramatic, but I do feel better if I make the time to stretch my limbs when I wake up, plus it feels soooo good! When you sleep, muscles relax, blood flow decreases, and heart rate slows. If you lie in the same position all night, your muscles tighten up. Stretching helps wake your body up, gets the blood flowing, and powers your brain!
I love that meme out there that says something like “you can replace that morning cup of coffee with a nice cup of green tea and it will replace 90% of the joy you have in this life”. I love coffee. I’ve gone without. I’ve felt to the beautiful burst of natural energy you get when you’ve given your body a chance to do it naturally. BUT. I love coffee…wait, I already said that. I love the routine of making it in the morning, I love the sound of it brewing, I love the smell of it, and I love the taste of it. As you can tell, it brings great joy to my morning, and that’s worth the extra cortisol spike for me. BUT there are a few things I make sure I do when I drink this cup of love.
Do you feel you’re lacking something in your life but can’t place it. Does something just feel empty? You were created with purpose and connection. You were not meant to do life alone or to rely on your own strength. This is a time to connect to something bigger than yourself. I suggest choosing a spot in your house where you can go to be quiet for even just a few minutes. It doesn’t have to be fancy but manageable. My spot is in a chair in the corner of my living room. It’s a sacred spot that I look forward to each morning. Make yourself a place. You can keep a notepad there, an inspirational daily quote or devotion, a journal, whatever. If you’re not used to doing anything like this, start with a prayer to open up the conversation, something as simple as “good morning, I am here to connect with you today. Help me to know you. Help me to feel you. Help me to hear you. Help me to love the way you do.”
Once you’ve opened the invitation, you can try whatever interests you from here. This is what mine looks like and it varies by need, interest, time etc.
This was a sneak peek into my morning routine. Maybe you’re finding your mornings stressful and overwhelming. It is time for you to reflect on all the possible ways to make your morning work for you and help set your day up on the right foot.
You can start as simply as you want, setting your alarm even 15 minutes earlier and seeing where your morning can take you.
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