Stockholm is gearing up for the long Easter weekend (many offices and businesses closed at noon today and do not open again until Tuesday!) and welcoming Spring with open arms. I have been thinking about new beginnings, detoxing, and Spring-cleaning all week and I feel that Mother Nature is on my wavelength as well. It snowed last night, covering the ground outside of our window in a soft haze of white that melted away with the warm, bright sun by the afternoon. Out with the old and in with the new!
Each morning we wake up to a new day, a new opportunity to live the life we want. Mornings can be a peaceful, energizing, and harmonious time or it can be stressful, rushed, and frenzied. We set the tone for our day from the moment we wake up and it is important to have a vibrant routine to get you out of the door smiling. Today´s Mindful Thursday series is all about the incredibly important morning routine and some tips on how we can start our days off feeling present, happy, and healthy.
First, wake up a little earlier. Just an extra 15-20 minutes can help get your day started right. To add to that time, prepare for your morning the night before. I like to drink warm ginger tea with lemon, turmeric, and a few drops of organic honey. So, the night before I make sure that my electric water boiler is full and I have fresh lemons and ginger cut and ready to go (no need to wield a knife before coffee). When I was in the corporate world and had a client meeting the next day, I would lay out my outfit the night before so that I wouldn’t have that crazed feeling of trying to find something to wear in the morning. Little things lead to bigger things that make all the difference!
Okay, so what is the first thing that so many of us do the second we open our eyes? Grab our phones and start scrolling through emails, texts, and social media. For most of us, our alarms are on our phones so we can seamlessly turn the alarm off and then flick over to Facebook. We must stop doing this. It is an ongoing struggle for me to not look through my phone first thing in the morning but that is not how I really want to start my day. Just as I am waking up, does my brain need to be absorbed in what my friend from camp 15 years ago did last night? No – it does not. If I do have the luxury of staying in bed for a few minutes after my alarm goes off, I try to reach for an inspirational book instead. Keep something to read on your nightstand that is accessible in the morning – make it easy on yourself to make that decision.
Next, meditate as soon as you get out of bed. I get onto my meditation pillow even before the ginger tea. As I said before, sit for just five minutes if that is all the time you can afford in the morning (five minutes is better than zero!). After meditation, visualize yourself successfully completing your daily goals. Big presentation? Create a vivid mental image of you knocking their socks off with your public speaking skills. Going for a run? Visualize yourself strong and powerful, effortlessly moving through space.
After meditation, I have my ginger tea and a healthy breakfast. Lately, I have loved overnight oats and chia seed pudding with yummy toppings. Avoid anything too heavy, fried or fatty. If time permits, I then get on my yoga mat. A few Sun Salutations, maybe some Yin, or I practice inversions. If I have more time, I will stay on the mat and move however feels right in my body.
Healthy and mindful routines and rituals are so important because once we build them up; we miss them if they are gone. If I don’t have time to get on my yoga mat or eat a healthy breakfast than something feels a little off the rest of the day.
So in short - prepare yourself for the morning the evening before, wake up a bit earlier, meditate, put healthy things into your body, and move! If we are able to incorporate these healthy habits into our daily lives it will benefit our happiness and our mindfulness all day long.
Happy Easter, yogi bunnies!